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New iPod Details!


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schweb

 
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Source: ThinkSecret.com

A re-designed Apple iPod in two new hard drive sizes with control buttons and a docking/charging station will be announced toward the end of April, sources have confirmed to Think Secret. The new models will be available in 15GB and 30GB sizes, as the 5GB and 20GB models will be discontinued. In addition, Apple's new music service is expected to be announced at the same time the new iPod's debut.

The new design will now have four, round control buttons immediately below the display. Previously the rewind, fast forward, pause/play and menu buttons encircled the touch-sensitive scroll wheel. The addition of the control buttons will apparently not increase the unit's overall size or cause a reduction in size of the scroll wheel or 2-inch diagonal display. The current models are 4.0-inches tall and 2.4-inches wide.

The removal of the control buttons from the sides of the scroll wheel will be somewhat of a disappointment for those used to navigating the iPod with one finger. Because the control buttons will now be slightly higher on the unit, it will require someone with smaller hands to move the unit down in the palm of their hand to strike the control buttons after navigating with the scroll wheel, or use two hands.

New to the unit is a FireWire docking/charging station -- shown to the right in the artist rendering. The dock will be included at no additional charge with the units and will come with the standard dock connector cable. The only benefit of the dock over the cable is the ability to stand the unit upright, similar to a PDA.

Sources have confirmed the new models are in full production in Asia and are now in transit to the United States.

It is not known when the new models will be fully available to the public for sale, but it is expected they will debut the last week of April. It is expected that the 10GB version will be lowered in price to US$299, the 15GB version will retail for $399 and the 30GB version will cost $499. Apple could cut prices even slightly lower to spur interest at the last minute, but sources report that is unlikely.

It is expected that the 5GB and 20GB versions will be discontinued, sources report. What is not known is whether or not the older 10GB model will be re-designed with the new look.

USB 2.0 support has also been added to the iPod, primarily for Windows users.

The update to the iPod is no surprise. It has been rumored for months that Apple would revamp the now-popular portable music player available for both Windows and Mac users. Since it's introduction in October of 2001, the iPod has become one of the most popular portable players. In the final quarter of 2002, the iPod was the top-selling player in terms of dollar market share at 27 percent, according to market research firm NPDTechworld. In terms of actual units sold, Apple placed third with a 11.2 percent market share.

The Windows version of the iPod is the most popular product, controlling 58 percent of the units sold, compared to 42 percent for the Mac version. Of the three iPod models, the 10GB model is the best seller, according to NPDTechworld.

If Apple does lower prices on the three models, industry watchers expect that the 10GB and 15GB models will become even more popular during an economic downturn that is seeing 76 percent of Americans thinking twice about spending money on discretionary items, such as electronics.

News of the new iPod models comes as retail giant Target Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. have decided to no longer sell the iPod, as Think Secret reported exclusively on Wednesday. Both companies have stopped selling the product after objecting to details of the company's new dealer contract, which will ultimately have some negative impact on sales. Best Buy, which also sells the iPod, continues to handle the product.

It is expected that when Apple announces the new iPod model, it will also announce details of its new online music service. Consumers will reportedly be able to buy music from music labels such as EMI, BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music on a per-song basis, after previewing short, 30-second clips.

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i like my iPod, and unless the new one looks or works a lot better i think ill keep mine

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MacWhispers.com seems to have a contradicting opinion on the new iPods:

We will offer this disclaimer to the following article: This is 100% pure, unadulterated wild-eyed speculation. That said, we have a few ideas we believe are solidly grounded on the on-again, off-again introduction of the expected iPod revisions.

First, with no data coming from OEM sources recently to indicate a radical change in iPod enclosure construction, and with the stainless steel back cover production quantities recently ramped back up to mid-2002 levels, we are confident that the soon to appear 'Pod will look the same, and have the same control interface, and the same rear cover configuration as the present iPod. At the risk of contradicting other rumor sites, we don't believe there are "buttons" coming on the iPod.

Secondly, we have collected a variety of soft whispers indicating the possibility of an Apple-provided desk stand for the iPod... a "dock," if you will. There is a strong possibility that the combination USB/FireWire cable mentioned here several times is for this very iPod docking station.

Third, we are confident that Apple is reducing the number of iPod models dramatically, starting with eliminating parallel units for Windows or Mac applications. It is our belief that there will be only one group of iPods offered, that will work with either operating system, and that will support both USB2 and FireWire.

The power underlying the sales success of the iPod is a combination of its elegant style and its equally elegant user interface. We have seen Apple's management team abide very consistently by an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" design ethic in recent years, and we are certain they they will not be making radical changes to either the looks or the control scheme of the iPod, at least not in the next revision.

Whether the new iPod line appears in a week or a month, and with two models (at 10GB and 20GB) or with three models (most likely, at 10, 20, and 40GB), we believe we can expect to see the major value added to simply be a nicely done integration of more file formats supported (AAC, definitely), cross platform compatibility (with USB2 and FW), and the inclusion of an optional desk stand in the product line.

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Well, ill be using my iPod for years and years before i upgrade...

why do i need an mp3 player to do more than play mp3s?
course apple always has a way of making me want more... hell i rem thinking how could need something faster than a 233mhz iMac?
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What I REALLY want Apple to add to a future version of the iPod is a user-replacable battery. It really bothers me that if/when the battery finally goes dead, I've got to send it in to Apple and pay some ridiculous fee to get the battery fixed. I also heard a rumor that when you do that, Apple doesn't necessarily replace the battery in yours, but sends you a refurbished unit with a new battery in exchange. Any thoughts on this?
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Quote:
Originally posted by mgudites@Apr 27 2003, 07:35 AM
What I REALLY want Apple to add to a future version of the iPod is a user-replacable battery. It really bothers me that if/when the battery finally goes dead, I've got to send it in to Apple and pay some ridiculous fee to get the battery fixed. I also heard a rumor that when you do that, Apple doesn't necessarily replace the battery in yours, but sends you a refurbished unit with a new battery in exchange. Any thoughts on this?
I don't know anything about it being replaced with a refurbished unit, but that would be easy to confirm by checking serial numbers.

I do agree that a user replaceable battery would be a good addition though.

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