updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri June 8, 2007
Flash iPod Video on Hold
A video-capable iPod that uses flash memory instead of a hard disk is in the works but may be facing setbacks, according to reports from a handful of Taiwan memory producers. The unnamed companies say that Apple plans to order the equivalent of 20 million gigabits of memory over the course of the summer -- an exceptionally large amount, the manufacturers claim. The production rate is said to reflect a new product rather than typical increases in demand and has been associated with a new iPod with video support.
Questions remain about the timing of the launch, however. One of the firms making the claims noted that prices for current flash memory would make it impractical to ship a device during the summer and would likely force a release closer to the end of the year, when costs would allow enough storage. Another representative of the industry has in turn suggested that a summer release would be possible but might force a drop in storage compared to original plans.
At least one of the sources also believes that the new iPod would be a replacement for the full-size, fifth-generation model, which currently relies on a rotating hard disk for storage. The order was not linked with the iPhone, which along with iPods has recently been blamed for a potential supply crunch for flash memory in the second half of the year.
Most of Apple's current iPod line is flash-based due to the high price of flash memory versus hard disks, which forces smaller capacities on devices that use the more responsive and skip-proof flash technology.