Apple refreshes iPod line, cuts touch model prices

New 'Genius' feature makes iTunes recommendations; iPhone 2.1 update unveiled

As anticipated, Apple has revamped its iPod music players and launched a new version of iTunes that includes a new community-based music recommendation feature. The company also promised to issue an iPhone update to solve the dropped call problems that have plagued users since July.

"There were no surprises today," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Everything was nicely done. Anyway, having a surprise every three months is not a great business model," he said, referring to Apple's habit of sneaking in something unexpected during many of its product launches.

Both the iPod nano and iPod touch lines have been redesigned, said CEO Steve Jobs, who opened the presentation and held the stage for much of the hour. Prices of the iPod touch have also been reduced.

"You will be blown away by how thin it is," Jobs said of the new iPod nano, which is taller and narrower than the current generation. The new nano comes in a wider range of colors -- nine all told -- features an iPhone-like accelerometer so it recognizes when its orientation has been changed from portrait to landscape, and has doubled its memory capacity while retaining its previous prices.

The new iPod nano 8GB, which costs US$149, goes on sale immediately, but won't be in stock for a few days, while the 16GB model, priced at US$199, should be available no later than this weekend or early next week, said Jobs.

Last year's iPod nano was priced at US$149 for the 4GB model and US$199 for the 8GB device.

Jobs demonstrated the accelerometer, which reorients the 2-in. screen depending on how the nano is held. Turned sideways, for instance, the nano will now show downloaded albums in Apple's Cover Flow mode, which displays album cover art and lets users cycle through albums. The accelerometer can also be used to set the nano to "shuffle" mode simply by shaking the player, something Jobs showed by moving from Simon and Garfunkel to Dean Martin to John Mayer with two shakes.

Apple has also refreshed the iPod touch, which is now thinner and sports a speaker on the side. Memory configurations have not changed -- Apple will still sell 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models -- but prices have been cut to closer match those of the iPhone 3G.

The new iPod touch will sell for US$229 for the 8GB model, US$299 for the 16GB and US$399 for the 32GB. The original iPod touch was sold starting at US$299.

"They can't sell it for the same price as the iPhone," said Gottheil. "The $199 for the iPhone 3G is a subsidized price." Apple, said Gottheil, is getting at least US$400 for an iPhone 3G from its carrier partners.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ipod

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?