Apple announced today the re-pricing and size refresh of the iPod Shuffle, and it’s about time too!
I have always conceived of the screen-less little gem as an accessory for the sporty sort, perhaps as a second iPod to a bigger sibling (Nano, Classic or Touch) for times when weight and size need to be minimised and you don’t need your entire collection of 12 thousand songs with you. However, it seems that a lot of people are happy to use something so small, stylish and wearable as their primary MP3 player, not to mention those who are less tech-savvy and are looking for something ‘as simple as possible’, being scared off even by the rest of the iPod range, renowned for simplicity. This is a growing market that Apple have remained largely uncompetitive in recently.
As someone who works in sales for a major electrical retailer in the UK, I know that the popularity of the iPod range cannot be doubted. With the new range of iPods which were launched in September of last year, the pricing was brought down in line with some competition from other brands such as Sony and Creative, but the iPod Shuffle was left (once again) with a comparatively high price and low capacity. It’s not entirely difficult to see why the growing number of customers looking at this class of player might have opted for Creative’s Zen Stone+ over the iPod Shuffle, which boasted 2GB of storage and a screen for more or less the same price.
I think that with Apple re-launching the 1GB model at £32 and introducing the 2GB model (soon) at £45, the iPod Shuffle will return as the obvious choice for those after a small and simple MP3 player.