So it turns out that that the new i-Pod Mini is more of an evolution than a revolution. Not many of the changes I had anticipated are included. It is essentially a sleeker, slimmer version of the larger i-pod (which Apple are careful to name “Small”). The memory is only 4gb which is still sizeable enough but would get used up relatively quickly by many music fans. Which raises the question of what Apple are trying to do with this new device. At just $50 cheaper than the 15gb i-pod it is not cheap enough to appeal to entry level buyers (which I had hoped for) yet you get markedly less capacity for the price point. My guess is that a) they are trying to maximise sales of the higher capacity (read higher profit margin) i-pods for as long as possible and b) they are seeing whether they can migrate the term i-pod away from being a specific device towards a brand. One of the big differentiators (both literally and metaphorically) with the i-pod has traditionally been its storage capacity which typically allows users to upload most if not all of their music collections. The i-Pod mini won’t do that for many fans. But if it proves popular (once the price has come down as it will have to) then maybe we will see Apple introduce a wider range of music devices, perhaps even entry level flash based models?
Finally Apple have decided to go down the i-mac route with a series of colour schemes for the i-pod Mini. When myself and my colleague Ian Fogg were brainstorming possible improvements and enhancements for i-Pod, Ian actually suggested i-Mac style colours. He was clearly bang on the money.