TMO Reports - Apple's Joswiak: "We're Winning"; No 60GB or Older iPod Software Update

by , 4:15 PM EDT, July 19th, 2004

Apple has no immediate plans to release a 60 gigabyte, fourth-generation iPod and there are no plans for a software update to enhance older iPods, an Apple executive told the Mac Observer Monday.

In the aftermath of Monday's announcement of the fourth-generation iPod, Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Apple, told TMO the company never had plans to release a 60GB model.

"We have no plans in regard to announcing a 60 gigabyte model of the iPod any time soon," Mr. Joswiak said.

In early June, a Toshiba spokesperson reportedly told the IDG News Service it would soon ship a 1.8-inch, 60GB hard drive and that Apple would be buying the drive for use in a future iPod.

"The unfortunate thing was that it obviously wasn't true," Mr. Joswiak commented. "Some person at Toshiba who didn't know the facts spoke out of order and made it look like we were about to do a 60GB (iPod) when we knew we weren't."

Mr. Joswiak said Apple would not rule out a 60GB version in the future, but as is customary for Apple, it would not comment on future products.

Mr. Joswiak said Monday's announcement of a new, slimmer iPod should be a further indication that Apple is going to do everything to protect it's 50% marketshare of portable music players, as reported by NPD.

"We decided a long time ago that we were going to stay very aggressive with updating the iPod," he said. "And the reason for that of course is that we're winning. We want our competitors to aim and where we've been, not where we're at. So, if we're out front and we continue to move faster than them, we're going to get further out in front. And the market sure seems to be indicative of that. We entered the year at about 30% market share in the US as measured by NPD and we're now over 50%. We want to continue to turn up the heat and provide a better product with a better feature set."

Mr. Joswiak reacted to a number of other issues regarding the iPod. Here are just some of the questions we asked him and his answers...

The Mac Observer: Are you releasing a software update for older iPods to add features like Shuffle Play and re-organizing of menus like what are now found on the new iPod?

Greg Joswiak: No, we're not. The fourth-generation iPod isn't just different on the outside, it's different on the inside too. It's got a different hardware platform underneath and that's what we developed this software for. We're not holding it back, it's just a new design to take advantage of this hardware that we have here. We could have added these additional features to older iPods, but it would be another product effort. It would require us to create a new set of software on the old platform that we haven't decided we're going to do. We haven't ruled it out, but right now there's not an effort underway to do that.

TMO: Does the 40GB come with a dock, remote and case? It's sort of unclear because the tech specs page on your Web site gives the impression that it does, while the Online Apple Store says it only has dock.

GJ: Let me clear up any confusion there might be. The 40GB version of the (G4) iPod only has the dock.

TMO: As for the 50% better battery life, is this due to hardware or software enhancements or both?

GJ: Both. The battery as a slightly larger capacity, but we've also done a lot of work on both the hardware and software fronts to be as efficient as possible on our use of power.

TMO: Could an update not be released for older iPods to have them more efficiently use the battery?

GJ: No, because it's specific to the different hardware architectures that are part of the new fourth-generation (iPod). Some of the new hardware enable things we can do in software.

TMO: Some people are wondering about other features that didn't make it in the new fourth-generation iPod. Why wasn't there a built-in AM/FM radio added?

GJ: Most of the product I've seen who have attempted adding an AM/FM radio have terrible reception. They also take up power and space as well. We've found that our customers are more interested in listening to their music.

TMO: Another feature not included is Wi-Fi support. Why not?

GJ: There just hasn't been much demand for it. The syncing over USB and FireWire is so easy to do and you just don't have to do it that often. There has been a lot of customer drive for that, but I think it's one of those things that we could do, but there hasn't been great demand.