Jonathan Weinberg writes…
In the race to be the best, and capture the masses, cool firms often make one crucial mistake – lowering their standards so far that eventually it backfires. Apple’s decision this week to make an iPod Shuffle available for just £32 strikes me as being one of those.
There’s no doubt the US giant is one of the coolest companies in the tech sphere. It makes products that look good and have you salivating over them. Who else could have produced the ultra-thin MacBook Air?
But by pricing the 1GB Shuffle so cheap, are Apple not in danger of making themselves far too popular for their own good? An iPod used to be something you desired, something pricier than most other options on the market but like with any big-name brand, you paid more to have that moniker on your gadget.
Why would anyone want a 1GB Shuffle anyway, when you can buy a 2GB for just £10 more? The simple solution would have been to discontinue the one-gig and replace it with the affordable two-gig, thus retaining the premium price around the Apple brand.
The £45 mark is roughly what the 1GB version cost and slashing it so drastically is obviously good news for the consumer. The cheaper we pay for our tech, the better our wallets and bank manager feels.
I really don’t see the value in this decision though. How long before these are being given away for less than £20? As technology improves, and memory storage rates lower, the best way to hold on to the brand-power and premium factor that Apple have is to give us more, for less.
Giving us the same for less just cheapens the range and puts the gorgeous little Shuffle up there with the cheap and nasty throwaway MP3s that are littering the shelves of so many stores right now.
What do you think? Are bargain-basement Apple devices a good idea? Post a comment below…