To the surprise of few, Apple ventured a bit deeper into the consumer electronics world with iPod Hi-Fi. Home Stereo. Reinvented.
Not. It’s an iPod matching speaker with an iPod dock and Apple Remote Control.
Based on the $349 price tag, the new Apple stereo device adds new meaning to the term high-fidelity.
The looks are striking. White plastic with handles built in to the top, left and right. The front speaker grille is black.
The top of the iPod Hi-Fi has a dock which can accept any iPod model. It also comes with the Apple Remote Control.
iPod Hi-Fi is not tiny, measuring 17-inches wide by just over 6.5-inches high and deep. There’s AC and DC modes (the power supply is built in, so no brick outside).
Analog and digital audio inputs (so you could connect your new Mac mini or new iMac.
Apple says the iPod Hi-Fi offers incredible sound, though we’ll have to wait for the real thing to show up in stores to compare with Bose and other makers.
There’s also a few patents pending on the design, though Apple isn’t saying whose patents are pending.
The Hi-Fi is truly a device for the iPod.
Near the iPod dock on top are two controls. Higher volume and lower volume. The rest is controlled by the iPod’s controls or the remote control.
Also handy is that the Hi-Fi dock acts as a charger for the iPod. You can play music and charge your iPod at the same time.
There’s also a new software update for the iPod which features additional speaker tone controls (similar to the radio station controls that show up in the iPod when you connect the remote radio receiver).
The Hi-Fi’s handles speak to the generation of iPod users; mobile. The Hi-Fi is a hefty 14.5 pounds without batteries. Yes, batteries. Add D cell batteries and the Hi-Fi goes with you.
Will the iPod Hi-Fi be a big hit with iPod users and Mac users? The taste of the pudding will tell. If the box sounds great, it’ll sell.
There are nearly 50-million iPod customers world wide, so the customer base is ripe for a new iPod accessory.
Not all have full-blown stereo systems, though many would welcome a portable box with a cool design that integrates instantly into the iPod ecosystem.
That’s the key word. Ecosystem. For any other portable music player, it’s just a speaker. For iPod users, it may well be THE speaker system you must have.
Why? Assuming it just works and sounds great, the ‘why’ is because it works and sounds great, and it’s a simple, “plug in iPod here” device.
Apple may sell hundreds of thousands of the iPod Hi-Fi boxes this year. At $349 each, that’s a good hit to the bottom line and makes the Apple Stores a more attractive place to visit.