Small! Cheap! Striped? (12/23/03)

Okay, now we've got the Christmas spirit! Well, Orthodox Armenian Christmas, anyway. It turns out that our suggestion yesterday about postponing the Christmas celebrations until the day of the Stevenote was right on the money; by some standards and calendars, January 6th really is Christmas after all. Many thanks to faithful viewer Shelby Davis for pointing that out. It lends the whole event a certain sense of occasion, you know? We get the feeling that this so-called "coincidence" foreshadows announcements of life-changing significance-- or at least something good 'n' festive. Suppose Steve will come out dressed in red and white for the affair?

Well, even if he doesn't, it's the gear that counts, and as everyone knows, the buzz is all about low-cost, lower-storage miniPods-- and there's some good news on that front: Think Secret has leaped into the fray, with "confirmed" reports of new "pocket-size iPods" (what, the current models require a wheelbarrow to cart around?) that will indeed be available in the previously-rumored 2 GB and 4 GB capacities. And when Think Secret goes so far as to say that something's been "confirmed" by "reliable sources," you can practically take that stuff to the bank. It may even be actual legal tender in some countries, we're not sure. The upshot is, at this point we're having a really tough time keeping a prudent facade of skepticism in place. We really think this is going to happen. Allow us to do a dorky little dance.

But wait, it gets soooo much better. Whereas AppleInsider had only reported that the prices of these little doohickeys would "fall below the $200 threshold," Think Secret goes so far as to say that the 2 GB model will cost "around $100." A hundred bucks for an iPod?! It was barely two months ago when Steve said that Apple would "love to have a $100 iPod" but "didn't know how to do it"; if Think Secret is correct, it sounds like Apple learned pretty darn fast. Sheesh, you can barely even score a decent night out for a hundred clams these days. In fact, we're at the point now where a night at the movies for two with popcorn, soda, and Junior Mints costs roughly $28,000. If Apple really manages to hit the $100 price point with an iPod that isn't too stripped-down as far as function goes, people are going to buy a million of them. Each, even.

Of course, then things get a little... funky. Think Secret corroborates early unconfirmed reports by MacRumors that the miniPods will "come in a variety of colors"-- a gimmick that we figured went out with CRT iMacs, but hey, not everyone's into white and silver, we suppose. The thing is, Think Secret takes things a little further, claiming that the miniPods will be available "in various colors, including stripes." Stripes. That's not actually a color, of course, and normally we might fixate on that error in our charmingly overly-nit-picky fashion, but right now we're just a little too distracted by this visual of an iPod that looks like a pack of Fruit Stripe gum. Somehow we just don't see it possibly being attractive in any way, but we should probably just put our trust in Jon Ive and blithely assume that it's somehow tasteful and appealing, the questionable charm of Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian notwithstanding.

Still, focus on the positive: $100 miniPods! Why, it's almost enough to alleviate the crushing disappointment of Think Secret's assertion that there will be "no new CPU announcements-- either desktop or laptop-- in the upcoming keynote"! After all, after amassing all this holiday debt, who's got two or three grand to blow on a new G5 anyway? But $100 for a miniPod, well, heck... what another hundred smackers on the ol' plastic? They don't even have debtor's prison anymore!

SceneLink (4407)
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The above scene was taken from the 12/23/03 episode:

December 23, 2003: More reports of imminent miniPods surface, including corroboration of the "variety of colors" thing and even a claim that some of them will wear stripes. Meanwhile, rumors of Expo Xserves make the rounds (G5, anyone?), and given the potential class action lawsuit brewing, we tell you how we fixed our two-year-old iPod battery for free...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4408: & A New Pine-Fresh Scent (12/23/03)   On the Stevenote front, new miniPods and no new desktops or laptops weren't all that Think Secret revealed: we're also supposed to prepare ourselves a "total revamp" of the iLife suite (including new versions of all four of its component applications) and "major announcements related to Xserve."...

  • 4409: The EASY iPod Battery Fix (12/23/03)   It's official: if we hear any more smack talk about the iPod's battery, we're going to turn green and swell up and all our clothes will rip and fall off with the exception of our tattered pants, which will have mysteriously turned purple...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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