Apple grabbed the lions share of wireless headlines Sept. 5 with a product rollout in San Francisco that included the iPod Touch, which is essentially an iPhone without the phone and the pricey two-year AT&T contract.
The new device features a touch screen interface similar to the iPhone and includes 802.11 b/g networking capability for Web surfing over Wi-Fi connections.
The iPod Touch will come loaded with the same Safari Web browser installed on iPhones, which includes built-in Google and Yahoo search abilities. While no e-mail client was announced, reports say Web-based e-mail systems such as Gmail or Yahoo will work with the iPod Touch.
The 8GB model costs $299, while the 16GB model logs in at $399. Both models will be available in Apple stores and other retailers later this month.
"The iPod touch is a landmark iPod, ushering in a whole new generation of features based on its revolutionary multi-touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "People are going to be amazed at how thin it is and how much it does."
Apple also introduced a revamped iPod classic in 80GB and 160GB models.
"The first iPod put 1,000 songs in your pocket—this new iPod classic can put 40,000 songs in your pocket," Jobs said. "With a thinner, all-metal enclosure and an enhanced user interface, the iPod classic is ideal for people who want to hold everything on their iPod."
Almost overshadowing the buzz over the iPod Touch was Jobs announcement that Apple was slashing the price of the 8G iPhone by $200, dropping cost of the popular device from $599 to $399. The price cut sparked a flurry of speculation that iPhone sales are lagging, but Jobs insisted Apple is on pace to sell more than a million models by the end of the year.
New Energy iPaq
Not to be outdone, HP staged its own gala event in New York City, announcing an "unprecedented expansion of the HP iPAQ handheld lineup," including two new 3G phone models. The iPaq 900 Series Business Messenger features a QWERTY keyboard and GPS. The 600 Series Business Navigator also comes with GPS and is optimized for single-handed use.
Click here to read more about Apples revamped iPods and the iPhone price reduction.
Combined with three other iPaq rollouts, expanded availability of HP MediaSmart televisions and servers, new home PCs and notebooks and new business computers, it was a busy announcement day at HP.
"A new energy at HP is creating an ever more personal experience in computing," Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HPs Personal Systems Group, said in a statement.
"Our new design approach is also good business. Standardizing on beautiful materials and consistent icons means we can speed products to market and offer them at a great value."
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