Defensive Design for the Web: How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
Available Now ($16.99)
Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive updates on 37signals' latest projects, research, announcements, and more (about one email per month).
I’m hearing a lot of people complain about the price of the new iPod mini. People are breaking it down by price per megabyte/gigabyte and then comparing it to the other iPods (and not to the non-Apple competition). I think that’s missing the point. The competition isn’t other iPods, it’s other products. Apple loves that you are debating between their two products.
Further, when it comes to technology, smaller is almost always more expensive. Miniturization requires more R&D and greater engineering precision. Apple has basically managed to re-issue the original 5GB iPod, but shrink it down considerably (in all dimensions), keep the battery life around 8 hours (I know the original was 10, but 8 is plenty close for a much smaller unit), house it in a new durable aluminum case, provide color options, make it Firewire and USB 2 friendly (including charging via USB), make the same unit Mac and PC friendly, and price it lower than the original 5GB iPod. To me that’s quite an achievement. And, when you look at the other competitors in the market, you’ll see that it’s priced right on target. Should it have been $199? $149? Who knows if it even could have been (it’s easy for us to say, but we don’t know the whole story). Apple did the right thing — they’ll get the early adopters to pay as much as possible and then they can reduce the price in about 6 months once they’ve been able to measure the success (or failure). Of course, we’ll all have to wait and see how the market takes it.