Gadget Action from Apple and Apex

Apple launched its iPod Mini, which will cost USD 50 less than its iPod. The USD 249 device will have 4 GB of disk space, enough for 1,000 songs.

WSJ adds: “The iPod Mini has a different look than the white-and-chrome case that has turned the iPod into a fashion statement. The iPod Mini, about the length and width of a business card, will come with an anodized aluminum case in one of five different colors — silver, gold, pink, blue or green. It will be available in the U.S. next month and world-wide in April…Apple faces growing competition in the digital player market from a range of companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sony Corp. Dell Inc., for one, offers a player with more than three times the storage capacity of the iPod Mini for the same price, though Mr. Jobs said he didn’t believe the Dell device was damping the appeal of the iPod. Still, in a move that could reflect competitive pressures, Apple boosted the song storage of its $299 10 gigabyte iPod to 15 gigabytes — enough to hold 3,700 songs.”

Some interesting stats from a report about Apple:
– 730,000 iPods sold in the previous holiday quarter
– 30 million songs sold at Apple’s music store (70 percent of the legal online music download market)
– The rate of purchases spiked in late December, reaching close to 1.9 million songs a week
– Apple’s market share in the computer industry is at 5%

In another development, Apex Digital, a fast-growing seller of DVD players and other electronic gadgets, this week will unveil a console that allows users to play computer games on their televisions, writes WSJ. “The company’s new console, the ApeXtreme (pronounced “Apex extreme”), is designed to sidestep the biggest problem that has faced companies developing new game systems — a shortage of software titles. Though videogames tend to get more attention, a huge number of PC game titles are announced each year, and an increasing number support some form of online game play.” It uses Via’s chips and a slimmed down version of MS-Windows, and will cost USD 299-399. Elaborates “The device will sport a 1.4GHz Via processor, a 40GB hard drive and a Via DeltaChrome graphics processor, Brown said. It will run on Windows XP Embedded, Microsoft’s operating systems for limited-function computing devices. In addition to running Windows-based PC games, the console will be able play digital music files and DVD movie discs and to display digital photos.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.