Is designing the iPod shuffle without a display a smart move? Analysts seem to think it's not.
I just spoke with Susan Kevorkian, senior analyst with IDC in San Mateo. "It will be a gating factor to consumer adoption," she said. The largest iPod shuffle has 1 Gb storage capacity allowing for 240 songs (depending on the bitrate). "With 240 songs, it becomes an inconvenience to navigate without a visual interface."
She wouldn't be surprised if Apple reconsidered: "This is a first generation device. A second generation may include a display."
Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox told vnunet.com yesterday that: "It's a risky bet that can have a big payoff. It comes down to whether the iPod has reached iconic status."
If it has, consumers are going to want to buy an iPod because they consider it to be the only authentic digital music player. "Apple now offers a low cost alternative for people looking for the real thing," said Wilcox.
Some users seem to agree that an iPod without a screen is just a dumber version of the real thing. Over on Flickr.com, "Mhusson" posted a "do it yourself guide" to creating your own iPod Shuffle.Vnunet.com tried to contact Apple PR to ask for a comment. But acting in accordance with Apple's media relations policy of ignoring media questions, iPod spokeswoman Jaime Schopflin chose to ignore our request to give us a call back.
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