updated 04:10 pm EDT, Wed August 23, 2006
iPod nano Leap Ahead
A conspicious absence of an iPod nano capacity update almost a year after its initial launch has cast doubt on the company's ability to maintain interest in its music players, especially after competitor SanDisk recently revealed that it would have the first 8GB flash player and price it competitively at $249. Such concerns might well be unfounded, reports commentator Sean Alexander. He observes that Apple has previously entered into a large agreement with Intel and Micron that helped form IM Flash Technologies, a company that has already managed to test flash memory on a 50nm process - a process ten times smaller than the 500nm technology available today. Limited production is set to begin late this year, says Alexander, which would make it feasible for Apple to release an updated iPod nano or the rumored Apple phone with tremendous capacity increases - to as much as 16-32GB of onboard flash. Such capacities may need to wait until early next year but would effectively dwarf SanDisk or other flash player manufacturers' latest models.