January 05, 2004

20th Anniversary of the Macintosh

[ The 1984 commercial is down. If you check out the Apple site, you can find the edited version (the legendary hamme thrower sports an iPod Mini). ]

Updated Tues/06 Jan @ 8:00pm | I should have an update in an hour or so. Lots of exciting news.

Updated Tues/06 Jan @ 2:40am | From MacMinute.com: WSJ: Apple to introduce cheaper iPod

I think they got it wrong and the mini-iPods will be under $200 -- at least the entry level version.

The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) is reporting that Apple will introduce a new, low-cost iPod later today. However, the price the publication expects -- US$200 -- is "more than the $100 figure that has circulated on Apple rumor Web sites in recent weeks," but "it's still a sharp enough markdown that Apple hopes will attract a much larger audience of music and gadget lovers." A $200 iPod would likely offer profit margins in the "single-digits or low double-digits" compared with profit margins ranging from 20 percent to 45 percent for its higher-end models, says Charlie Wolf, an analyst at brokerage firm Needham & Co.

I don't have inside info like Wolf, but I suspect that Apple could achieve profit margins in the range he described with Cornice's new 1" hard drives. Time will show who is most accurate.

Updated @ 10:30pm | From MacRumors.com: Another mention of Cornice, this time noting the similarity to the recent iPod ads; also, earlier reports/rumors stated the new HDs were 2", but they're half that size! Hmmm... MacRumors also has shots of the Apple area at Moscone. Very iPod-centric, although there's none showing mini-iPods. I'm still leaning towards the mini-iPod introduction during Steve's keynote.

Updated @ 6:30pm | From MacRumors.com: GarageBand, Mini iPods, Xserve... Tomorrow?

"GarageBand" will be announced tomorrow. Xserve updates tomorrow, as well.

I'll admit, I'm not savvy enough to know what the hell Xserve is or what an update means. They pretty much think the mini-iPod will be announced. And I totally forgot about the GarageBand trademark announcement by Apple just months ago. I'm assuming that that is Jobs major software introduction. Music composition software? We'll know in less than a day.

Updated @ 2pm | From MacMinute.com: New 2GB hard drive source for 'Mini iPods'?

Cornice, a company specializing in compact, high capacity storage, today introduced (PDF) the 2GB Cornice Storage Element, a tiny hard drive for use in consumer electronics, portable devices, and possibly the rumored "Mini iPods." The company previously offered a 1.5GB drive. "The 2GB Storage Element will allow electronics device manufacturers to build new pocket-able products that store more music, video, and pictures, as well as more office productivity files such as presentations and word processing documents." The 2GB Storage Element is available to manufacturers for US$70 per unit in quantities of 100,000 per year.

That $70 per unit price may be misleading. If Apple buys sufficient amounts to support a mini-iPod line, I'm sure Cornice would give them a much lower unit price. It's possible since Apple could possibly buy 500,000 or more -- in line with quarterly iPod sales for the last few quarters.

Posted by ronn at January 5, 2004 01:45 PM

They would WANT to sell that goddamned thing for less than $100! I recently acquired a tiny Nike/Philips Sports MP3 player that seems COMPLETELY incompatible with my computer. I'm about to throw that shit up against a wall in here out of frustration! Posted by: Donald on January 6, 2004 04:12 AM
Donald: I hope you didn't just buy with all these rumors swirling about a mini-iPod. Return that MFer and see about later today. In fact, I want to see reports on your site since I probably won't be back at a computer long enough till later tonite. Posted by: ronn on January 6, 2004 09:03 AM
Okay, they've been released, but at $249, it looks like I'll still be waiting. Why Apple released a smaller iPod that cost almost as much as a regular iPod with less than one-third the amount of storage, I don't know. They're not even that much smaller ... Posted by: Donald on January 6, 2004 04:19 PM
Hmmm, very interesting Donald. I still have mixed emotions. Partially because I don't already own one and I am too poor to buy a 10Gig iPod at the moment. I could always resort to a college diet (ramen noodles, supermarket samples and Sunday dinners at Big Mama's) for a month or so if I really want one now. Posted by: ronn on January 6, 2004 08:07 PM