Apple launches new iPods, cuts iPhone price

As predicted, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off a brand new line of iPods during his keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco earlier today. The lineup includes new and redesigned iPod and iPod nano models, a red iPod shuffle, and the pièce de résistance: the iPod touch.

The iPod touch.

The iPod touch is essentially a phone-less iPhone. It boasts the same design as the iPhone, the same interface, and Wi-Fi support, but with a a reduced price tag and increased storage capacity. For $299, the cheapest iPod touch packs 8GB of flash memory, while the pricier $399 model delivers 16GB. Both models are on track to ship this month, and they’ll offer one perk not yet available to iPhone users: the ability to purchase music from iTunes via Wi-Fi straight from the device.

The iPod classic.

Next up is the new video iPod, which Apple has dubbed the iPod classic. This model sports a look similar to that of its fifth-generation predecessor, but it offers storage capacities of 80GB and 160GB for the same $249 and $349 price tags as the previous 30GB and 60GB variants. Better yet is the classic’s battery life, which clocks in at 40 hours for audio and seven hours for video, according to Steve Jobs.

The new iPod nano.

Last, but not least, is the new iPod nano. The new nano sports a wider enclosure to make room for a 2" 320×240 screen, and its capacity has gone up to 4GB for the $149 model and 8GB for the $199 one. Like the iPod classic, the new nano also boasts a redesigned user interface with the same "cover flow" feature as the iPhone.

Detailed coverage of Apple’s event is available over at Engadget, complete with pictures and commentary.

Update: Along with introducing new iPods, Apple has slashed the price of its flagship 8GB iPhone from $599 to a much more reasonable $399. The company is also doing away with the 4GB iPhone model, which previously sold for $499.

Comments closed
    • thorz
    • 12 years ago

    16GB sucks 🙁
    I like that touch baby with the 160GB disk!

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 12 years ago

    Good lineup..so easy to target…;)

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      A little late to the party, are we ? 😉

      Adi

    • credo
    • 12 years ago

    All I want to know: did they put a damn scratch resistant screen on it this time?

      • Gandhi
      • 12 years ago

      The iPhone screen is pretty darn scratch resistant, being that it is optical quality glass. My wife puts it in her purse next to car keys and other items and it does not have any scratches on the screen yet.

      I am sure the new ipod touch uses the same screen. Can’t say for sure about the other ipods – I am sure they are similar to previous models.

    • jinjuku
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder if MS is still going to try to position the Zune as a real competitor? They need to face the fact that Apple is juggernaut in this niche.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 12 years ago

      They know that apple is a juggernaut. In all reality Microsft isn’t doing terrible and isn’t doing that great. The zune is a decent product, but that is the problem it’s only decent (my wife actually owns one, I like it better than the ipod, but it still lacks in some areas). The other problem is that you lack choices with microsoft atm. They only have 1 player and the market is segmented. They need more products and they need good features.

        • king_kilr
        • 12 years ago

        They are trying to do it like they did the Xbox, first generation to try some stuff, and test the market, and then 2nd gen to really breakout. Unfortunately I think that doesn’t work well here, with the original Xbox they had a strong product that just needed to gain name/brand recognition. Here they have what many consider inferior, plus apple got the jump on them on moving forward, we still haven’t heard what Microsoft is planning to do, which means almost guaranteed that Apple will sweep the holiday season.

          • Gandhi
          • 12 years ago

          Except the second-gen XBox is not a break out product. The Wii has (or will soon) surpass it in units sold. And then there is the whole RROD problem.

          Zune is a failure. Apple has a better wifi implementation. The interface on the new ones blows the Zune outta the water. If MS releases a Zune phone, they will do to their Windows Mobile partners what they did to their Plays-for-Sure partners. But unlike the MP3 player makers, Windows Mobile cell phone makers are much bigger players and will not take it kindly.

          No, when it comes to the cell phone OS, MS will have to do something it has never done well. Innovate. And it will have to differentiate by not copying. Or it will end up with another Zune turd.

          It will be an interesting fight to watch.

            • blastdoor
            • 12 years ago

            Poor MS. If their only competitor were Sony (both in the game console and mp3 player markets), then they would probably be doing very well.

            Instead of throwing money down the drain in consumer electronics, MS should have spent those billions on something a little more creative and useful, like developing alternative energy sources or improving the computational aspects of genetic research.

    • elite3124
    • 12 years ago

    Now if ipod just supported programs like napster to go i would have to perfect mp3 player….

    • WaltC
    • 12 years ago

    /[

      • Gandhi
      • 12 years ago

      Or Apple saw that rivals are moving faster than it thought in terms of rolling out a comparable offering, but said offerings are still a year away (see the Nokia concepts, for example), and decided to go for the kill this Christmas season.

    • droopy1592
    • 12 years ago

    §[<http://www.maximumpc.com/article/do_higher_mp3_bit_rates_pay_off?page=0%2C0<]§ this story just confirms what users on hydrogenaudio and heafi say: A high variable bit rate is virtually indistinguishable from CD audio. Most people guess it right, or get it wrong. And they take all day doing it! If it takes repeated listenings to guess it right or guess it wrong, compressed audio must not be all that bad.

      • QuailRider
      • 12 years ago

      That “study” used a Soundblaster X-FI for a DAC, and headphones as output. I’m not trying to sound like a audio snob, but they could have done a much better job with the right equipment. Specifically with their analogue components. If they had used a digital out from their pc to a decent preamp DAC (digital-analog converter), and output the analog signal through a good quality power amp to a pair of full range tower speakers, then I’d pay more attention to their results. If you’re cutting off frequencies from both the wav and mp3’s in the output stage, then of course you’re going to have a hard time telling the difference.

      I use a home brew pc media server to play mp3’s. The digital output is piped over coax to a good preamp processor for digital to analogue conversion. The analogue signal is amplified by a Sim Audio power amplifier, and sent to a pair of higher end tower speakers. It’s not esoteric audiphile voodoo stuff, simply decent stereo equipment. In my own listening tests, there is a definite (albeit subtle) difference between mp3’s and the reference CD’s.

      In summary, if you want to hear the difference, you need equipment that can show you the difference. Digital is cheap, easy, and pretty hard to screw up. Analogue is hard. Put your money into a good preamp, amp and speakers, and you’ll hear the full range of sound encoded in the CD, and compression artifacts will become more noticeable.

    • Spotpuff
    • 12 years ago

    Does the iPod/phone still require Itunes to use?

    Maybe I’m the only one who wasn’t wowed by the Ipod… the masses love it though.

      • nagashi
      • 12 years ago

      Winamp manages iPods just fine. In fact there are numerous programs for managing your iPod that are NOT itunes.

        • willyolio
        • 12 years ago

        but i can still assume that windows explorer isn’t one of them.

          • sativa
          • 12 years ago

          you can use windows explorer.

    • Vrock
    • 12 years ago

    Sadly, there’s still no technology out there that can make AAC and MP3 sound good. Remember when sound quality mattered more than how fancy your playback device was? *sigh*

      • snowdog
      • 12 years ago

      Lucky for me I don’t have “Golden Ears”. I have been into audio for most of my life and I thought I was quite critical about sound quality (I am compared to most people I know IRL).

      But when I did ABX testing with a bunch of tracks with my Denon Reciever and decent quality headphones, I can’t pick out the difference between at 180K VBR mp3 from lame and the WAV ripped from CD.

      128K MP3s make me cringe but once the bit rate is up it sounds great, I am sure 256K AAC will be perfect for me.

        • Taddeusz
        • 12 years ago

        I don’t have golden ears either and 128k VBR AAC sounds fine to me. AAC is a whole lot better at the same bitrate than MP3. With the exception of Apple’s iTunes, it’s unfortunate that the ubiquity of MP3 has stunted the adoption of higher quality compression formats. I don’t see anyone adopting lossless formats any time soon just because storage is just not there yet for the average joe. But AAC should be positioned to replace MP3 but because people on the internet are content with terrible sounding 128k MP3 files it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time very soon.

      • MagerValp
      • 12 years ago

      Good thing the iPod supports lossless then (ALE, WAV and AIFF)…

      • My Johnson
      • 12 years ago

      I’m so old everything sounds good.

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      AAC, OGG and MP3 = lossy formats. They will not have 90%+ fidelity that audiophiles desire. (BTW, 100% fidelity is impossible). Joe Schmoe and his teenagers who are majority and drive the market don’t give a damm.

      WAV and FLAC = lossless format. This is where audiophiles are at home, but not many digital audio players support FLAC and WAV is very massive. You have to resort to niche products that typically command a hefy premium in order to get FLAC support.

        • droopy1592
        • 12 years ago

        I tell you and Vrock, take some of the tests that are posted on sites like headfi and hydrogen audio. Even the “golden ears” audiophiles couldn’t tell the dif between wav and 192kbps in a blind test on their “high quality” output components.

          • Anomymous Gerbil
          • 12 years ago

          They won’t do it, because they’re too scared to find out that in fact they b[

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            I’ve never tried anything higher than 256kps for MP3. It just sounded flatter than the CD.

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 12 years ago

            Try it. Even on a non-blind test, I only *thought* I could hear some very subtle differences, which I’m sure I wouldn’t have picked up blind. Of course, maybe you have better hearing than me, but it’s still interesting.

            • Smurfer2
            • 12 years ago

            I’ve done the same, once in a while I *thought* something sounded better in a non-blind test. I can, or think I can, tell the difference between 128kbps MP3 and 192kbps MP3, but that is it. I can’t tell the difference between 160 kbps WMA, 192kbps MP3, 128kbps AAC, and 256kbps AAC, I just can’t….

            • droopy1592
            • 12 years ago

            He can’t, he’s just always trolling about mp3s. If 99% of people can’t tell the difference (other than guessing) he’d claim he’s part of the 1% that can. High VBR mp3s are equal CD quality.

            • snowdog
            • 12 years ago

            I also remember the anti-CD folks who insisted Vinyl was better.

            Get back when you do some ABX testing.
            §[<http://www.pcabx.com/<]§ Listening critically, with quality headphones, repeating over and over I could not pick out the difference from lossless vs 170K-180K VBR mp3. This is listening much more critically than normal and I am a picky SOB in general. I can't stand 128K MP3s because they are garbage. If you claim it is different but can't consistently pick it out, then the difference is largely in your imagination. You would be an exceptionally rare individual if you could consistently pick out the difference. Most self professed audiophiles can't.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            Surely you’re not suggesting that lossy formats are “better” than CD?

            All I know is that I can hear the difference between MP3 up to 256kps and CD over my car stereo. A cheap car stereo. As in the stock stereo that came with my Civic. Dynamic range is crushed, highs are muddy, and lows are flat and lack punch. Maybe that’s the way kids listen to music these days, but it still sounds like crap.

            • just brew it!
            • 12 years ago

            What encoder are we talking about here? All MP3s are not created equal, even at the same bitrate. A good encoder at 160kbps can sound much better than a crappy one at 256kbps…

        • SNM
        • 12 years ago

        There’s also Apple Lossless, though, which on an 80 or 160 gig storage device is actually reasonable.

        Good lord, I just realized the 160 gig iPod has as much drive space as my computer does.

          • Kharnellius
          • 12 years ago

          Same here! I’m running to 80s right now. *shock*

        • HiggsBoson
        • 12 years ago

        Don’t forget APE 🙂

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        Thank you, Captain Obvious.

    • Materiel
    • 12 years ago

    8 and 16 GB capacities for a screen made for movie viewing is pretty insulting.

      • snowdog
      • 12 years ago

      iPod Classic for you then. Up to 160GB available.

      It would have been nice to have an HD based model, but they probably decided HD version wouldn’t be sleek enough, then given the price of flash, I wouldn’t expect bigger than 16G in flash.

        • sativa
        • 12 years ago

        yeah apparently the ‘touch’ electronics take up as much space as a hard drive does…

      • MagerValp
      • 12 years ago

      Why? You can fit a whole season of a TV show in 8 GB, or 8+ full length movies.

      • droopy1592
      • 12 years ago

      Ya, they just make everyone buy these units with low storage and they’ll bring out some big ones in a few more months. They could do it now but why screw up the revenue?

        • sativa
        • 12 years ago

        flash memory prices are still pretty high…

    • Lord.Blue
    • 12 years ago

    The 4GB iPhone is now selling on the Apple store for $299 while supplies last.

      • SNM
      • 12 years ago

      Must…not….buy….

    • SlyFerret
    • 12 years ago

    That iPod touch is exactly what I was hoping for. An iPhone, without the phone. Damn. Now I have to come up with some money.

    Does the iPod touch have a regular headphone jack, or is it the same recessed jack that they put on the iPhone?

    -SF

      • Kraft75
      • 12 years ago

      My thoughts exactly, it has a browser and everything. It looks great. My only disappointment is with the drive space. I think I’m going to hold my purchase until generation 2 of the iPod touch, to get bigger space.

      • [SDG]Mantis
      • 12 years ago

      Personally, I was hoping for a hard-drive based player with similar features. It adds some nice stuff, but has 1/10th the storage of the larger capacity classic and is $50 more.

        • Taddeusz
        • 12 years ago

        Yea, I was kind of dissapointed by the paltry 8GB and 16GB capacities of the iPod touch.

      • blastdoor
      • 12 years ago

      Agreed. I do wish they would have matched it to an 80 GB HD, but then I suppose it would have hurt battery life and size.

      Oh well — 16 GB is 4 times the size of my nano, so it will still seem like a nice improvement to me, and obviously multitouch, safari+wifi, big screen, and the long term flexibility of being based on OSX is all very compelling.

    • melvz90
    • 12 years ago

    funny after all the generations of ipods… Apple still doesn’t know how to color match those ugly earphones with the ipod body color…

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      not to mention make them comfortable/decent.

        • nexxcat
        • 12 years ago

        I find them fairly comfortable — different ear shapes, etc. You’re absolutely right, though. They’re obnoxiously bad in their sound reproduction.

      • Decelerate
      • 12 years ago

      Why color the iconic white earphones? That would be the equivalent of a marketing Hiroshima.

      Apple knows full well that the first thing to come to mind when we see white cords is that it’s an iPod, whether it is or not.

    • flybywire
    • 12 years ago

    That new Nano is really ugly. Did Jobs run out design ideas?

      • Smurfer2
      • 12 years ago

      That Nano is ugly!

      • Smurfer2
      • 12 years ago

      Ugh, my computer is messing up and I double posted. :S

      • blitzy
      • 12 years ago

      yea that thing sucks ass, the original nano was sleek and sexy… that thing reminds me of a gay looking 1999 imac

      • Vinceant
      • 12 years ago

      It looks to me like a cheap ripoff of the Zen V. Maybe a bigger screen though…and it has that annoying touch wheel. :S

      • Kharnellius
      • 12 years ago

      My initial response was the same. Personally, I have to see it though to be sure. If it’s shape works good then awesome. I think they could have shaved off some of the left and right packaging and made it slightly longer instead but oh well.

    • king_kilr
    • 12 years ago

    Small correction, a patch is coming for the iPhone to allow wifi buying, I believe it is in the same time frame is iPod touch availability.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    here’s to hoping a wi-fi trade music hack/patch comes along. I want to trade my DRM-free songs with strangers on the bus. What an ice breaker, no?

      • WaltC
      • 12 years ago

      Or, you might get brave and brash and try looking at people on the bus and saying “Hello!” Works wonders…;)

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 12 years ago

        That method seems hit-and-miss for me. I already tried sharing my music w/ headphone splitter. Just not as natural as a wi-fi trade could be.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This