The big announcement at yesterday’s Macworld keynote address was, of course, the much anticipated introduction of mini iPods.

The response has mostly been one of disappointment. The general consensus is that it’s overpriced without much bang for your buck.

People have done the math and realised that for an extra $50 they can get a regular iPod with far more storage capacity (15GB instead of 4GB).

In some ways, this is quite a coup for Apple: the only competition for the iPod Mini is… other iPods. Almost nobody is comparing it to other MP3 players that may be cheaper but still can’t match it for style, storage and, the big factor, size.

The size of the iPod Mini is its most striking feature. Mind you, I don’t recall anyone ever saying of the regular iPod:

"Well, it’s nice but it just seems so big and bulky."

No doubt it’s the small size that’s responsible for the price tag of the iPod Mini. It’s like desktops vs. laptops… really tiny desktops vs. really, really tiny laptops.

I’m holding off judgement on the iPod Mini until I actually have one in my hands. If Apple’s track record is anything to go by, all logical arguments about pricing can vanish in a puff of calm bliss as soon as I use their products.

The price is disappointing. But then again, everyone was dismissive of the price of the original iPod when it first appeared. I’m assuming that by the end of the year the price of the iPod Mini will drop below the psychological barrier of $200. At that point I probably won’t be able to resist buying one.

I will, however, have the good sense to wait to purchase until I’m in the United States instead of paying British prices.

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