A report released from Prudential Equity Group recently indicated that Apple may scrap plans for the next generation hard drive based iPod in favor of using NAND flash memory instead. The change according to the report would result in smaller players and improvements in battery life and durability.
NAND flash memory is a very common source of memory for small thumb drives and memory cards, and is a type of non-volatile memory. Non-volatile memory means that it does not need a continuous power source to retain its data, and NAND flash memory is a durable design that works well for long-term use.
Using the flash memory for iPods would also mean less required power since there are no moving parts, and with the continuing improvements in flash technology the devices can be built smaller without compromising data storage space. The downside is that flash memory costs a little more than the same storage would on a HDD.
“We believe that the video iPod transition from 1.8-inch hard disk drives to NAND flash memory may occur as soon as late 2007,” Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora wrote. “Our checks indicate that Apple is considering canceling its next generation HDD-based iPod design, with the form factor refresh involving a move to NAND flash memory.”
The report also spells out some additional speculations on Apple products, such as adding GPS, WiFi and a wider touch screen to the video iPod.