“Over the next couple months Apple may be phasing out the 60GB iPod video in favor of something else, hopefully the true iPod Video that we have been hearing about non-stop for the past month, according to an Apple analyst. Apple told distributors that the 60GB iPod will be “at risk?? until the end of April. At risk basically means that it could be discontinued at any moment. Let’s hope this possible discontinuation will preclude the new video iPod that may or may not appear some time soon.”
According to CNN, American Technology Research analyst, Shaw Wu, the 60GB video iPod which launched in October 2005 (and which I bought a mere two months ago) is regarded as “at risk” by Apple. This indicates, says Wu, that this latest iPod is about to be replaced by a new model. iLounge also picked up on this story and had the following quote:
“The most interesting development here is that Apple has notified its distributors that its high-end $399 60GB iPod is ‘at risk’ until the end of April, meaning it could be discontinued and/or replaced around that time frame,?? Wu said in the report. “As we have mentioned before, our checks indicate that Apple has been working on a widescreen iPod (we believe now likely with Bluetooth headphone capability). Timing is not certain to us but we believe this product could be ready as early as the June quarter.”
Wu also noted that the iPod nano “appears to be experiencing the greatest seasonal decline within the iPod family,?? with the exception being “decent sales?? of new 1GB model. “We believe Apple may need to increase storage capacities and/or cut prices to re-generate interest,?? he said. “Declining prices in NAND flash and additional capacity coming on board should help Apple facilitate these moves.”
Some of the rumours include that the new iPod (if it materialises) will be a widescreen iPod featuring true video capability (presumably being capable of handling better quality video than the current iPod), bluetooth earphones and a touchscreen click wheel). If this all sounds familiar, it should. These were the rumours doing the rounds before Apple’s latest event where it announced, among others, the iPod Hi-Fi and the revamped Mac mini.
I’ll be a little irked if my iPod is about to be replaced with a bigger and better one. Then again, if the much anticipated “true” video iPod meets or exceeds expectations, an upgrade around June (when Wu expects the device to debut) may not be such a terrible thing.
There is, of course, the possibility that the new device may be Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s ultra-mobile pc (also known as Origami). That would be pretty darn cool. I could definitely see myself using a widescreen video iPod that doubles as an Internet tablet where I can read news feeds, browse the Web using wifi and, dare I say, make calls at the same time? That would be an awesome leap ahead if Apple plans on doing this with the new device (assuming it exists).
Watch this space!