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Apple planning flash-based digital music player?

updated 07:15 pm EDT, Fri October 1, 2004

Apple flash-based player?

Citing "numerous sources in Asia," Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel's controller chips for a player it's planning to launch this Christmas, according to The Miami Herald: "SigmaTel stock rose Friday after a Wall Street firm said the semiconductor company will supply chips for a music player from Apple Computer Inc. Unlike Apple's hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, , which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player."

by MacNN Staff





  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Bring one of these out at $99 and Apple will have the market dominated. It'll be like the BMW product lines, with clear differentiations of features versus price along the line. Style it distinctively, make it tiny, and keep all the wonderful interface aspects the world loves, and all the people who have wanted and iPod but not been able to fork over the cash will be able to get in on the Apple rush.

  1. Gabriel Morales



    Yes, but...

    The iPod IS a flash memory-type player. It just also has a hard drive.

  1. z10n

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please god

    let apple get a clue and release a $99 player. I fail to see why just because apple's products have style that means they always have to cost $200-$300 more then the next guy.

    A cheap player with apple quality will just destroy all competitors.

  1. pastusza

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The iPod is actually very reasonably priced when compared to other HD players of similar capacity. However, there are two major advantages to Apple making a flash based player:

    1. It's sold state. You can wear it while you jog, exercise, etc., without fear of damaging it. Ipod Extreme anyone? Make it waterproof and you have a winner for the active outdoor type.

    2. Microsoft claimed earlier this year they would make an MP3 player "just as good as the iPod for only $99.00." Common speculation is that the player would HAVE TO be a flash based player to even come close to this price point. This way Apple can also say it has a $99 player.

    If would be really sweet if the player had a memory slot for CF memory. That way it could come with say, 256K or 512K of memory, and you could upgrade it to any size you like.

    Now I just wish Apple would make HEADPHONES. I hate things that go in my ear...


  1. ChillieMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Must be unique

    I agree that $99 is the sweet spot for on the fence music players, but it must address succesfully, the following:
    1) Easy of use interface, thumb scolling (maybe an arc instead of a wheel)
    2) Great storage capacity to battery life ratio, I suggest 1 GB and 8 hours+ (should be doable since you can turn it on and off as opposed to hard drive mp3 players that need to keep the disc spinning).
    3) Quality of materials and craftmanship, there should not be ANY problems relating to falling apart, easily breaking,malfunctioning. Either REALLY tough plastic or aluminum shell. If it has a solid and even dense feeling for it's will convey QUALITY.

    What also would help Apple overall would be to include one of these players at 50% with iMac or iBook purchase and free with PowerMac or Powerbook purchase.

    Also, include a way to attach to a keyring or a really strong clip. 3rd parties can make armbands, belt attachments, special cases.

    I agree with Andy about hating the earbuds...maybe headphones that hang on the ear like those Bluetooth headsets.


  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just to clarify

    The HD doesn't always spin in the iPod. It is spun down to extend battery life once the RAM in the unit is full of the next few songs in the playlist. The heads are parked to avoid damage and the music is played out of RAM (64MB if I recall correctly) and when it gets low, the HD is spun back up, reads the next few songs in the playlist and then spins down again.

    This is why if you just cherry pick songs to listen to from different playlists you'll deplete your battery much quicker than if you have them in a playlist. The HD has to keep spinning because the iPod doesn't know what you're going to play next because you haven't picked it yet.

    To the rumor:
    If Apple can make the interface and styling right (and is there any company on Earth who can do a better job of these than Apple) then $99 will really be a sweet spot. Apple own the HD market. If they are able to take the flash market with this device in the same way, who can stand in their way. Would you want to buy from a store that isn't compatible with 90% of the players out there or buy a player that isn't compatible with the easiest to use and most popular (not to mention biggest selection) online music store? Of course not.

  1. jonbwfc1

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A 1GB solid state player for $99? Yeah, maybe it could dispense free beer too.

  1. theduffsronme

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash mem is cheap

    1gb for 99 bucks...could happen. If you've checked the prices of flash memory lately, they are plummeting. I recently got a 1 gig compactflash card for 79 bucks.

  1. zubro

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Citing "numerous sources in Asia," Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said christmass will come at the end od the year... waist of time!.. waisted mine.

  1. paulc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, I'm hoping this means a 60G HD based Pod with 128MB flash memory buffer space (BTW, the current buffer space is 32MB).

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