Apple Announces New Line of iPods, Not Bigger but Better
At a press conference today, Apple announced a completely new line of iPods, including a thinner Touch, a drastically smaller Nano and a Shuffle that goes back to the basics.
"This year we've gone wild," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his presentation. "We have all new iPods this year for every single model of iPod. The biggest change in the iPod lineup, ever."
The iPod Shuffle looks like a step backward simply because Apple returned to the circle button layout of two generations ago. The third generation of Shuffle had no buttons and relied mostly on voice commands and a touch sensitive pair of earbuds
"But people clearly missed the buttons... so what are we gonna do?" Jobs asked.
The new Shuffle gives the best of both worlds by bringing the buttons back but still including the voiceover and playlist functionality. It's smaller than the last iPod Shuffle, has 15 hours of battery life, comes in five colors and cost $49 for 2GB of storage.
Next, Jobs moved to the iPod Nano, which has always been a long, slender device with a screen and clickwheel. But the latest version is nothing like that. It's basically the same size and form factor as the Shuffle, but the new Nano has no buttons, just a multitouch screen.
"Let's say I clip it on upside down. I just take my two fingers and rotate it," Jobs said, demonstrating the various touch gestures that can be used on the new Nano. The Nano is almost half as small and light as before, has a clip like the Shuffle, has 24 hours of battery live and will come in six colors at $149 for 8GB and $179 for 16GB.
Finally, Jobs introduced the new iPod Touch , saying it was the most popular iPod Apple has ever had.
"But it's also become the number one portable game player in the world," Jobs said. "The iPod Touch outsells Nintendo and Sony portables combined! It's got over 50 percent marketshare for portable gaming worldwide. And over a billion and a half games and entertainment downloads have been made just for the iPod Touch alone."
The new iPod touch is thinner, boasts the same Retina Display with ultra-high resolution that the iPhone 4 has , and has the same A4 processor and operating system. It also uses iOS 4.1, which means it can access Game Center and continue its dominance in gaming. It gains the front and rear-facing cameras found in the iPhone 4 and the ability to do video chat over FaceTime (on Wi-Fi) with other iPod Touchs and iPhones.
The new iPod Touch will be $229 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB. It will be available next week.