Editorial: Extra small is extra large
By David Leishman
Well, it’s official: the iPod mini is a hit. Actually, ”
a smash hit,” according to USA Today. So much so that you’d be hard pressed to find one on a retailer’s shelf, or in an Amazon shopping cart. “It’s frustrating. Everyone wants to buy it, and we can’t sell it,” notes one sales manager in Los Angeles.
Analysts are raving about Apple and its latest coup. One fellow from Merrill Lynch predicts that the iPod line of products will add significantly to the company’s bottom line, to the tune of $1 billion by the end of 2004 and $1.6 billion by September, 2006. And further, that the iPod’s success lets Windows users know “that
it’s OK to buy Apple.”
Which we’ve all known for quite some time. So it was surprising to see so many initial negative reactions to the mini on Mac websites and attendant forums — mostly noting that you can get lots more storage for less money with other players, including the “old-fashioned” iPods. The complaints from the posters at Slashdot were to be expected — after all, it doesn’t support the Ogg Vorbis format, as some other players do, so it’s obviously A Bad Thing.
But those other players aren’t as cool. Nor colorful. So, tough darts, geezers, mini’s win. The bigger question now is: what’s next?
Apple, of course, will have to continue to grow the product line (or should that read “shrink” the product line?) and add services, but I think Mr. Jobs and company have that well within their grasp. They obviously can think “outside the pod.” To wit: The mini’s form factor is very akin to a cell phone, and although Jobs has denied that Apple will get into that market directly, the iPod licensing deal with Hewlett Packard could point the way down the road to a pact with Nokia or Sony Ericcson, one that could produce a universal entertainment/communication device. It might not sport the beloved fruit logo, but perhaps “Apple Inside” would be stamped on it.
Discussing iPod-related possibilities, and trying to determine whether there are any more “i”services that don’t have restricted names, can eat up a few hours. I checked out the availability of a bunch of domain names that also might be appropriate for a controlling device — iSee, iRule, iMaster, iSez — to no avail, but finally my efforts paid off: iKliq is yours to register and then sell to Apple. Or maybe you can trade the rights for a boatload of iPod minis — apparently you’ll have no trouble selling them.
French artist group demands Apple pay fees on iPod
Apple may face legal action against The Society of Music Creators, Composers and Publishers (Sacem). The society alleges that Apple has refused to pay a fee levied in France on blank CDs, tapes, hard disks and other hardware used to copy music. The Associated Press estimates that this levy would add about $24.63 to the cost of a 40GB iPod in France.
Apple in legal spat with Chinese trademark committee
Apple to showcase solutions to Bio-IT World attendees
Xserve G5 delayed
Apple makes plans for NAB show in Las Vegas
Apple stock rallies to highest price since ’02
Pocket PC iPod imitator gets Apple’s attention
LaCie ships 500GB Big Disk Extreme
LaCie on Wednesday announced that it is now shipping the 500GB Big Disk Extreme hard disk, with two FireWire 800 ports, one FireWire 400 port and an 8MB buffer in the 7200 rpm drive. According to LaCie, the sustained transfer rate of the Big Disk Extreme makes it faster than and larger than any external Ultra 320 SCSI hard drive and most IDE-to-SCSI RAID solutions currently available.
SiK offers din FireWire/line-out cable for iPod
Lexmark intros new inkjet, all-in-one printers
Eyegonomic offers LCD-TV’s, TV-tuner box
iSkin iPod mini protectors coming late March
Hitachi boasts 400GB hard drive
FileMaker Pro 7 enhances relational features, more
FileMaker Inc. on Tuesday announced the release of FileMaker Pro 7 and FileMaker Developer 7. The most significant of the more than 100 new features in this release are FileMaker’s transition to a new relational database engine architecture, and the ability to store up to a million tables within a file. Also of note, this is the first version of FileMaker Pro to eschew support for “Classic” Mac OS: FileMaker Pro 7 runs exclusively on Mac OS X and Windows.
Virgin Digital to compete with iTunes, others
4D for OCI 2003.3 available for Mac OS X, more
Knowledgetank info management software debuts
LittleHJ releases BlogStudio for .Mac
Pangea Software ships Nanosaur II: Hatchling
Around the Web
iPod-equipped Honda Civic
A specially painted and designed Civic, on tour with the fourth annual Civic Tour from American Honda Motor, features a customized, state-of-the-art, sound system from Alpine Electronics, including an in-dash receiver that interfaces with a custom-mounted iPod. The car — also known as the Civic Tour Non-Stop Music Lounge — is now on the road with the band, Dashboard Confessional.
The perils of Googling
Real obnoxious Real Player
Losing control of your TV
Investors humming Apple’s tune