With the holiday season approaching, Apple redesigns the iPod Nano and Classic lines and reduces iPhone prices.
SAN FRANCISCOApple introduced a redesigned iPod Nano and iPod Classic along with a multi-touch-screen iPod, confirming most of the rumors about what the company was going to introduce at a Sept. 5 product briefing at the Moscone Convention center here.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced a price cut for the iPhone, with the 8GB model dropping to $399, down from $599. He did not mention price changes for the 4GB model.
Jobs seemed to anticipate that this would be read as an admission that iPhone sales were flagging, saying that Apple is "on track to ship the one millionth iPhone" by this holiday season, and that consumer satisfaction numbers for the iPhone are the best Apple has ever seen.
The only rumors that were not given any substance was the talk about a digital radio functions for the iPod feature that would allow users to listen to digital radio and purchase content heard over it.
Instead, Jobs talked about the Nano gaining the more square form factor, featuring a two-inch, 320 by 240 pixel display, word of which was leaked weeks ago, with photos showing up on sites such as 9to5mac.com.
With the display change, the iPod Nano will be able to play video, display photos and play games (three are included) and take advantage of an "enhanced" user interface that includes album cover images. Apple claimed 24 hours of audio and five hours of video playback.
Click here to read more about the rumors that swirled around Apples Sept. 5 iPod announcements
Jobs said the new iPod Nanos are shipping today, with a silver 4GB model at $149 and an 8GB model, which comes in silver plus four other colors, costing $199.
Totally new, the iPod Touch closely resembles an iPhone, with a 3.5-inch multi-touch screen and nearly identical (though, at 8mm, thinner) form factor. Jobs demonstrated its music-playing interface, which uses an animated interface complete with Cover Flow, identical to the iPhones.
Jobs also revealed that the iPod Touch will come with 802.11 b/g networking and the same version of the Safari Web browser that ships on the iPhone. Though there was no announcement of including an e-mail client application on the iPod Touch, Web-based e-mail systems such as Gmail or Yahoo mail should work.
But what Jobs stressed in regards to the Wi-Fi feature of the iPod Touch was the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.
Calling it "so cool", Jobs demonstrated how users could search the iTunes Music Store directly from their iPod Touch, listen to a sample of a music track, and purchase and downloaded the song with one click. This will be available in all 22 iTunes Music Store countries, he said, and noted that songs purchased on an iPod Touch will sync back to a users home computer.
Leveraging this, Jobs also announced a partnership with Starbucks.
Page 2: Apple Refreshes iPods, Cuts iPhone Prices