Why are the iPod Mini and Creative MuVo 2 4GB MP3 players so hard to get a hold of? Sure they are selling all over eBay for a substantially higher price than their suggested retail, but the production of the 4GB 1-inch Microdrive from Hitachi was lower than the demand for these devices. With an added $200 million of construction to their Thailand plant, Hitachi should be pumping out around 500,000 of these Microdrives per month, compared to the 200,000 per month they made for the first three months of 2004.
The iPod Mini is highly sought after for its superior design and widely known interface, I haven’t heard of anyone ripping out the 4GB in an iPod Mini yet, although who knows once they become more readily available. I myself bought the 4GB Hitachi Microdrive for $200 on eBay just so I could use it for my digital camera, it was ripped out of the MuVo 2 MP3 player.
In March, Cupertino, California-based Apple said it would delay global sales of the iPod Mini because it couldn’t get enough of the hard drives to meet U.S. demand, which had then surpassed supply through June. Apple now plans to sell iPod outside the United States starting in July.
Hitachi GST said that the Thailand Board of Investment had approved the expansion of the plant’s capacity to 60 million units annually from 30 million. In addition to the Microdrive, Hitachi GST’s 2.4-inch Travelstar drives used in laptops and its 3.5-inch Deskstar drives used in desktop PCs and personal video recorders are made at the Thailand plant.