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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ipod

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?