I came across an interesting article that compares iPod prices based on a per-gigabyte storage basis. While that’s helpful, what’s distressing to realize is that the basic price point hasn’t changed much. The price of entry dropped in dollar terms from $400-$500 to $300-$400. Sure, you get a hell of a lot more for that money, but the actual price of admission is still rather serious for a large iPod.
SanDisk is pricing their new Sansa Clip at $40 for 1GB and $60 for 2GB. To compare, the current iPod Shuffle is $80 for 1GB — and it lacks many of the features of Sansa’s Clip — such as a screen! — which will sell for half the price! The current iPod nano runs $149 for 2GB, $199 for 4GB, and a whopping $250 for 8GB.
Look at that: a 2GB Sansa Clip with more hardware features than a 2GB iPod nano — the prices are $60 versus $150!
The final paragraph of that iPod price history article is very prescient:
I predict Apple has at least 3 years (but up to 5 at the most) in which they can enjoy a de-facto monopoly in this space. After 5 years the price for components will have dropped to the point where almost anyone can, and will, compete with the iPod.
It looks like that day has arrived!
The question I have about next week: Is Apple going to fight to maintain its iPod supremacy by really cutting the nano’s price — or will it continue to stand alone and demand a premium price which now seems very exorbitant, snobbish, and nearly insulting?