Apple's iPod revolutionized (and, some would say, really created) the large-capacity media player market. Though Creative's Nomad was on the market first, it was larger than a CD player and had shoddy battery life. The iPod changed all that, with a sleek form factor about the size of a deck of cards, and 10-hour battery life. The interface was clean, and after a bit of initial hesitance the device was embraced by consumers.
Many folks, however, weren't pleased with the price point. The original iPod cost $350, and modern iPods range from $300 to $500. Most consumers don't have fifteen gigabytes of music to store, and so opted instead to purchase smaller flash media-based players.
In January of 2004, Apple decided to make an attempt at cornering this medium-capacity market with the iPod mini. It features a smaller metallic form factor that comes in five colors: silver, gold, blue, pink, and green. The device is about the dimensions of a business card, and still retains the thickness of a deck of cards. The device retails for $250 (though a price drop is rumored to be "imminent" as of 1/29/04), and contains a four gigabyte "microdrive" which will hold about 1,000 songs encoded at 128 Kbps.
- Storage: 4GB
- Battery Life: 8 hours
- Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.0 x 0.5 inches
- Weight: 3.6 ounces
- Connectivity: Firewire or USB 2.0
Uses same proprietary iPod connector for full accessory compatibility.