New iPod will store tunes and photos

Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

Apple says the new version of the iPod will hold 15 hours of music and 25,000 photos

Connie Guglielmo

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Computers is hoping to boost sales for its phenomenally popular iPod digital music player by shipping new devices that will also store 25,000 photos.

A 40-gigabyte version will sell for $499 US ($613 Cdn) and a 60-gigabyte version for $599 ($736 Cdn), Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said. The new iPod will hold 15 hours of music.

“We think music-plus-photos is the next big thing,” Jobs said at a glitzy unveiling Tuesday where he was joined by U2 band members, including singer Bono. “Everyone has a digital camera right now. So everyone is taking tons of digital pictures and building digital libraries.”

Apple also released, in conjunction with Bono and U2, a special-edition black version of the iPod, with a red tracking wheel. A 20-gigabyte version of that iPod, available in mid-November, will sell for $349 ($429 Cdn).

Apple is capitalizing on strong demand for iPods, first unveiled in October 2001 and now the fastest-growing product made by the company. Over all, iPods accounted for 23 per cent of Apple’s $2.36 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, up from 12 per cent a year earlier. The sales surge helped make Apple the second-best performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year.

Jobs, 49, built the company’s success around the “classic” white iPod and a “mini” version released in February that comes in five colors. Apple sold 5.74 million of the players, including 2.02 million in the quarter ended Sept. 25. Total iPod revenue more than quadrupled to $537 million in the period compared to a year earlier.

Apple also said it expanded its iTunes online music site to nine more European countries.

Apple’s iPod sales growth will continue, say analysts such as Merrill Lynch & Co.’s Steven Milunovich. He estimates that Apple will ship 2.68 million units during the holiday season, almost four times as many as the company sold a year ago.

Apple began shipping the mini overseas in July, helping bolster sales.

© The Vancouver Sun 2004

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