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Next-gen iPods will use NAND flash storage?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Feb 2007 12:00 User comments (17)

Next-gen iPods will use NAND flash storage? According to "IT Hardware" report from Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora, Apple may move some of its iPod models away from HDD-based storage to solid-state NAND flash memory by the end of 2007. Such a move would pave the way for smaller form factor players and increase battery life of iPod models.
"We believe that the video iPod transition from 1.8-inch hard disk drives to NAND flash memory may occur as soon as late 2007," Tortora wrote. "Our checks indicate that Apple is considering canceling its next generation HDD-based iPod design, with the form factor refresh involving a move to NAND flash memory."

He noted that flash-based players would cost more to produce than HDD models, but said that history of iPod models shows Apple may make such a transition. "Flash memory is clearly more expensive on a $/GB basis than hard disk drives," he wrote. "However, the late 2005 Nano transition to flash provides a guide as to the point at which the previously mentioned non-cost advantages of flash memory outweigh the cost premium."

Tortora sees flash storage capacities up to 32GB as being cost-feasible, but questions whether it would be enough for video content. "Apple currently offers 30GB and 80GB HDD-based models, and will have the option to increase storage capacity up to 120GB this year based on new perpendicular recording technology," he wrote. "While the higher capacities would allow for more video storage, we view battery life as the key consideration for a move to flash."

A 30GB HDD-based video iPod will play back video content for a maximum 3.5 hours. With a flash memory model, the full battery would be sufficient for up to 60% more playback.

Apple Insider

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17 user comments

18.2.2007 13:11

What Apple just keeps getting more expensive huh?

28.2.2007 13:38

This won't happened for awhile.

38.2.2007 15:38

I see this as being a good thing. One of the major complaints of the iPod is battery life, and Apple always has new stuff for pretty cheap. The 30gb 5 gen iPod was $300 and a few months later the 30gb 5.5 gen iPod was $250, so even if its expensive at first, it will go down quick. I think this is an awesome move for Apple.

49.2.2007 11:42

what apple needs is a bigger screen

59.2.2007 16:25

"32GB is cost feasible", means the iPod will stay at $300+ for a smaller amount of ram most likely. but who knows, with all the extra space left over from not having a hard drive, the screen may get bigger. (probably not)

oh well, at least it can survive falls better LOL

69.2.2007 18:51

Yeah, kearney, I was gonna say... I would think a top consideration would be durability as well as improved battery life. Who the hell really needs 120GB of storage on their iPod? Are people going on safari with these things or something? It's not that hard to load new content when the old stuff gets stale. The iPod doesn't have to be a backup device for your entire music collection. Video might be another story if you want to load more than, say, 25 DVD-Quality movies on your iPod. (for pete's sake) I don't own an iPod, but if I did, I would definitely choose the one with a longer life-expectancy and way more battery life over the one that sacrifices the former for just some more space.

79.2.2007 21:35

Why don't they just make the battery replaceable by the consumer?
It is a bunch of crap that you have to send them to apple to get the battery replaced. Would you buy a flash light or a cell phone if you had to send it back to the manufacturer every time the battery fried? Most people wouldn't but some still would. They best thing (IMHO) they could do with the ipod and the battery life issue would be to make it replaceable..AT HOME!! Can You Hear me Apple?

89.2.2007 22:58

Originally posted by alphabit:
They best thing (IMHO) they could do with the ipod and the battery life issue would be to make it replaceable..AT HOME!! Can You Hear me Apple?

YEAH! What you said!!!

910.2.2007 1:19

I've replaced a few ipod batterries for my brother and a few friends. It's really simple, they sell upgraded (longer lasting) batteries on ebay for like $5-$10 and it comes with the instructions and tool you need to do it. You can also find DIY videos online if you do a search. I have a video... when my battery dies, you bet I will be changing it home.

1010.2.2007 15:00

Hey, on that note, does apple charge you to replace the battery? How much?

1111.2.2007 8:41

id give up on apple completely. If you havent made a replaceable battery by now, then youre just ignoring consumer wants on purpose.

ipod is way way way too format specific. Not only that, but you cant record off tv, and they make it hard to watch on a tv. You can only use itunes to upload content, and its not even an external hard drive.

horrible if you ask me. look into the archos.. much better, slightly bigger but much better.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Feb 2007 @ 8:41

1211.2.2007 11:00

This is how they keep making money :) I like flash storage. But i don't like the price tag that comes with it :)

1311.2.2007 18:57

yeah, I don't know why anyone needs 120 (or even 80 gigs). I downloaded the latest stargate atlantis episode (10 eps) and it was only 4.5 gigs

movies maybe larger, but I kinda doubt it (can anyone verify?)

but anyways, I think the pods are too expensive. they should be below $200. I can get an 8gig flash drive for $110. so that tells you the profit apple makes on the nanos currently

1412.2.2007 8:36

bigger the better. i have 100 gigs on my archos, and i have over 40 movies, 300 tv shows, and probobly 5000 songs easy.

i also use it to back up a lot of storage from my computer hard drive.

do i watch it all everyday? no, but when i go on trips or when someone needs entertainment, i will plug it into the tv, and just use my remote control to scroll through all the shows and movies to watch on the tv screen.

ive maxed out 100 gigs, do i absolutely need them all no. but its awesome to have. i can watch a new simpsons episode everyday.

1512.2.2007 22:05

120GB is too much porn for any bus ride I know of...

1613.2.2007 15:34

Cool. I might wait and get one of these newer type of iPods.

1716.2.2007 10:58

hahahahahaha that made me laugh.

but anyway... Is the quality going to stay the same once they make the transition to Flash memory?

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