Well, wouldn't you know it. Apple
has introduced new iPods at a Fall
music event in San Francisco. It's becoming an annual tradition for the
market leader in this category, but we have to say that this year's
introductions were a bit more spirited than usual.
Rather than simply overhauling the iPod
touch, which just about everyone
expected, the company also stated that the iPod Classic would remain in
the family for those that needed the space, the iPod Shuffle has
reemerged and the iPod nano has been completely redesigned to look more
like a miniature screen with a headphone jack.
So, first, the new iPod touch. It's the same basic design as the "old"
model, but this time it has a Retina Display with the higher resolution
(960 x 640) found on the iPhone. There's also FaceTime video calling, HD
Video recording, Apple's A4 processor, a 3-axis gyroscope (for gaming,
we assume), Game Center and iOS 4.1. It's being called the thinnest and
lightest iPod touch ever, and it can even last up to 40 hours on a
charge for music or 7 hours for video. There's a front-facing camera and
mic, support for the $4.99 iMovie app and a slew of games to choose
from in the App Store. In fact, Apple also claimed today to be beating
both Sony and Nintendo by claiming some 50% of the portable gaming
market. With the App Store as big as it is, we believe it. The new iPod
touch will be available next week for a suggested price of
$229 (US) for the 8GB model, $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US)
for the 64GB model.
Now, for the redesigned iPod nano. This is probably the most stunning
iPod introduction ever. Rumors were tossed about years ago, and now it
seems that Apple has finally done the impossible: making an iPod that's
little more than a touch screen. This Multi-Touch device is barely
larger than an iPod Shuffle, yet users can touch it to navigate artists
just like they're used to doing already on the iPod touch. It's nearly
half the size and weight of the previous generation, and it's built to
be worn on a belt clip while listening to FM radio and lasting for up to
24 hours. It even features a built-in pedometer that makes it easy to
track your steps and
also supports Nike + iPod, and the Shake to Shuffle feature does
exactly what you'd think. Pricing is a little on the steep side: $149
for 8GB or $179 for 16GB, with pre-sales open today.
Lastly, and in a way, least, there's the iPod Shuffle. Again. It's back!
There's really not much new here, but Apple has included 50% more
battery life and included a belt clip and five color options. If you
know how the old shuffle worked, you know how this $49 one works. It's
about as simple as it gets for an iPod.
All in all, Apple's new iPod line is impressive. There really isn't
anything on the market today to rival the new iPod touch and iPod nano.
We need the competition, though, so feel free to pester your favorite CE
company to step up to that plate.