Decling sales growth means less expensive iPods

    Steve Jobs is hoping lower prices can help revive lagging iPod sales. In response to last quarter’s results — year-over-year sales increased just 5 percent, the smallest in the line’s history and the fourth straight quarter marked by declined growth — a one-gigabyte iPod Shuffle will now cost $49, down from $79, and a two-gigabyte model will cost $69. Although analysts predict this will lead to a modest sales gain, they think cheaper mobile computing is the only way to truly revive the brand — think touch-screen iPod with wireless and browsing capabilities. The big question, though, is whether Apple (and partner AT&T) will be willing to sell an MP3 player with nearly all of the iPhone’s bells and whistles. [Silicon Alley Insider]