The Apple Rumor Mill has been a-buzz lately with confident speculation that Apple will be announcing a new line of iPods in the next few weeks; as early as September 5.
Here are my summaries/predictions/conclusions:
- The new iPod will feature a widescreen, multi-touch display, and will play video.
- The new iPod will be based on a OS X, like the iPhone. This is a no brainer for Apple. Now they have put the work in to make iPhone an iPod, just leverage all that work in an iPod only form factor.
- The new iPod will look very similar to an iPhone. Same widescreen, multi-touch technology. Same singular home button. However, there will be some kind of design change or color difference. iPhone users will want to maintain their outward iPhone superiority to the less expensive, iPhone looking iPods.
- Many have speculated that the new iPod will be based on NAND flash (the type of memory that is in the iPod nano) rather than a 2.5″ mobile hard disk. The hard disks are the single greatest point of failure in the old iPods, and the NAND flash in iPod nanos is practically indestructible. HOWEVER… I’m not 100% sold on that. NAND flash is much more expensive per gigabyte, and packing enough NAND flash into the iPhone form factor to equate the current largest iPod (80gb) would do it in. Apple can’t make the margins it needs at that price. I don’t see them shrinking the capacity of the largest iPod either. With every iPod release up until this point, they have expanded the storage capacity at the high end. Will we suddenly go crashing back down to 32gb after we have enjoyed 80gb? I doubt it.
- They will certainly refresh the iPod, and likely refresh the iPod Nano (although it will mostly just be the new OS), but i’m not confident they will refresh the iPod Shuffle.
My prediction is that the new iPod will be a HUGE financial success for Apple (much bigger than iPhone), and will drive their holiday sales and 3rd to 4th quarter profits. Apple’s timing and strategy have been perfect.
iPhones were a perfect product for the summer, because a cell phone is not a product that we can all just go grab and use. Most of us have contracts we can’t break and can’t justify over $1000 to switch carriers and handsets. The hype was good. But the MONEY will come now with the new iPod.
Everyone and anyone can use a new iPod. Teens, old people, even babes in arms. It has been almost 2 years since the last iPod refresh, so we’ve all been waiting for this one for a very long time!