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Apple announces an iPhone-like iPod

Sara Goo

Owners of Apple's latest iPod will be able to purchase and download music from iTunes wirelessly, thanks to a new line of players the company introduced this afternoon.

The latest high-end digital music players will also feature touch sensitive screens and look much like the company's recently-introduced line of iPhone smartphones. The new, Web-connected iPods will come with Apple's Safari browser installed. 8GB is $299, $399 the price for the 16 gigabyte model.

Apple also announced a new partnership with Starbucks. If you like that Norah Jones song that's playing as you wait for a cappuccino, you'll be able to click a button on the new iPod and buy the song instantly.

Apple refreshed its entire iPod line this afternoon at a press event in San Francisco, ranging from the Nano, with new colors and built-in games, up to a $349 model 160 gigabytes of memory.

The new iPods shipped today, said Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, and should be in stores by this weekend.

Analyst reaction to the Jobs presentation was enthusiastic. "The consensus is, they knocked it out of the park," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at research firm Jupiter who attended the event.

VIDEO | Check Out Apple's New iPod (MSNBC Video)

By Mike Musgrove  |  September 5, 2007; 2:56 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Comments

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It is comforting to see that Apple is doing so many things to advance human society and global standards of living.

Ruth Marcus wrote a scathing commentary on a $52,000 Luis Vitton purse today. Yet WaPo writers every day write on their wet dreams about Apple products and Steve Jobs. It is all kind of pathetic, isn't it?

Posted by: joe | September 5, 2007 3:04 PM

I'd rather be able to click a button and change the station.

Posted by: Only Worth Posting Once | September 5, 2007 3:39 PM

hey joe
learn how to write in the first place

Posted by: steve | September 5, 2007 3:47 PM

Instead of introducing new iPods, Apple should support the thousands (millions?) of broken iPods out there. My iPod Mini died in August, just 5 months after the warranty expired. So did many other iPod Minis of the same vintage. (I'm calling it "The Month the Music Died.") But Apple refuses to recognize this as an "event." Their Tech Support suggested that I purchase a new one . . .

Posted by: Janet | September 5, 2007 3:50 PM

Apple also announced a $100 drop in the price of the iPhone. I'm sure that Steve Jobs still appreciates all of you who shelled out the bigger bucks to be the first on your block, but don't look for any trade-in upgrade deals from Apple or AT&T.

Posted by: The Navigator | September 5, 2007 3:57 PM

It's what we rather expected to be launched after the iPhone... an iPhone without the phone part.

It's a wonderful idea, but I think Apple jumped the gun here.

The unit has a 1" bigger screen and is touch sensative.
It also has 802.11b/g WiFi.
Those are the good parts.

Now the bad.
It has 1/10th the capacity (8GB and 16GB vs 80GB and 160GB "classic")

It has less battery life (22hr audio and 5hr video vs 40hr audio and 7hr video "classic")

Lastly, how long do you suppose it will take to crack the security and allow direct attacks via the WiFi? How about encryption? We are talking about WiFi purchases on iTunes.
With the release on Saturday, I'm guessing it might take until Sunday.

Good ideas, but too little too soon.
Match the capacity and battery first, then release.

Posted by: Mike | September 5, 2007 4:34 PM

The new nano is a different size as the "old" one (the one I got this week). No using all the pricey cases and carriers and such that people bought for their old nano, those appear to be just as obsolete as the device itself. bravo, apple.

Posted by: larry | September 5, 2007 4:34 PM

@ The Navigator: the price drop was $200 actually, and who cares? It's not like prices on consumer electronics rise over time. If the features you can get today justify today's price *for you* then buy now. If you can afford to wait, then wait. You'll be economically rewarded but technologicaly penalized for waiting, because you'll either continue to go without and/or use an inferior product.

Posted by: iPhone luvr | September 5, 2007 4:35 PM

I'm not sure why everyone appears to be so anti-apple. They seem to have improved their product and reduced prices. I've had several different ipods and I've always been happy with them.

Technology occasionally breaks, I'm not sure why Janet, for example, is so upset. If something you own breaks after a year or more, you fix it or get a new one. I know of very few products that you can expect indefinite reliability.

Apple advanced a cool piece of technology to meet customer desires and to improve business. I thought that was suppose to be a good thing?

Posted by: mjw | September 5, 2007 4:39 PM

Mike,

Matching capacity between a hard drive based device and a flash based device is a bit unrealistic. Flash is far more expensive per GB. But instead you get more reliability and better power consumption.

It would be nice to have equivalent battery life, but my guess is that extra 1" of screen and the extra cost to run the touch screen consumes a fair amount of power. More power is always good, but 22hr audio or 5hr video is more than enough to watch a full movie or two and listen to some music... or listen to music all day. It seems fairly reasonable to me.

Posted by: Matt | September 5, 2007 4:45 PM

Perhaps Matt, but Flash also consumes much less power than mechanical drives.
I believe the problem is that they went out of their way to make it thin (8mm) to make up for the [slightly] larger footprint.

The primary concern I have, though, is WiFi security.
If you check the Starbucks feature (don't expect this to be available in your area soon, by the way) you'll see it autoconnects to Starbucks without logon and presents store song info.
How hard will it be to spoof this as an attack vector?
Turn off the WiFi for security? Ok, but then why get a unit with WiFi to begin with.

I like the ideas, but you can bet this will be a popular target for hacker-wanabes.
I would prefer a more limited, secure WiFi and a thicker unit to provide for better battery and (perhaps) more capacity, but then I'm no expert.

Posted by: Mike | September 5, 2007 4:59 PM

There's a little too much vitriol on here for a company that's releasing entertainment devices. (Well, except for the folks whose units died right after the warranty expired -- that always sucks.) My two cents: Apple knocked it out of the ballpark. The iPhone-without-the-phone is exactly what a lot of people including myself have been waiting for. The capacity might be lower than we might hope for, but at least it's more than the 4GB / 8GB of the iPhone (and more than the 6GB which I'm at after 2.5 years). I'd be curious to know how many people have come close to filling up a 80GB device. Now the test will be whether the iPod Touch withstands being strapped to my arm while running -- it just looks a little more fragile than my existing one.

Posted by: Amit | September 5, 2007 5:13 PM

First off, I agree with Joe. A lot of media business hypocrisy and "In Steve We Trust" junk. But what really gets me about Apple and its shinny and sleek image is this. It lags way behind in making an environmentally-friendly product. User-freindly, yes, environmentally-friendly, NO. Of the cellphone makers, Noika is #1 in green phones (8/10) on Greenpeace's list, #2 is Sony Ericsson, #3 is tie between Samsung and Motorola, #5 is Fujitsu-Siemens, and then #6 Apple. I guess Apple must be saying, thank god for LG which is last. Enjoy your iWaste and your iTox. Go to: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/green-electronics-guide-ewaste250806

Posted by: Straykatz | September 5, 2007 5:19 PM

Filling an 80GB iPod is EASY if you are someone who likes to have video on your iPod. I have a 60GB iPod with about 8GB of music and the rest is all video. Three seasons of the Office and Veronica Mars maxed it out :)

This new iPod is definitely what I've been waiting for (I barely talk on the phone so the iPhone is useless to me for the price), but definitely wish there were a way to up the storage capacity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 5:47 PM

You green people crack me up. You are everywhere, though. Gotta give you that.

Posted by: Oh pleeze | September 5, 2007 5:56 PM

The XtremeMac 44KZ.16 bit recorder plug in [exterior sound] is exactly what I asked for, but the ipod doesn't tell me in any self explanatory way how much available capacity I have to record. It automatically uploads all the voice memos. Depending how much is silence you can record from 29 hours to 3 hours on 8GB it seems like after two days of tests. At 30GB/day that would be 200GB per week and 10 terrabytes a year, or about $5,000 per year in stand alone external drives, or $16,000/year for a fiber channel RAID array to enable voice recognition software to search and find every time you said the word, "Bismellahi" that year. Google, Verizon, AT&T? We have face recognition pointing out whose over the ear head camera mounts; xref: "Your dad is not a horse's ass," METRO ad. If the personal lives of CEO's is valid study for stock price performance [plate sound] imagine green peace workers who volunteer to have their lives 100% on the record.

Posted by: RandomSample | September 5, 2007 6:46 PM

Two features I am looking for in an Ipod are an SD Card (will help make it GPS navigator) and Skype on iPod. If these two features come I really don't care for iPhone.

Posted by: AJ | September 5, 2007 6:59 PM

How come Steve Jobs isn't saving the world like all the other CEOs of public corporations in America.

Give me a break.

At least he makes toys rather than cigarettes or soda or SUVs.

Posted by: Sample | September 5, 2007 7:17 PM

Apple dropped the price of the I-Phone by $200.00. Now another drop of $200.00 will make me a buyer!

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2007/09/after-hack-of-i-phone-steve-jobs-hacks.html#links

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | September 5, 2007 8:27 PM

I've been generally pleased with apple products. I've had my video iPod (30gig) for about 2yrs and it's running smoothly. It was replaced with a new one (under warranty) for a faulty battery. I'm no where near filling it (7gigs of music). The new products seem neat but not compelling enough for me to go out and buy. It would take something extraordinary for me to shell out another $400 to upgrade. That's a testament to just how good the video ipod is.

Posted by: Mike | September 5, 2007 9:20 PM

Buy all the fancy cases if you like but I slip my nano into a plastic snack sized baggie. Very low cost case. No scratches on the iPod. 100% functional

Posted by: El | September 5, 2007 11:06 PM

A friend of mine recently returned from vacation and said he didn't even need to bring his laptop on the road. The web interface is elegant and useful, he found wifi hotspots easily and he still had his music and movies handy.

It's not a corporate level phone but Ipod may have created the nearly perfect mobile computer.

Posted by: A.John | September 6, 2007 6:20 AM

I would get an iPhone if it dropped to, say, $150, and I could get Verizon service.

Those are the terms, Steve Jobs. Deal with it.

Posted by: AppleofMyEye | September 6, 2007 2:47 PM

I'm definitely buying the $299 SKU. I've never owned an iPod so this announcement is big news for me.

Posted by: AB | September 7, 2007 11:58 AM

Go here and sign up and pick the ipod that you want. Start to refer people to this site after you have signed up and gotten your address. After a certain number of referrals and offers (free) that you complete a free Ipod will be mailed to you ASAP. This works i have already done it once and working on my next one. Try it for yourself. http://www.YouriPodTouch4free.com/index.php?ref=4103360

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 7:05 PM

Janet -

You do realize that you can reset your iPod, take it to any Apple store for a free diagnosis, and also have Apple or third-party supporters replace the battery. Moreover, even without a working battery, a "battery dead" iPod can be used as a backup hard drive or as a music player plugged into your car or home stereo.

For those who want radio with their iPod, Apple offers a plug-in tuner. Many of the rest of us particularly like to avoid the commercial advertising blitz on radio these days and instead subscribe to podcasts (most of which are free), or listen to audiobooks or our favorite CD's from our collections.

Those who complain about the price of the iPod are forgetting that it is Toshiba that charges a small fortune for its flash memory -- so you won't have a small cheap device with tens of gigabytes of memory without paying a premium for it. Don't blame Apple. Apple happens to be the company that innovated the hardware and software integration, and no other company is even close in comparison.

As for exclusive distribution of the iPhone, that seems to be typical in the cell phone industry. Until there is a law against exclusive hardware-wireless service tie-in deals, then companies will continue to bundle things together in a way that's easiest for them to manage (but not necessarily perfect for every consumer). If you have a problem with bundling, ask yourself why you pay your cable company for all the channels that you never wanted and never watch.

Joe, the iPod is simply the best portable media player on the market, and by far the best supported. It's no wonder millions of people like it even more than a $52k Louis Vuitton purse. To politicize a product based on whether you like the personality of the CEO is just shallow.

Posted by: nico | October 17, 2007 11:58 AM

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