Let’s start small with the Shuffle.
New pastel colors. Still $79 and same memory capacities. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Let’s move on.
The New Nano
One of the biggest announcements at the Keynote was the new video-playing, “stubby” Nano. Now that the Nano has video, all iPods with a screen have video. The Nano is still offered only in 4GB and 8GB models. I have 4 hours of video in my library and thats 3Gb. So for me, the 4GB would not be able to handle my video and music library. Now letâ€™s say I upgrade to the 8GB. This leaves me about 4GB of music. But why would i do that. For $50 more I could buy myself an 80GB Classic with a .5 inch bigger screen. I donâ€™t understand why Apple added video to the Nano. They now have mixed all of their iPod customers into one type. Now your only buying screen size and capacity.
For me, the Nano is definitely not the iPod for me. For people who really plan on watching video, they need to consider the iPod Classic or iPod Touch. I think Apple just added video functionality for casual occasional videos – maybe video podcasts or music videos. However, I do think the Nano is still great for running, especially with the Nike+ iPod kit.
By the way, the new Nanos have games too, but I don’t look forward to playing games on such a tiny screen. If I want to game, I’ll buy a PSP or DS. However, it will be interesting what homebrew cooks up for the iPhone and iPod Touch for games. So far, we’ve got NES, “Lights Out”, Yahtzee!, Blackjack, Minesweeper, and more.
One of the bigger announcements was that the new iPod Nano now comes with a new user-interface (and possibly a brand new OS) that allows for Cover Flow and some more eye candy.
So the Nano. 4GB, only silver for $149. 8GB, silver, blue, green, black, and red for $199. Thinner, wider, and now with video.
Honestly nothing revolutionary here. The biggest surprise was probably the name change. No longer can you buy simply an “iPod”. A big surprise for others is probably the amazing memory capacity available.
The new iPod Classics are now all metal. The front plastic from the 5G iPod has been replaced to the same metal Apple is using with the Nano. Apple has curiously kept the back the same metal as the 5G iPod. I believe this will raise appeal. Now the outside wonâ€™t scratch (at least it wont be as easy to) and the memory capacity is amazing for people with serious video and/or audio libraries.
The new iPod also comes bundled with the new OS Apple has written for the Nano. The iPod Classics are available in 80GB and 160GB models. They are $250 and $350 respectively. Silver has replaced white, and will probably now make the black model even more popular.
The iPod Touch was probably the most exciting announcement. Well, you know the iPhone. Take away the phone and youâ€™ve got the iPod Touch. Itâ€™s an iPod with a 3.5 in touch screen. It has Safari with Wifi, the whole thing. It also has YouTube, MobileCalendar, MobileAddressBook. However, Apple did not include a Mail application or the stock, weather, or Google Maps applications. MobileOSX includes Cover flow with the accelerometer.
The iPod Touch models are both a bit thinner than the iPhone. The iPod Touch does not have a microphone – which will make it hard for hackers to possibly turn the Touch into a VOiP iPhone. There is an 8GB and a 16GB version. Only $299 and $399 respectively.
The iPhoneâ€™s price has been reduced to $399. It’s now only available in 8GB version. IMO Good move Apple. Anyone with a budget to buy the iPhone would buy the 8GB version for only $100 more. But now with only an 8GB model available and the price drop Apple has told us a lot. Plus anyone who bought their phone before this price drop gets a $100 rebate. The new smaller price difference between the iPhone and iPods will probably make potential iPod buyers consider an iPhone. Apple’s recent aggressiveness will really pay off with one of the best fourth quarters ever.
What else could there possibly be?
Actually, a lot. The biggest “side-announcement” was probably the new Wi-Fi iTunes music store. You can browse a full iTunes music store and download them straight to your iPod touch or iPhone. This is what people have been asking for since the first video iPods were released. I can see this significantly boosting iTunes music sales. Apple has setup a great convenience for people to buy that song they are listening to on the radio on impulse with just a few “taps”. Now Apple has caught the impulse buyer too. I think this will boost the iTunes Store to the next level in music sales.
What else could Apple do to please us? What about the iPhone owners who were extremely upset after the price drop? Steve Jobs personally acknowledged the dissatisfaction from early iPhone adopters and has written a short open letter to all iPhone customers. In the letter, Steve clarifies why they dropped the price and then apologizes that Apple hasn’t really taken care of its most loyal customers and announced a soon-to-be-available $100 in-store rebate. Isn’t Steve the best?
Apple is also taking advantage of the potential with custom ringtones? In iTunes 7.4, it is now (actually will soon be) possible. Once you buy a song in the iTunes Store you pick a 30 second section and apply fade-ins and/or fade-outs. It does cost $0.99 though. But $1.98 for a song and ringtone is cheaper than just a normal ringtone from your normal provider. Hackers have successfully circumvented this process by simply renaming m4a music file with an “.m4r” extension and then syncing their iPhones. It’s a relatively simple process, however it seems to have already been patched by Apple with iTunes 7.4.1. But software applications such as iToner ($15) and the free iPhone application “SendSong” are able to make ringtones without having to pay the extra 99 cents every time.