Steve Jobs took the stage on Wednesday to announce a variety of new products and software updates including updates to the entire iPod mobile digital device lineup. In the midst of one of their strongest years ever, Apple Inc. has a lot of new products to offer as we move closer to the holiday season.
After running down the sales numbers of Apple’s wildly successful retail stores, he moved on to announce that iOS 4.1 mobile operating system will be available next week, fixing numerous bugs for the iPhone mobile phone and iPod Touch mobile mp3 player that have been plaguing users. He also mentioned that iOS 4.2 will be released in November, which will support the iPad mobile wireless device as well.
Jobs then introduced the new lineup of iPod mp3 players. The new iPod shuffle mp3 player is even smaller than previous versions, but brings back the buttons that had been removed in the last iteration. The iPod Nano mp3 player now adopts the multi-touch interface that iPhone users have come to love, but it remains to be seen whether the combination of such a small screen and multi-touch will be user-friendly. Both iPod devices have a clip, allowing them to be worn on clothing, and come in a variety of colors. The shuffle is $49 and has 2GB of storage, the Nano is $149 for the 8GB model and $179 for the 16GB model.
The iPod Touch is seeing the most change as it is updated to the retina display that is so impressive on the iPhone 4, and now supports FaceTime video chat with other iPod Touch devices and even iPhone 4 devices. Prices are $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB.
Jobs introduced iTunes 10 music store software, which was available later the same day, and included a new social networking feature called Ping. Ping will allow users to share their music preferences with others and also discover what music their friends are listening to.
Lastly, Jobs showed off the new Apple TV digital media set top box, which sports a new low price of $99, putting it in line with devices such as the Roku box. The device’s specs are improved, but it now has little to no storage, switching to a rental model instead of a purchase model.
The new iPod lineup is sure to boost sales for the holiday season, but it remains to be seen whether iTunes 10 and its new Ping feature will catch on with users, or whether the Apple TV will finally see strong sales at its new price point.
*iPod, iPod touch, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, and Apple TV, are Trademarks of Apple Inc.
*iOS is a trademark of Cisco.