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iGadgets


Overview:
The iPod was designed in response to a perceived lack of usability in digital media players in the market at the turn of the century. Apple decided to revamp digital media players with a minimalist user interface and full integration with iTunes, making operation simple. In October of 2001 Apple introduced the world to the iPod, its portable media player. Since its inception, Apple has moved over 110 million units, making it the best-selling media player to date. The current iPod line includes four different variations each with different storage capacities. The current line of iPods includes the newest version of the hard drive based iPod classic, the higher end iPod touch which is a spin-off of the newly released iPhone, the newest generation of iPod nano with video capabilities, and the economy iPod shuffle.

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iPod classic:

The iPod classic is Apple's flagship model line of portable media players. The iPod has seen six generations of the iPod classic in addition to spin offs of the product that have since been integrated into the classic functionality. The iPod classic was originally just referred to as the iPod, but on September 5, 2007 the "classic" acronym was added. The iPod classic is currently the online iPod in Apple's line to use a hard drive as all others have been switched to flash memory.external image ipod.jpg

Hardware Specs:
  • Storage:80GB-160GB hard drive
  • Display: 2.5-inch (diagonal), 320 x 240 pixels
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats: MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), WAV, and AIFF
  • Video formats: H.264 video up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 x 480 pixels
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium polymer battery (up to 40hrs of audio playback time and 7hrs of video playback time)
  • Size: 4.1 x 2.4 x .53in (103.5 x 61.8 x 13.5mm)
  • Weight: 5.7oz (162g)

The iPod was a primary mover for Apple's FireWire universal bus standard, but as it has lost ground against USB, the iPod has gradually shifted to include USB connectivity to a PC or Mac. A large amount of accessories exist for the iPod; this is called the iPod ecosystem.[citation]

iPod nano:

The iPod nano is Apple's middle of the line Ipod. It's introduction on September 7th, 2005 marked the end of the iPod mini. The current model of iPod nano combines the functionality of the iPod classic with the portability of the iPod shuffle. The nano uses flash memorey like the shuffle but has a smaller color screen similar to the iPod classic. The nano is the best of both worlds.

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Hardware Specs:
  • Storage: Available in 4GB and 8GB Flash drive capacities
  • Display: 2.0-inch (diagonal), 320 x 240 pixels 204 DPI
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats: MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), WAV, and AIFF
  • Video formats: H.264 video up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 x 480 pixels
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium polymer battery (up to 24hrs of audio playback time and 5hrs of video playback time)
  • Size: 2.75 x 2.06 x 0.26in (69.8 x 52.3 x 6.5mm)
  • Weight: 1.74oz (49.2g)

iPod shuffle:

The iPod shuffle is essentially an iPod stripted down to its bare essentials. It contains no screen and plays loaded songs at random. It provides supreme portability with a lack of functionality.
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Hardware Specs:
  • 1GB flash memory
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats:MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store, M4A, M4B, M4P), Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), WAV, and AIFF
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium polymer battery
  • Size: 1.07 x 1.62 x 0.41in
  • Weight: .55 oz.



iPod touch:
The current iteration of the iPod, known as the iPod Touch, incorporates the tactile functionality of the iPhone into the iPod. At Apple's most recent keynote, it was revealed that the iPod Touch would be able to connect via Wi-Fi to the iTunes Music Store and download music wirelessly.
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Hardware Specs:
  • Storage: Available in either 8GB or 16GB Flash drive capacities
  • Display: 3.5-inch (diagonal), 480 x 320 pixels at 163 DPI
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
  • Audio formats: MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), WAV, and AIFF
  • Video formats: H.264 video up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 x 480 pixels
  • WiFi (802.11b/g)
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium polymer battery (up to 22hrs of audio playback time and 5hrs of video playback time)
  • Size: 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.31in (110 x 61.8 x 8mm)
  • Weight: 4.2oz (120)





iphone-parallels.jpgiPhone:

The iPhone is a multimedia and internet enabled phone that is designed and sold by Apple. The iPhone's functions include those of a camera, iPod, visual voicemail, and web browsing. With the internet service, you can email or browse the internet with Wi-Fi connectivity. Input from the user is done by a touch screen and virtual keyboard.

The iPhone is a revolutionary mobile device from Apple. The iPhone is a cell phone, PDA, and iPod all rolled into one. It comes in an 8 GB model that has a 3.5-inch widescreen multi-touch display. The touch screen allows for the user to scroll through his or hers address book and touch the contacts name or photo and the iPhone will call that person or send them an email or text message. The iPhone features a rich HTML email client and Safari — the most advanced web browser ever on a portable device —, which automatically syncs bookmarks from your PC or Mac. Safari also includes built-in Google and Yahoo! search. The iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can read a web page while downloading your email in the background over Wi-Fi or EDGE, AT&T's protocol of choice for cellular internet access. In addition the iPhone syncs to your PC to retrieve your emails contact list. When viewing videos or reading an article on the internet the iPhone can be turned horizontally flipping the image on the screen to be displayed in widescreen for easier viewing.

iTunes:

All iPods are supported by Apple’s iTunes software that allows for file transfer to the device. iTunes operates like many different jukebox application allowing the user to play, burn, or rip data from CDs or DVDs. iTunes provides seamless vertical integration of the computer, the iPod, and the iTunes Music Store, a fact which many people enjoy, regardless of the vendor lock in, as the interface is very smooth and functional.



iSuccess:

First, it's important to note that Apple was not the first to market with an MP3 player or even first to market with a hard drive based one. It was first, however, to factor in three areas that were of most importance to consumers - battery life, form factor and connectivity back to a PC (in terms of sync as well as support for MP3s natively). Apple also carefully balanced these factors so that none of these came at the expense of another. The iPod isn't the external image stockmarketgraph.jpgsmallest device, have the largest capacity or best battery life but it crosses the usability threshold on all three areas and doesn't compromise on any of them.As for the success of the mini, we knew from day one that it was going to be a success. By focusing on the three core attributes and actually improving on form factor, Apple was going to have a hit on their hands. Capacity was not going to be an issue for most consumers, despite what others predicted. Based on a JupiterResearch survey, we pointed out that 90% of consumers who maintain a music collection on their PC have no more than 1,000 songs in their collection and that 77% of consumers interested in purchasing a media player want one with a capacity of 1,000 songs. That translates roughly into the 4 gigabytes of storage that the mini has on board. Mainstream consumers have different needs than technology enthusiasts and Apple understood that.

While the iPod is no doubt a major hit for the holiday season, it's hardly game over. The market is still relatively un-tapped with fairly small penetration rates. Adding features will help some vendors drive sales, but they will remain niche for the most part. The real action will come as these devices edge closer to mass market price point of $99. It will be interesting to see how Apple plans to drive further into the mainstream, while still protecting their brand and high end lines.



Web Resources:
Apple Accessories
Apple
CNet

Terminology: iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod touch, iPhone

Citations/References:

Wikipedia
Apple
www.engadgets.com

Graphics:

This table has been modified to fit wikispaces.com formatting. The original can be found here
Model
Generation
Image
Capacity
Changes introduced
Connection
Original release date
Pricing (USD)
Minimum OS to sync
iPod classic
first
first generation iPod
first generation iPod

5, 10 GB
First model, with mechanical scroll wheel. 10 GB model released later.
FireWire
23 October 2001
$399, $499
(5 GB later $299)
Mac: 9, 10.1

second
second generation iPod
second generation iPod

10, 20 GB
Touch-sensitive wheel. FireWire port had a cover. Hold switch revised. Windows compatibility through Musicmatch.
FireWire
17 July 2002
$399, $499
Mac: 10.1
Win: 2000

third
third generation iPod
third generation iPod

10, 15, 20, 30, 40 GB
First complete redesign with all-touch interface, dock connector, and slimmer case. Musicmatch support dropped with later release of iTunes 4.7 for Windows.
FireWire (USB for syncing only)
28 April 2003
$299, $399, $499
Mac: 10.1
Win: 2000

fourth
fourth generation iPod
fourth generation iPod

20, 40 GB
Adopted Click Wheel from iPod mini.
FireWire or USB
19 July 2004
$299, $399
Mac: 10.2
Win: 2000

fourth (photo) (color)
fourth generation iPod
fourth generation iPod

photo: 30, 40, 60 GB
color: 20, 60 GB
Premium spin-off of 4G iPod with color screen and picture viewing. Later re-integrated into main iPod line.
FireWire or USB
October 2004
photo: $499, $599
(later $349, $449)
color: $299, $399
Mac: 10.2
Win: 2000

fifth
fifth generation iPod
fifth generation iPod

30, 60, 80 GB
Second full redesign with a slimmer case, and larger screen with video playback. Offered in black or white.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
12 October 2005
$299, $399
(later $249, $349)
Mac: 10.3
Win: 2000

sixth
sixth generation iPod
sixth generation iPod

80, 160 GB
Introduced the "classic" suffix. New interface and anodized aluminum front plate. Silver replaces white.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
5 September 2007
$249, $349
Mac: 10.4
Win: XP
iPod mini
first
first generation iPod mini
first generation iPod mini

4 GB
New smaller model, available in 5 colors. Introduced the "Click Wheel".
USB or FireWire
6 January 2004
$249
Mac: 10.1
Win: 2000

second
second generation iPod mini
second generation iPod mini

4, 6 GB
Brighter color variants with longer battery life. Click Wheel lettering matched body color. Gold color discontinued. Later replaced by iPod nano.
USB or FireWire
22 February 2005
$199, $249
Mac: 10.2
Win: 2000
iPod shuffle
first
first generation iPod shuffle
first generation iPod shuffle

512 MB, 1 GB
New entry-level model. Uses flash memory and has no screen.
USB
(no adaptor required)
11 January 2005
$99, $149
(later $69, $99)
Mac: 10.2
Win: 2000

second
second generation iPod shuffle
second generation iPod shuffle

1 GB
Smaller clip design with anodized aluminum casing. 4 color options added later. Colors were later refreshed.
USB
12 September 2006
$79
Mac: 10.3
Win: 2000
iPod nano
first
first generation iPod nano
first generation iPod nano

1, 2, 4 GB
Replaced iPod mini. Available in black or white and used flash memory. Color screen for picture viewing.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
7 September 2005
$149, $199, $249
Mac: 10.3
Win: 2000

second
4 GB blue iPod nano
4 GB blue iPod nano

2, 4, 8 GB
Anodized aluminum casing and 6 colors available.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
12 September 2006
$149, $199, $249
Mac: 10.3
Win: 2000

third
4 GB third iPod nano
4 GB third iPod nano

4, 8 GB
2" QVGA screen, colors refreshed with chrome back, new interface, video capability.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
5 September 2007
$149, $199
Mac: 10.4
Win: XP
iPod touch
first
iPod touch
iPod touch

8, 16 GB
With Safari browser, Multi-touch, Wi-Fi, wireless access to the iTunes Store and YouTube.
USB (FireWire for charging only)
5 September 2007
$299, $399
Mac: 10.4
Win: XP