Apple introduced iPod mini at Macworld Expo, a product designed to capture market share from the 31 per cent of the MP3 player market taken by better-quality Flash-memory based music players. The second member of the iPod family is the size of a standard business card.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "iPod mini joins the iPod family of best-selling digital music players, offering customers the same 1,000 songs in your pocket as the original iPod in an innovative design that’s half the size. We think it's going to be pretty popular, especially with younger music lovers."
Describing his company's 50 per cent dominance of the entire MP3 player market, Jobs said the new product was designed to further expand market share from Flash-based manufacturers "while we continue to eradicate the competition in the hard-drive music player market," he said.
The 4GB capacity iPod mini is encased in a lightweight anodized aluminum body, weighs 3.6 ounces, and is available in five colours – silver, gold, pink, blue or green. It matches the iPod's backlit screen viewable user interface and offers a patent pending Click Wheel for navigation . The mini's so small that there's no room for the latest iPod's four control buttons – as a result, Apple has incorporated the buttons into the wheel – like the original iPod.
USB and FireWire recharge The new product is compatible with Apple's existing music products, iTunes and its music store. The cross-platform product gets its music from Macs or Windows PCs using either FireWire or USB 2.0 (cables for both standards ship in the box). It also recharges itself over either USB 2.0 or FireWire.
Apple calls iPod mini "the ultimate fashion statement". Also in the box, buyers will find a pair of white headphones and a new belt clip. Users can also purchase an optional arm-band (to hold the product), in-ear headphones or a dock to enhance their iPod mini experience.
iPod mini can be custom engraved and will be available in the US in February and worldwide in April. It costs £199 (including VAT).