Ah, Spring: It comes a bit earlier in Florida; warm sunshine with Winteris echo still in the breeze, naked trees slowly dressing themselves in their Summer gowns of green, birds and bees busy living up to the stories we tell of them.
Ah, Spring: When the pollen count is so high that breathing becomes an exercise in will power, when Nature connives to let you know just who is really in charge, and dumps an unexpected snow storm on your freshly planted pansies, and when Girl Scouts, selling their infamous cookies, pop up in front of grocery store and mall entrances like so many merit-badged dandelions after a late April shower.
Yai gotta love Spring.
This year, however, there is something a wee bit more to love about the Season of Renewal; on Friday, February 20, at 6 PM, Apple released the colorful iPod mini, changing the MP3 player landscaped yet again. Better yet, TMO was there.
Waiting in Millenia for a mini.
Back in January, in the dead of Winter, Apple announced the iPod mini, and many folks came away from that announcement scratching their heads in wonderment; they could easily see how cool the iPod mini was, with its aluminum skin available in 5 colors, and its smaller size, both in physical dimensions and in music carrying capacity, but the price of the mini seemed a bit out of kilter. Steve Jobs compared his new music player to players with solid state memory, which made the iPod mini look like a real deal, but Apple offered its own low-end, full-grown iPod with more than 3x the capacity, 15 GB, for a mere US$50 more. Something just didnit add up for a lot of folks.
Sometimes things are more than the sum of its parts, and that must be why people stood in line for two hours at the Orlando Apple store in order to buy an iPod mini in the color they preferred.
"Itis smaller," said one shopper as she showed off her new iPod mini, "and pinker!"
Smaller and pinker, or bluer, or greener, or silver-er, um, you get the idea. Itis the colors that seems to attract some to the mini. Customers at the Orlando Apple store were given the range of remaining colors at the door, then given a ticket which guaranteed that they would get the color of their choice once inside. By 6:30 PM only the silver and pink iPod minis were left, and those were dwindling fast.
Clicking the Wheel
Color, however, isnit the only reason the iPod mini seems destined to be as popular as its older brother: "It feels great in your hand," pointed out a customer trying out a blue iPod mini at the Apple Store kiosk. "I like the Click-Wheel on the mini much better than the one on the iPod, and I really like the iPod."
Whatever the reason, the iPod mini seems to draw people like marigolds attract bees. Even before the release, 100,000 iPod minis were pre-ordered according to Apple. Good news indeed. Whatis even better news, for the makers of iPod accessories at least, is that many who bought minis also bought add-ons for their minis. Car rigs, cases, and arm bands were all popular, and the store ran out of the US$39 in-the-ear headphones being offered.
It could be that the iPod miniis popularity will be short-lived, it could also be that Apple has planted the seeds of another bumper crop. Time will tell. In the meantime expect to see little splashes of color on the jogging trails, bicycle paths, subways, and malls this Spring.
Nope. New iPod minis.