INITIAL stocks of Apple’s iPod nano could be on sale in New Zealand as early as today, following last week’s US launch. However, Renaissance, the brand’s local distributor, says it doesn’t yet know how many of the digital music playing devices will arrive in the first shipment.
The ultra-thin iPod nano is about half the size of an iPod mini; that popular model is being dropped from the product line. The nano is also lighter than the mini, weighing just 42 grams — which is less than most mobile phones. There’s a colour display and the familiar click-wheel interface. Battery life is estimated at 14 hours. There are two versions, the 2GB model will sell here at $349, while the 4GB model will retail at $419.
There’s been talk in recent weeks about the fragility of hard disk-based iPods; the nano gets around this problem by using solid state flash memory — and its $419 price tag is competitive for a 4GB flash drive, let alone one with a screen that plays music. Apple also launched its long-anticipated cellphone iPod, the Motorola Rokr (pronounced rocker). It’s a GSM phone with stereo headphones and a button giving direct access to an iTunes player. At present Apple is not offering an over-the-airwaves music download service, but that may follow. Currently the Rokr is only available in the US. According to Renaissance, Apple has not yet discussed when or even whether the phone will be sold in New Zealand.