Cupertino (CA) – In an announcement that was expected from Apple, but not this soon, the company is releasing a 1 GB version of the iPod nano, with an entry level price of $149.& And rather than phase out the iPod shuffle as some predicted, the company is lowering the price of its 512 MB model to $69, and the 1 GB model to $99.
Up until this morning, street prices for the 512 MB iPod Shuffle averaged about $100, while the 1 GB model averaged $140 Analysts had already predicted that, when Apple makes this move, it will effectively shut, lock, seal, and perhaps cement the door for any potential competitor wishing to make a bid to re-enter the MP3 player market.
The argument there has been that such a company would need to offer a complete product line in order to make a big enough splash among retailers, which means the entry level for that product line must be price-competitive. Slashing margins to become price-competitive with a $69 iPod Shuffle, may just be impossible even for an established brand (read: “Sony”).
Apple is claiming the new 1 GB iPod nano will hold up to 240 songs of standard length, or 15,000 photos of average resolution. But besides the lower price and the lesser memory, it’s essentially the same nano, including the 30-pin dock connector and USB alternative connector. Availability of both black and white units is immediate, says Apple, through its retail outlets or online.