2005-02-13

iPod Tech Specs Analyzed

I like the color screens in the iPod photo, but once I saw one, I immediately thought, "wow, that's too big". Then I got to thinking, exactly how much bigger was it? Well, to figure that out, I dipped in to the Wayback Machine and compiled the following chart of iPod tech specs.


There are a few models left out, particularly the Windows flavors of the 2G models, but the major players are all there. The iPod photo is included in the data. Some may argue that this is a whole seperate member of the iPod family, but I believe that the distinction between photo and non-photo in the full size iPods will disappear in the next generation. The photo models do add some interesting data points in some data we'll get to later.

So, first we start with the weight over the generations. I liked the dip around the 3Gs, but I'm troubled by the rising weights again. Yes, I know the hard drives are getting much bigger, but I think this needs to turn around and focus on weight first and GB size second.


Next, let's look at the volumes over the generations. They haven't changed a whole lot, but again, the volumes are rising over the last few models.


Height is an obvious dimension difference in the iPod photos. Here are the heights.


Ahh, here's a good one. The following chart displays how much each GB of data storage weighs in the various iPods. This is the category where the latest models really kick.


Ok, now I'm going to give you a headache. The next two charts display the percent change in weight and volume. I didn't think the percent change vs. the original iPod was all that interesting. I was more concerned with how things are changing generation to generation. So, in the charts, the data point for a particular gen is in reference to the previous gen.

I also charted two sets of data. One set compares the smallest in one generation to the smallest in the next generation. The other compares the largest in one generation to the largest in the next generation. Since there was only 1 iPod at the start, it gives us a nice beginning with two pathes leading away from it.

I hope I don't have to explain this, but a 0% change means that nothing changed between those generations, a positive change means bigger, and a negative change means smaller.

You can see that the 3Gs gave us a nice dip in weight and that the photos are bricks.


The percent change volume chart shows that the 4G is where it's at if you want the smallest iPod, other than the shuffle of course.


To sum things up, I don't like the recent trends. I like that the iPods got more storage, but I don't like that they traded off weight and volume. I guess I'll take some comfort in the fact that battery life was improved as well, so I can't pin all of the extra on the hard drive changes.

It was nice to see that my 15GB 3G iPod fits in the sweet spot of quite a few categories. It's relatively thin, light, and has a decent amount of storage. However, the color screens in the photos really has me interested.

In the next generation iPods, I'd like to see the focus shift back to form factor and less on the raw storage. Give me a 60 giger at .5 inches in height. Give it the features of the iPod photo and keep it under $500 and I'll be in line to upgrade my 3G.

2 comments:

-- I said...

Graphs? You sicko!

Jason said...

The bizarre thing to me was that the graphs didn't show up until I hit the comments link. I was going to say they didn't work, but now they show up for me.