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iPod Jr. Rumors Become More Substantial 494

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-thats-so-tiny dept.
sdimbert writes "Rumors of a new, smaller, "iPodJr" have been floating around the Rumor Sites for a few weeks (as well a here at Slashdot). But now, the rumors have gained credibility and become more substantial. London's Evening Standard reports today (30 Dec 03) that "Apple has announced a cut-price mini version" of the iPod, "costing 65 [~115 USD], which will be able to store 800 songs." Despite the assertion that Apple "announced" the product, there is no mention of it at their official News Page or their product page for the iPod."
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iPod Jr. Rumors Become More Substantial

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  • by netwiz (33291) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:03PM (#7835987) Homepage
    This is going to pretty much kill in the low end
    Flash-based player market. I was looking at Fry's this weekend, and everything in the $49-99 range only came w/ 128MB, upgradeable to 640. Even assuming that the low-end Apple mini-iPod is only 1-2GB, it's got those other players beat by a mile, and hey, it works w/ iTunes!

    I'm really looking forward to next year :)
    • My song to gigabyte conversion tactics say 3.2 gigs for the rumored device.

      Bah, just use DVDs instead.
      • by the Man in Black (102634) <jasonrashaad.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:09PM (#7836058) Homepage
        Bah, just use DVDs instead

        When you can get me a DVD recorder/MP3 player that fits in my pocket, costs $100, and is super simple to use via iTunes, then sure, I'm all over it.

        In the meantime though, my money goes to the R&D demigods over at Apple. The fact that it's miniature firewire storage ALONE would make it worth a hundred bucks to me, but it's also designed by the current most successful and easy to use mp3 player?
        • by Ziviyr (95582)
          Commercial success isn't tightly linked with having a good product, and deification often leads to disillusionment.
        • PICTURES (Score:5, Interesting)

          by williwilli (639147) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:22PM (#7836211) Homepage
          There hasn't been any official announcement yet; MacWorld keynote [macrumors.com] is January 6. Rumors are circulating of new, smaller iPods with 2gb and 4gb capacities and a lower price. There are some mockups and pictures here. [sejus.com]


          music, video, games, recipes, forums -- earth2willi.com! [earth2willi.com]

      • by netwiz (33291) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:20PM (#7836182) Homepage
        Except that you lose the option of having playlists, the player requires more power per song played (the DVD's gonna have a _way_ higher rotational moment of inertia, so spinup and spindown are more costly), and it's still not as iTunes-compatible. Sure, the hypothetical DVD-player could still use iTunes, but now that we're up to a DVD-player, it's _going_ to be more expensive, esp. considering most of the rumors are fora sub-$100 device.

        And CDs have the same playist issues, along with lesser capacity.
      • OK apart from the world's wishlist of "5GB iPod for $99", what's the reality of storage costs when it comes to RAM, flash RAM and HD?

        presuming a 2GB low end model, with flash memory, what kind of price would that be?

        And slightly off to the side, is the flash memory chips (the raw logic level itself) the same in Compact Flash as opposed to memory sticks, or SD or some such?

        How about a HD? iPods started with 5GB drives, and now are up around 40. What's the cost for just one of the base base level drives? e
        • by weave (48069)
          Someone on macslash.org was speculating it could be cheaper DRAM memory. Basically, when the battery goes out, you lose contents. But big deal. With USB 2 or firewire, you plug it in, it charges and redownloads the songs in no time. No need for expensive flash memory.
    • Thats why the 1-2GB hard disk MP3 players allready on the market are so popular. Oh wait, their not. Seems people still find them too big and dont like having moving parts.
    • by bwalling (195998) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:07PM (#7836028) Homepage
      This is going to pretty much kill in the low end
      Flash-based player market. I was looking at Fry's this weekend, and everything in the $49-99 range only came w/ 128MB, upgradeable to 640. Even assuming that the low-end Apple mini-iPod is only 1-2GB, it's got those other players beat by a mile, and hey, it works w/ iTunes!


      I just got a 10GB iPod for Christmas. If it were not given to me, I would never have purchased it. I have wanted an iPod since they were announced, but $300 is more than I think an MP3 player is worth. I looked at the sub $100 MP3 players several times, but none of them were as good as the iPod. It's just not even close (even when you ignore the storage capacity). If Apple truly delivers this product (1GB iPod for $100), it will be a smashing success. I think that I am not alone in looking for a low end iPod (of course, I'm looking no more).
      • by Frymaster (171343) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:16PM (#7836129) Homepage Journal
        you are exactly the target market apple is gunning for.

        the ipod has been out for a while now and given its fairly long use-life just about everybody who was willing to get one at $300 has probably done so already.

        now apple is gunning to pick up the people who wanted one but balked at the price point. kinda like publishers who put out the hardcover for the the $30 crowd and then eight months later release a paperback for the $7 folks.

        • Chalk me up too. I'm currently in the market for some sort of personal audio device, and would *love* an iPod, but can't possibly justify that sort of expense. (Life gets expensive with a house, car, family to support...)

          A cheap, lower-capacity model would be perfect. I don't need 10 or 20 gigs of storage - I only have about 5 gigs of mp3s as it is. Sure, the extra space would be nice, but I'd be happy enough with deleting/uploading some music every fews days or so if it means the difference between afford
        • by Triv (181010) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:34PM (#7841016) Journal

          If you don't care about the bookselling business stop reading now. :)

          kinda like publishers who put out the hardcover for the the $30 crowd and then eight months later release a paperback for the $7 folks.

          That analogy is absolutely correct and I applaud you for making it. However the specifics are a bit dated as to how the book market now functions.

          It's true, that was the way the publishing industry worked a little over a decade ago, but things are slightly different now.

          There used to be two different kinds of books - hardcovers (designed to take a beating) and mass markets (designed to be thrown away). Mass markets were approx. 1/3 the price of hardcovers.

          But the publishers started to realize that there was another category of book buyer out there - people who wanted books to last but didn't want to pay hardcover prices. So the Trade Paperback was invented. Trades cost about half the price of a hardcover and are more sturdily constructed than mass markets.

          Current books rarely hit the $7 price point you mentioned unless they're niche markets (sci fi, horror and romance in particular), they're INSANELY popular (Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and the like) or they're classics (ie, in the public domain).

          This isn't really a problem except that in the last few years book quality (the physical object, not the writing - that's a completely different rant) has decreased dramatically, so people are buying trade paper because of the illusion of permanence (and because they're less weight to tote around. Books are still primarily a portable medium). This feels kinda cheap to me.

          Like I said, you weren't wrong by any means and the analogy still holds. Just being...well, a booknerd. :)

          Triv

    • It won't beat this [bestbuy.com] player's price...
      • by netwiz (33291)
        No, it won't. But I still don't get playlists. I don't get full iTunes compatibility. I've got less capacity than the rumored 2GB unit, and I have to change disks. I've also got to haul around a honking gigantic (by comparison) CD-player that doesn't fit in any pocket I own.

        Those features are enough to justify another fifty bucks.
    • That's why I find the announcement hard to believe. Apple prices *above* commodity as a MARKETING STRATEGY (gee, it costs more, it must be better!). If apple were to make cheap IPODS to compete with other players (apple does not compete on price) that would be a huge shift in Apples overall strategy.
      • by overunderunderdone (521462) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:55PM (#7837313)
        I disagree, to some degree Apple's premium pricing as a marketing strategy is making a virtue out of necessity. Apple computers are a niche product, they lost the option of true mass marketting and big marketshare years ago. When the PC market exploded they chose to maintain their fat profit margins rather than maintaining or even expanding their market share - it's pretty clear that it was the wrong decision. They hauled in the cash for a while but they became more and more a niche player. At this point they're stuck in that niche. Cutting their margins to the bone wouldn't produce that many new customers.

        The MP3 player market is a whole new ball game, and a second chance. Apple is again the market leader in an emerging market (just as they were in the long ago days of the Apple II). This time I think they are going to go for marketshare. They have to maintain the quality that people expect from the brand, and for that reason they're ever going to go for the very bottom of the bargain barrel. But if they can use superior industrial design/engineering and relationships with vendors to beat their competitors on price while still delivering high quality they are going to go for it.
    • by abacsalmasi (643483) <{adam} {at} {stableresearch.com}> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:24PM (#7836228) Homepage
      A $100 minipod is definately a possibility either with a Flash a HD based system but my money is on a HD system with more or less the same look and feel as the original iPod. Apple isn't going to bring to market a product that lacks in design, usability, and ease of use. That's just not Apple. This might be a historacle moment for Apple, releasing something price competitive. I think Steve took a business course this summer and realised that they have such a good product on their hand that HE even knows he has to play the game. A 1" 2-4 G cheap HD seems very likely, it's already being done, and I am sure that Steve could convince some company to let them go at a good price because of the demand that exists for the iPods. He's got a lot of barganing chips and he'll use them. Remember, this is a guy who convinced the stingy money-sucking music whores to get on board with his idea and now look what happend. Coke and Walmart music stores? C'mon, what's next, a Staples or Home Depot online store? I think people are going to fall in line with Mr. Steve, he's proven time and time again that he can change the world of digital media wether it be through computers, software, or peripherals. Apple is always the first ones on the field ready to play, they might not make the most money, but they start the game. Why wouldn't a company take a chance and be the first to market with them, best price, best product, and dominate, all for a little price break on HD's? People believe in him now, and his reality distortion field. Hi mom.
    • Damn skippy. I've been looking for a portable MP3* player recently, as I will soon have a job that requires frequent travel. However, $399 was/still is a bit steep. The ability to use it as a portable firewire HD is nifty, but useless for my usage. Anyway, $100, 800 songs, that's definately a keeper. I may have that in my change can. :)
  • Mini Me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:04PM (#7835990) Journal
    I'm sure Apple will tap Vern Troyer to promote the new mini iPod :-)
  • by djkitsch (576853)
    That could easily put the makers of solid state MP3 players out of business...If it's true.

    It seems unlikely, however, unless they've got a really good deal with the miniature hard disc manufacturers....
  • VAT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stang7423 (601640) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:05PM (#7836002)
    I wonder if that price includes VAT. If it is so then the US price would drop to about $100. just food for though.
  • No announcement (Score:5, Informative)

    by neverkevin (601884) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:05PM (#7836005) Homepage
    there is no mention of it at their official News Page or their product page for the iPod.

    Yeah, probably because Macworld expo is on the 6th, I would expect and announcement then.
    • Re:No announcement (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ankit (70020) *
      True. But the article says:

      "Apple has announced a cut-price mini version"

      This appears to be a goof-up like what Time-Canada did a while back. This news should have been released on the 6th.
  • by Alan Partridge (516639) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:05PM (#7836013) Journal
    They don't even understand LONDON, you can't expect them too understand APPLE.

    If you're looking for NEWS in the Evening Standard, you're looking in the wrong fucking place.
  • Press Release (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arc04 (601196) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:06PM (#7836019)
    I want to know how the Evening Standard know about it, without Apple releasing a press release. And if Apple have released a press release, then why isn't it listed on their site?

    Maybe someone at the Evening Standard is a /. regular and just nicked it from the earlier story.
    • or rather, its a slow news week (all the good journalists on holiday) and someone saw it posted on 3 mac rumor mill websites, and decided "It MUST be news! That's my story for the week, its PUB TIME!"
    • by ankit (70020) *
      Its a cycle!

      It all started with thinksecret posting about the rumored mini-ipods. Then came macrumors, which simply linked to thinksecret as their source. Then it was slashdot, which again linked to thinksecret. Then it was macrumors again, which said that it had more sources (they did not disclose them). And then some London newspapers picked up the rumors, and posted them as such. This becomes news on macrumors.com again (see page 2). And now we are back on slasldot.

      wow! And it all started with _someone
  • by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:07PM (#7836027) Homepage Journal
    Gotta ramp up the production before you make the announcement. I have a feeling that these will sell very quickly.
  • I wonder if this new iPod will continue acting as a firewire HD. Or if it will work with the iPod accessories. So many questions. As others have posted, this gadget would essentially drive others out of business. I would have never guessed an iPod could be delivered at such a low price. Wouldn't the HD on the unit alone make up for 90% of the price?

    • Re:Hard Drive (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kevinvee (581676)
      The Rio Nitrus is 1.5gb and has sold for as low as $150. The price on these mini hard drives is dropping fast as IBM and others continue to refine the manufacturing process. I doubt Apple will earn as much margin as they are on the higher ends, but these Jr's will look attractive to buyers such as myself who don't need a 40 gig brick.
  • by Slowtreme (701746)
    Apple hasn't said anything official at all about Mini iPods, and usually they kick thier Legal team into action when "half true" Rumors hit the web. The idea that they have done nothing at all makes this seem like they have resigned to let the leak become publicity, or free advertising.

    As much as I'd love to have a 20g iPod to hold all of my music on, I'd be very happy with a resonably priced (about $200) iPod that will hold 2-4gig of music. 256mb flash players just are not big enough for the price.

  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06 @ e m ail.com> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:08PM (#7836051)
    Interesting how something that is initially described as fait accompli is then described as "expected to unveil".

    I'm not saying Apple isn't going to have them. I'm just saying this is another glorified rumor (or rumour since it's a UK site).

  • I just got an 10GB iPod for Christmas and I was curious how the iPod holds up on a treadmill or a jog around the track?

    Im also curious about how iTunes works? If i download some songs on my laptop and can move/play them on my home computer as well?
    • by bwalling (195998) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:17PM (#7836151) Homepage
      I just got an 10GB iPod for Christmas and I was curious how the iPod holds up on a treadmill or a jog around the track?

      Im also curious about how iTunes works? If i download some songs on my laptop and can move/play them on my home computer as well?


      Your question will probably be better answered here [ipodlounge.com].
    • I got the armband holder [marware.com] from Marware [marware.com] and used to (before school started) run several miles a day with no problems. Watch it when it rains though because the one time I went when there was a lot of humidity in the air, at the end of the run the iPod sort of seized up for a few minutes. It reset itself and was fine, but that was a pretty scary few minutes.

      psxndc

    • Yes. to all your questions... if you have itunes you can set it up to stream to other computers on your subnet (house) or you can actually authorize those computers to use that music as well. I think the limit is five computers. If you sell your computer you can de-authorize the music on that system then re-authroize it on your new computer. It also "jogs" well.. Congrats. You got the best digital music expericence on the planet. (Be sure to sign up for new music on tuesday emails from apple. as well.)
    • As for iTunes, you can copy the songfiles from machine to machine if you like (I currently have my iTunes library mirrored on three machines), as long as you simply click "authorize this computer" when it prompts you and enter your Applestore password to play encrypted files.

      As for streaming, you still have to authorize the computer to play back your encrypted (purchased) content, but the files stay put, removing redundancy and, if you disable the Windows firewall (or open up whatever ports) it automagical
  • by shumacher (199043) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:09PM (#7836067) Homepage
    It's gonna look like heaven in thermoplastic, and everyone here is going to want one.

    What makes no sense is the timing. When a mainstream site makes an assertion about this sort of thing Apple is usually within days of release. If that were the case, why not launch before christmas.

    I don't think we'll see this for some time. Previous rumors put stripes and patterns on the case. I suspect we'll see a Pepsi branded model some time in Feburary.

    Super keen idea we'll probably never see:
    Use the printing technology used on the blue dalmation and flower power iMacs, and tie in with iPhoto to let buyers have their photos molded into the case of their mini-ipod, rather than just simple laser engraving.
    • When a mainstream site makes an assertion about this sort of thing Apple is usually within days of release.

      Job's keynote speech is January 6th.

      If that were the case, why not launch before christmas.

      Pure guess on my part, but I'd suggest in order to shift stock of their high-margin existing players. Happy to hear better ideas though if someone has them.

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • by the Man in Black (102634) <jasonrashaad.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:16PM (#7836131) Homepage
      If that were the case, why not launch before christmas.

      Because they were busy selling regular iPods at $300-500 a pop. Clear out all that inventory, take the profit, then announce a new product at MacWorld. Simple profit maximization; a pre-Christmas announcement would have hurt current iPod sales as people demanded the Jr. rather than the big boy (which may or may not have been available). If they couldn't get their hands on one, they'd just wait until after Christmas. Meanwhile, iPods sit dusty and alone on the shelves. Post- you have enough time to ramp up production and meet demand. People that were going to buy an iPod already have one, so you're not taking a loss.

      The people that are going to buy this (in DROVES) are the people that looked longingly at an iPod but were much too broke to buy one (read: ME and several million other people).
      • Another point is that I'm betting Apple wouldn't be able to keep up with demand if they started selling them. $100(ish) is a VERY important price point for lots of people. It's a heck of a lot easier to rationalize a $100 investment rather than a $300 investment. If such a machine is produced, it'll sell almost as quickly as the iTMS sold it's first tracks, if Apple releases it with a big enough splash.

        Look at some of the past product releases (pick a keynote, any keynote): The product is announced, and or
    • If that were the case, why not launch before christmas.

      My case in point: The GBA SP

      On Christmas 2002, my wife got me a GBA, Metroid Fusion, along with a light attachment. I was enthused to say the least, and enjoyed it for about two weeks...

      Until Nintendo announced, on January 6th, 2003 [gameboy-advance-sp.com] that their Gameboy SP was coming in February, complete with the why-didn't-they-include-it-in-the-first-place backlight and rechargable battery.

      To put it mildly, I was fucking upset. Who would rather have the non-backl
  • by Amiga Lover (708890) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:10PM (#7836073)
    Apple has announced hey? Despite not owning them, I remember when the press said apple has "announced" 68060 based macs. I remember when apple "announced" that their games machine was selling in the US market. I remember when they "announced" the release of a PPC 620 64-bit mac.

    "announced" in quotes simply because the press want to get it right before anyone else, and throw guesses and suppositions around regarding beta or even non existent hardware.
  • Before Jobs the iWhite sends out his Uruk-Hai to crush the rumor sites.

  • by Muddie (72996) <larry@runswithsC ... rs.com minus cat> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:11PM (#7836084) Homepage
    I went to update the firmware on my iPod, and... like, it went all 'beep-beep-beep-beep-beep' and started to smoke. That was kind of... a bummer. So I check my funds and realize that I don't have the cash to get a new one because I bought my week's worth of... herbs. So, I go to the store and see that they released this iPodJr, and I was all like... cool. So, I was able to still listen to Jerry while I was studying. That's like... cool.

    I'm Ellen Feiss, and I have an iPodJr.
  • No way (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gotpaint32 (728082) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:12PM (#7836087) Journal
    It can't be a true Apple product if you don't have to sacrifice your first born for it... I just don't believe it. I may eat these words later, but for a 115USD a 1-2gb player that is smaller than the current ipod? Flash memory is certainly not that cheap, and as for hard disks, even a used microdrive goes for more than that. Start throwing in Li-ion cells, LCDs, apple's usual cosmetic frills and you've got $$$ just piling up. Buying in bulk will surely reduce costs but what kind of profit are we talking here catering to the low end, this seems too unlike apple?
    • Re:No way (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kenja (541830)
      Well the Rio Nitrus [digitalnetworksna.com] is close. Its 1.2GB for around 200$. I do think the 100$ price tag is going to be way off, but it should still be close to what Rio offers.
    • Remember... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) *
      When the first iPod came out, it actually cost less than buying just the HD directly from Toshiba!!! So looking at the new smaller Toshiba drive cost might very well lead to a good estimate as to the price point a small iPod might arrive at.

      I think Apple can cut some amazing deals based on projected volume of orders.
  • Rumors? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ianoo (711633) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:13PM (#7836096) Journal
    I'm sure there's some truth in this rumor, but isn't it possible that some "hack journalist" at the Evening Standard read these rumors (maybe even at Slashdot, if so HI!) and is just giving them more credence than they should receive so he or she scores "a scoop". It wouldn't be the first time a journo has been duped in this manner!
  • by drayzel (626716) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:13PM (#7836098)
    Dang.

    I really want to know what sort of media they are using and how much!

    Lets see, 800 songs, average of around 3 minutes a song, about 1MB per minute for average quality works out to be about 2400MB. Refactor figures for the obligatory "Best Case Scenario" marketing droid math that works out to be a 32MB Flash player containing short songs recorded at 32kbit/s!

    In reality it sounds like a 1.5BG player using AAC to fit 800 songs on it. That's a definite buy at that price! BUt if it sounds to good to be true, chances are it is.

    Or maybe it is a simple Flash player with a compact flash card? Inserting 2GB CF card would allow for the capacity for 800 songs yet still keep the initial price of the player low.

    ~Z
  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:13PM (#7836103)
    I was more intrigued by the announcement of the "iPod Micro," which supposedly makes even -more- music available than the regular iPods. It's also got some kind of wireless technology built in, which is something that people have been speculating about forever. What's odd though is that it's not 802.11b/g or Bluetooth, but rather something called "frequency modulation" in an entirely different spectrum.

    They said the memory technology was called "station presets" -- anyone know what this means?

  • Great Price Point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rocketjam (696072) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:16PM (#7836136) Homepage
    When the original iPods came out, people complained that the price was too high and no one would buy one. The iPod's success shows there are a lot of people with more disposable income than the critics thought. Still, $300 - $400 is more money than many people could afford/justify for an mp3 player. A $100 price point would make it much more attractive to middle-income people. I think I can probably rationalize the purchase of a $100 mp3 player to myself ;-) (especially an iPod).
  • I'd like an mp3/aac/wav/aiff player/recorder 'for the rest of us' -- one to replace my minidisc. I want to be able to record analog to aiff with a line/mic in, I want firewire external disk capability, I want iTunes ease and smart playlists, and I want to slap on accessories like fm transmitters (or a preamp, see above). I only need about 2 gb of storage and I only have about $200CDN to spend on a base unit.

    Oh, and I want 12 hours of playtime out of two rechargeable AA batteries, like my minidisc (which al
  • Daily Telegraph (Score:2, Informative)

    by scifience (674659) *
    According to this post [macnn.com] on MacNN, this was also on the front page of the Daily Telegraph in London, which adds a little more credibility to the story.
  • # Songs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _aa_ (63092) <j AT uaau DOT ws> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:22PM (#7836201) Homepage Journal
    I dislike the "# Songs" metric (1GB = 200 songs). I understand that a portion of the demographic they're targeting might not know what a megabyte represents, but undoubtedly it's a small percentage of their target market. 800 Songs means little to me, as many songs I listen to are 10 or 15 minutes long. Some songs might be no more than 30 seconds. I also may want to store some songs at higher or lower bitrates than others. Given all the variables that vary within a "Song", I'd rather discuss the exact data capacity in Bytes.

    1.44mb Floppy = 0.3 songs
    250mb Zip Disk = 50 songs
    650mb CD = 130 songs
    4.7gb DVD = 940 songs
  • From the article:

    It is intended to target people who want a digital music player but do not need one which can hold music from more CDs then most people could ever own

    What are they talking about? "Most People" could easily own hundreds of CDs. I am not even a "collector" but since CDs have been around since the 1980's I have over 600... Now do I listen to all of them? Why - yes.... But that's a different discussion... I think many people have more than 800 songs, just no need (spelled not-enough-m
  • If you follow the second link into some depth, there's a claim that the new mini-iPod will be flashed based instead of HD based.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/news.php?id=334 [appleinsider.com]
  • Someone submits a rumor too two rumor boards, they report it, look at each other and say 'if they're reporting it too, then it's probably true!"

    c|net and others write 'could be...' stories, and then one Macophilic reporter at a random paper (in this case, 'This is London', that bastion of Mac integrity?) writes that Apple 'has announced' the thing, though they say its 'unveiling' will be in a week.

    Then Slashdot comes in and says the rumors are now probably true because an 'established paper' claims it as
  • by g_adams27 (581237) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:25PM (#7836256)
    This sounds like a good thing, but I heard that they're going to replace the regular buttons with chiclet buttons, and you'll have to attach bulky sidecars to it if you want any kind of expansion capability. Plus the headphones will only communicate with the main unit via a poorly designed IR port.

    On the plus side, I heard they'll have some great games for it, like "Jumpman", "Zyll" and "King's Quest" by some company called "Sierra On-Line".

  • Article "It is intended to target people who want a digital music player but do not need one which can hold music from more CDs then most people could ever own."

    And for the people who actually use all those gigs of space, it won't be a replacement backup tool. That wouldn't stop others from treating it like a glorified floppy, though.

    800 songs is still some serious space. My 10gb model has, let's see -- 974 songs, with 5.5gb open right now. This'd obsolete my sister's keychain hard drive collection, at

  • This just in... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by computerme (655703) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:30PM (#7836309)
    Apple will own the MP3 market in few months:

    http://www.macobserver.com/article/2003/12/30.1. sh tml

    As soon as apple ships the ipod jr at the price points suggested then they will probably take all 5 top selling spots on the list. Not many people are going to be buying a "iriver" with 128mbs when they can get a iPod that holds 800 songs for the same price AND get the itunes music store AND the ID of ipods AND the ease of use that apple gives them... ...

    The 10GB Apple iPod ($299) reportedly edged out the cheaper 128MB Digitalway ($140) in overall sales, with the remainder of the iPod models also being well represented:

    1. 10GB iPod ($299)
    2. 128MB Digitalway ($140)
    3. 20GB iPod ($399)
    4. 128MB iRiver ($119.99-$139.99))
    5. 40GB iPod ($499)
  • 2004 is going to be the year of the device! finally we're starting to see prices and functionality that we can all afford and make use of.

    I'm an owner of a current IPod, it would have been naive of me to imagine that it would not be undercut in price and out paced in terms of functionality within 12 months.

    Now all I want is an affordable video version.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:36PM (#7836383) Homepage Journal
    Jobs statement ( if true ) is rather silly, as I own enough to fill more then 40gb easily.. ( over 500 cds + countless LP's from the 70s/80s ) I cant imagine I'm that much different then many ( especially if you can drop 500 bucks on an Ipod )

    However 2gb is more than useable on the road.. as who needs to *carry* around more then 30 some odd albums at a time..

    If they really do hit the streets @ 100 USD count me in for 2 ( in case apple is reading /. )
  • by H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:41PM (#7836450) Homepage
    Rumors of a new, smaller, "iPodJr" have been floating around the Rumor Sites for a few weeks (as well a here at Slashdot).

    What I find amusing is that the above sentence implies that Slashdot is not a rumor site itself. Heh.
  • by Spencerian (465343) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:46PM (#7836501) Homepage Journal
    ...is that while everyone is salivating (justifiably) at the possibility of lower-cost iPods, that no one seems to be wondering much about the other new hardware Apple may announce at the Macworld keynote on 1/6, especially an updated, faster, cheaper G5, and God knows what else that the CEO may surprise us with.

    Yep, a good year for Jobs, and good year for Apple and Pixar as well. Give the man a cookie.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:56PM (#7836636)
    from an insider: say, hypothetically, that apple had developed a significantly better (albeit lossy) compression scheme and coupled with a good sized compact flash type storage device were able to squeeze 800 songs onto much less than 2-4GB.. say 1GB ;) - remember, you heard it here first..
  • What will we lose? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truffle (37924) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:19PM (#7836920) Homepage
    I seriously doubt the $115 iPod will look exactly like the 10gb model, but with a smaller hard drive (and form factor). It makes sense that the $115 iPod will lack some of the features that the higher end models have. This will better enable apple to upsell people to higher end iPods, and believe me, they want to do that.

    So what could we potentially lose from the iPod?
    - Firewire. It seems unlikely apple would cut their technology from a product, but this is something obvious to cut. These cheapo iPods are going to be heavily focussed on iTunes users, which are largely windows based. USB could be good enough.
    - Built in rechargable battery. A good way to lower production cost is to make the unit require conventional batteries.
    - The unit interface. The iPod's screen and dial for selecting music are great. A good way to cut production cost would be to remove these features.

    In summary, my expectation is that apple will design their iPod jrs without many of the features which we have come to expect from iPod products. This will lower their production costs, and provide additional motivation for people to buy higher priced units.

    Apple doesn't need to provide any of these features to sell iPod Jrs, the larger storage capacity, iTunes, and apple chic design will ensure these things just fly off the shelves.
  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:22PM (#7836946) Homepage
    Banana Jr. 2000 [rwth-aachen.de]
  • Unpossible (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alexjohns (53323) <almuric@gMONETmail.com minus painter> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:39PM (#7837115) Journal
    Me and the other main geek here at work have been going round-and-round with this for a couple of days. There's no way this is true, much as I might wish it were. It's very simple: What flash medium is out there in the 1GB-4Gb range that costs less than $100? If there is one, it's impossible to find on the web.

    What are they doing, repurposing all those old 1-4GB hard disks that people are tossing out? Have they invented some new cheaper flash memory? If so, that's major. A lot more than IpodJrs are gonna come out of that if that's true. Somebody want to help me out here? Anyone? Bueller?

  • by amper (33785) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @03:39PM (#7837863) Journal
    So, I think that by this time next year (and hopefully that actually means about 10 months from now, so Apple can actually get the damn things out the door *BEFORE* the Holiday season...), we'll actually get the iPod that we should have had in the first place?

    Don't get me wrong, I love the iPod, and I actually have an original 5GB unit (which I did *not* pay full price for).

    As we all know, HDDs don't go down in price, they just get bigger, because it costs about the same amount of money to produce a unit regardless of capacity. That's why the newer iPods with bigger drives cost the same as the original while having double the capacity. The iPod would be cheaper if Apple could find a way to build it cheaper while still maintaining the design goals.

    So I'm thinking that if we see a ~2GB ePod/iPod Jr. at MWSF next week, then by next year, we should be seeing a ~5GB unit for the same price. By that time, Toshiba should have ramped up the new 1" drives to double the capacity or more.

    I do think the predictions of ~100USD are maybe a bit optimistic. For what you're getting, it sounds to me like ~150-200USD is more likely. As in $149 for a 1GB model, and $199 for a 2GB...then next year we might see 2GB and 5GB models at the same prices, while the iPods step up even further in features and capacity at *their* same price points.

    Personally, I'd have no trouble justifying $199 for a 2GB iPod, as long as it retains the same feature set as the current iPods do. (Read: FireWire drive capability).

    Of course, what I'd really like to see, as a musician, is a multi-track iPod Studio about the size of a VHS tape with the inputs of a Digidesign Mbox (mmm...Focusrite). Since Apple owns eLogic, this shouldn't be too hard. Think of a cross between a Digidesign Mbox and a Digi 002 (FireWire), only made by Apple.
  • by crovira (10242) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @04:01PM (#7838091) Homepage
    Oh woe is me. Apple is heading in the wrong direction.

    I just, sort of, inherited about 4 cubic feet of CD and 8 cubic feet of vinyl.

    I'm going to be rip-ping CDs for weeks and media shifting the vinyl for months.

    This is on top of my own collections which have already been rip-ped.

    My 160GB FireWire drive is about to start bulging at the sides. Okay, I exagerate... Backing this beast up will requires DVDs (good thing I got a burner :-)

  • by afantee (562443) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:44PM (#7841072)
    Currently, all top 3 best selling jukeboxes are iPod [amazon.com]. Would the mini iPod pushes everything else off the top 5?

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