Apple iPod Shuffle & Price Per GB

iPod Shuffle
It’s quite interesting the way Apple works. Generally, in pretty much every category in computers and consumer electronic devices with storage space, the bigger the capacity, the cheaper it generally is per gigabyte or megabyte. A quick search on Newegg shows a 40GB hard drive for $46 ($1.15/GB), while a 200GB drive is only $105 ($.52/GB). However, with Apple, the more music players they release, the more expensive it is per GB. And it’s quite dramatic, too. The original 5GB iPod was introduced in October 2001 for $399, which would be $80 per GB. Through time and increased production, a 40GB iPod (4th generation) is available for that same price now, which makes it a reasonable $10 per GB of space.

When the iPod mini was introduced, the 4GB version retails for $249, which makes the unit $62.25 per GB of storage space you get. While the mini sold like hotcakes and continues to be popular, Apple goes and introduces the iPod Shuffle, at $99 for 512MB and $149 for a 1GB version. It’s incredible that the 512MB version is an astounding $198/GB and the 1GB is $149/GB. While the mini has a LCD screen and a few things that would drive up the price per GB, the shuffle just looks like a cheap USB drive with some extra buttons on top (not that I have held one quite yet). A 1GB USB 2.0 drive can be had for $72 on Newegg. Is the Apple music interface worth the extra $79? Probably, and the market will accept the price points and the iPod Shuffle will sell like hotcakes, as does every other iPod product (save the U2 version, perhaps?).

Just goes to show that Apple can sell anything with their user interface and slick design, no? It’d be nice if the price of the new iPod products correlated with the cost per GB, like most other electronic devices. But, hey, I was right about the $149 and $99 price points, wasn’t I? It’d have been nice to get a one-line screen or whatnot, but leave it to Apple to tout the shuffle and no LCD screen as one of the biggest hit points of the iPod Shuffle. Yes, I’m available to do pricing analysis consulting for consumer electronics.

iPod Shuffle


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