Today BusinessWeek's Alex Salkever fell on his sword by issuing an apology to Steve Jobs for suggesting that the iPod mini would be the same kind of over-priced flop as the Power Mac G4 Cube. Considering that I made the Cube/mini comparison and posited that the mini was overpriced by at least $50 a full day before Mr. Salkever, I suppose I should stand in line (along with a few others, including the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg ) to ask for Mr. Jobs' forgiveness as well.
Steve, I'm really, really, really sorry, man. Sure, I could make excuses. "The iPod mini hints that much of Apple was on lunch break when the 'Power Mac G4 Cube: Lessons Learned' memo circulated." is a good line -- and one that I was loathe to waste. But reportage is about more than good lines. And, yeah, I guess the dead silence that followed your announcement of the mini's price had some influence on what I wrote. And, okay, when I learned that the then-low-end iPod offered 3.7 times more storage than the mini, I was slightly befuddled by the pricing structure for the two devices.
But I got one thing right. I had the good sense to close the piece with these words:
"Once I actually use one I may better appreciate the iPod mini's value -- after all, I was just as shocked when I learned the price of the original iPod and quickly grew to love it (and realized just how much value was packed into the diminutive device)."
Now that I have used one, I do appreciate its value. It's a beautiful device that fits well in the hand, it's got a great looking display (one that I prefer to the white iPods), 1,000 songs in your pocket is enough for most people who don't plan to be away from their computers for more than a month, and the click-wheel is a far superior design to the four too-touchy buttons found on the third-generation iPod. I'm here to say that the iPod mini is worth every one of the 24,900 pennies you're asking for it.
Every single one.
So, no hard feelings?
Oh, and before I go, I'd also like to offer my belated apologies to Steve Hammerslag who, during the seventh grade, I inadvertently shot in the butt with a rubber band.