Summary:

Apple is learning a new lesson: how to live under the microscope. Thanks to the massively popular original IPod, the Cupertino coolio now is now under relentless scrutiny when it comes to anything that is related to digital music. Not surprisingly, the company announced its new […]

Apple is learning a new lesson: how to live under the microscope. Thanks to the massively popular original IPod, the Cupertino coolio now is now under relentless scrutiny when it comes to anything that is related to digital music. Not surprisingly, the company announced its new IPod Mini, a junior sibling of the original earlier this month, and got criticized by everyone, except for a handful of people. Many thought, $250 for 4 GB player was a bit too much to ask. Well, you read this post on the Business 2.0 Blog, and you will get a clear idea that it is not that expensive, especially when compared to some of the other 4GB players on the market.

bq. ItÌs pricing the Mini against rivals, just like it should. The little machine is squarely in the same entry level price cluster as the Nomad MuVo2 and the Nitrus Rio (both the 1.5 and 4 GB versions).

John Gruber is also making similar arguments as well. Another fantastic defense of this device is made by Jason Fried over at 37Signals.

MiniPod

However there is more to the IPod Mini, than just the price differential. Most of the tech media has dubbed IPod the walkman of the 21st century. Well if that is the case, then we all have to remember, that within months of unleashing the original Walkman, Sony released many variations of the tiny cassette player. Apple is doing precisely that. It is trying to capture as many segments of the market as it can.

So what segment is IPod Mini being targeted at?I put this question with one executive from a large north american electronics retail chain, and his answer was: the ladies. That’s right folks, the ladies. He predicts that IPod Mini could be one of the best selling products of 2004, and many will be surprised by that. The colors are a clear sign that this is a product targeted at the better gender. The candy colored IMac was a clear favorite of the Cosmopolitan set. Expect the same for MiniPOD.

Apparently most of us blokes worry about gigabytes and how big the hard drives are. (Horse Power, GigaBytes, GigaHertz … are all about our concept of size matters) However, girls, it seems to focus on the functionality. Like can it play all my favorite Alanis Morrisette songs, or will all the Pink albums fit in one MP3 player. The crushed lipstick tube look, the feminine colors, and the simple and easy to use interface are going to make this a must have device for the Britney brigade.

PS: Actually 4GB may not be that small in terms of capacity. At last check, I had played only 57 songs on my 15 GB IPod.

By Om Malik

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