Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Apple Updates iPod

In the Apple Rumor Universe you never know which rumors will come true. Amazingly, every recent rumor about the iPod has come true. Today, Apple released the iPod Photo and the Special Edition U2 iPod. The U2 iPod is just a 20Gb iPod with a black and red color scheme and special laser engraving. The iPod Photo, on the other hand, is something else.

iPod Photo lets you carry around all your photo albums and view them anywhere. It comes with an RCA cable to jack it into a TV for giving friends and family slideshows with the soundtrack provided by your iPod's music selection. Given the number of digital cameras currently in consumers' hands, this is actually a useful feature and it completely avoids the copyright issues of Microsoft's video delusions.

The iPod Family now contains:
iPod Mini - 4Gb for $249 with a choice of five colors
iPod - 20Gb for $299 and 40Gb for $399
iPod Photo - 40Gb for $499 and 60Gb for $599
iPod Special Edition: U2 - 20Gb for $349

Overall, I think Apple is heading in the right direction with the iPod line. Apple clearly wants to totally dominate this market and keep it that way. To do that, they have to diversify the iPod by offering a wide range specs and features, which is what they are doing.

Someday they will have to aggressively attack the lower end of the digital player market but there is no way to do that today without releasing a neutered product unworthy of the iPod name. However, as prices continue to drop it should become possible over the next few years.


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