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Apple launches iPod mini in India. Now do you want a new PC or the iPod?


You already know what the iPod and the iPod mini are. If you don't, it's a portable music player from Apple, and it has already turned into a cult in US and Europe.

The iPod Mini was launched on 3 August 2004, and it would cost Rs. 20,500 in India. Forty percent of that cost is due to excise taxes. If the taxes did not apply, it would cost Rs. 12,000 approx. in India. That is not going to happen anytime soon.

The iPod mini can hold up to 1000 CD-quality songs. It's ultra-portable, ultra user-friendly and ultra-everything, typical of Steve Jobs' Apple, which has consistently produced brilliant products, including the iPod Mini's big brother, iPod. There are several attractive colours for the iPod mini

The Mini weighs just 3.6 ounces and has a data storage capacity for 4 GB. The iPod mini also has Apple's latest addition to the iPod, the 'click wheel' for ease of use. The iPod Mini, just like the iPod, integrates perfectly with iTunes Music store, Apple's online music store. However, The Indian Express reports that iTunes will not be available for India due to digital rights and copy protection issues. Apple says they are working on it. 

The iPod Mini can work with either a Mac or PC, critical in a typical Windows country such as India. In fact, when Apple launched iTunes for Windows, they cheekily called it the best-designed software ever on the Windows platform!

The list of standard accessories includes ear bud headphones, an iPod mini power adapter, a 1.2m 30-pin to FireWire cable, a 1.2m 30-pin to USB 2.0 cable and a CD with iTunes 4.6 for Mac and Windows computers.

There are a bunch of optional iPod accessories that sell like hot cakes across the world, all of which are priced too high for India. For example, an armband which you can use to bind it to your wrist costs Rs. 2000, and we suspect many in India would go for indigenous, ingenious options which probably may cost Rs. 20!

iPod mini can be charged with either the FireWire or USB 2.0 cable and gets up to eight hours of battery life. iPod mini requires a Mac with a FireWire port and Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X v10.2 or later recommended); or a Windows PC with a FireWire or USB 2.0 port, or a Windows-certified FireWire or USB 2.0 card and Windows 2000, XP Home or Professional. 

The new iPod (not iPod mini) is also available in a 20GB model for Rs. 22,100. A 40 GB version is also available at Rs. 27,400.

The iPod mini Click Wheel is a touch-sensitive wheel with five push buttons for easier one-handed use. 

The iPod Mini and iPod both feature Auto-Sync technology that can automatically download your digital music library onto the portable player and then keeps it synchronised with your computer, whether it is a Mac or PC. Song transfer speed is approximately two songs per second from either Mac or Windows.

As the iTunes Music store is still not available in India, buyers in India will not have access to the 700,000 songs on iTunes. Don't worry, your MP3 collection will play on the iPod just fine. However, iTunes is the world's foremost legal online music distribution software and is extremely popular. Those songs sell online for 99 cents a song in the US, UK, Germany and France. 

The iPod has its several versions together hold a 31 % share of the US market for digital music players. 

The problem in India would be cost. There are many who would like to purchase the iPod or iPod mini, but would hesitate at the cost which is very close to that of a locally manufactured PC. On the other hand, it costs more or less the same as several of the high-end cellphones available in India. Your choice, dude.







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