The dust has settled. The rumor mill is quiet. The masses are sated. If you've been under a rock today you probably don't know what I'm talking about, but I'll assume for the majority you've at least vaguely kept up on the slew of iPod announcements put forth by Steve Jobs and company today. As Apple has done in the past the landscape of the MP3 player market is once again not the same.
Here is a quick recap of the line by line items Apple pulled out of its bag of tricks today:
- Introduced a next generation iPod nano which plays video, sports an enhanced user interface and has a new body design with larger two-inch display with 204 pixels per inch.
- Updated the classic iPod, renaming it the iPod classic and increasing the hard drive sizes to 80GB/160GB. This sixth generation model gets an enhanced user interface and new all metal enclosure as well.
- Added five new colors to the iPod shuffle.
- Introduced the most highly anticipated iPod of the date: the iPod touch. As the name implies the touch is controlled much like the iPhone through a touchscreen interface. This drive has a 3.5-inch display and also built-in wireless networking so you can browse the Web and download tunes from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.
- Announced the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, which lets you download music wirelessly as you normally would instead through the iTunes Store on your desktop computer. This wireless download can be done to the iPod touch and iPhone.
- Dropped the price of the iPhone 8GB model from $599 to $399 and began phasing out (already) the 4GB iPhone model.
- Released iTunes 7.4 with new features.
- Gave people the option to create ringtones from purchased iTunes Store music. A $0.99 fee is added to each ringtone created, which is on top of the cost of the song purchased from iTunes.
Ok - so maybe there were more than just a few announcements. The truth of the matter is Apple seems to have wanted to cover all of its bases in one major overhaul of the iPod line up. While there isn't really any serious competition to make them do this, Apple continues to want to innovate so it can stay ahead of the game and also keeps its user base happy.
It's hard to find much of a flaw in the announcements made today. One can note that, in regards to the iPhone, Apple seems to have heard the will of the people over the high prices of this product. The $200 price drop must have been hard for some at Apple and AT&T to swallow but at least now it puts the phone into the hands of more potential customers.
But this day isn't really about the market woes of the iPhone - it's about the new glories of the iPod. While being a tech journalist has taught me a certain degree of neutrality I do have to say I'm genuinely interested in the iPod touch. I believe the gorgeous touch interface and numerous features this product has included (i.e. Wi-Fi) make it the best iPod of the day.