The case of the missing iPod
As if we needed more evidence to prove that the iPod lineup is in a state of transition, here’s one more interesting tidbit to add to the mix: Apple is curiously not shipping a 2 GB iPod model. You see, the Shuffle has 1 GB of memory and the new Nano starts at 4 GB.
Other digital player manufacturers though, haven’t forgotten about the 1-2 GB market segment. Not taking into account their older models, Creative has no less than 3 new entries and SanDisk has 2. The main reason why there’s such interest in this segment is simple enough: the sheer volume of potential buyers in the 1-2 GB segment. As higher capacity players reach the saturation point among long time digital enthusiasts, manufacturers can continue selling their lower capacity hardware to a large new generation of users just discovering digital media on the go.
So, has Apple simply abandoned the 2 GB iPod model? No, I believe this is a planned strategic move on part of Apple towards a longer term product roadmap. The 1 GB Shuffle can survive through the holiday shopping season with decent sales relying just on the iPod brand desirability but beyond that, it needs a 2 GB sibling.