Apple announces new iPods and new iTunes


The latest Apple event just wrapped up. Steve Jobs unveiled some new iPods (evolutionary rather than revolutionary), a new version of iTunes and a new firmware for the Apple iPhone. Here are some additional details:

  • Apple Store now offers about 8.5 million songs, over 125,000 podcasts, 30,000 TV shows, 2600 movies and over 3000 applications for the iPhone and iPod touch
  • Today, the Apple Store is adding TV shows in HD. HD version will cost USD$2.99 per episode; normal versions will still cost USD$1.99. NBC is returning to the fold with shows like The Office, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica and others and they will be available in HD.
  • iTunes 8 was introduced. It brings new features like improved browsing, and a Genius mode which builds playlists of music that goes well together, a Genius sidebar that can make recommendations from the iTunes catalog (it can also send information about your library to iTunes anonymously to ‘better’ the Genius feature), and support for the new HD TV shows (which you can watch on your computer).
  • iTunes 8 will be available today for free.
  • Moving on the Apple iPod, it currently holds a 73.4 percent market share according to NPD. Over 160 million have been sold to date. Today, new models are being announced.
  • The iPod classic will get a small upgrade. The thick model is out completely and the thinner 80GB model will be replaced by a 120GB model, selling for USD$249 (CAD$279).
  • The iPod nano is also being updated. As expected, it is returning to the long slender form factor but with a more oval profile and much thinner. The display remains the same but is covered behind curved glass. An accelerometer, like in the iPod touch, has also been added to it and the interface has also been enhanced. When you turn the nano onto its side, it switches to Coverflow mode. Shaking your nano will shuffle songs. It also includes the Genius mode that was just introduced in iTunes 8. It also promises 24 hours of music or 4 hours of video on a single battery charge.
  • Available in several colours, including purple, blue, orange, and red, the 8GB model will sell for USD$149 (CAD$169) and the 16GB model will sell for USD$199 (CAD$219). New accessories will also be available.
  • A new iPod touch is also being introduced. The changes aren’t as significant but it will be thinner with a contoured stainless steel design. It adds volume control buttons on the side, a built-in speaker, the Genius playlist creation tool and the App Store. There are also some improvements to the user interface and the Nike+ functionality is now built-in as well. Battery life should give you 36 hours of music or 6 hours of video.
  • The iPod touch will sell for USD$229 (CAD$259) for the 8GB model, USD$299 (CAD$329) for the 16GB one and USD$399 (CAD$429) for the 32GB model.
  • Moving on the App Store, some 100 million applications have been downloaded since it went live only about 60 days ago. Spore Origins is now available in the App Store by the way. And Real Soccer 2009 is launching today.
  • The App Store is now available in 62 countries.
  • A new iPhone firmware is coming Friday. Version 2.1 promises lots of fixes, including fewer dropped calls, battery life improvements, no more crashes with applications and faster backups.
  • The new iPod touch is shipping with the new 2.1 firmware and 2.0 users can upgrade for free. Firmware 1.x users will need to buy it for USD$9.99.