Steve Jobs Unveils Reworked iPod Line, Apple TV Service
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new line of iPods and a reworked, cheaper version of Apple TV on Wednesday. The
entertainment-themed event, held in San Francisco, California didn't unveil any surprises, as industry insiders had
been expecting the announcement for weeks. But the moves are significant, with the holiday shopping season approaching, and signify renewed efforts from the company to make an impact in the emerging internet television market.
Apple TV was originally introduced back in 2007, but has failed to make a noticeable impact on the market. The price
tag, originally $299, has been cut to $99, and new features will be introduced such as 99-cent TV show rentals. Jobs remarked that the internet TV world is basically untapped as yet, and the move puts the company in competition with Roku and Tivo Premiere, and will give Apple a jump on Google's internet TV service, which will debut this fall.
So far, ABC and Fox are the only networks signed on for Apple's planned 99-cent TV show rental plan, which is a significant price cut from their current service which allows viewers to buy shows for $2.99. Apple TV also features Netflix integration, allowing viewers to instantly stream movies from the movie rental website. The device has been reduced in size by about 75 percent from the old Apple TV box. The device can be pre-ordered now, and will be available in about four weeks.
Jobs also discussed the company's plans to completely rework their iPod line, after making just a few slight changes to the line
last year. "It's the biggest change in the iPod lineup ever," said Jobs. The biggest change described by Jobs is with the iPod
Touch, which is the company's most popular. The new Touch will have a thinner design, with the same HD retina display as the iPhone 4, a front-facing camera that enables FaceTime video calls, and a rear-mounted HD video camera. The 8-gigabyte version of the iPod Touch will be available for $229, while a 32 gig version will retail for $299, and a 64 gig model will sell for $399.
In addition, Jobs introduced a new, smaller version of the iPod Shuffle, which will retail for $49 and hold up to fifteen hours of music. The new iPod Nano will feature an iPhone-like touchscreen system, as opposed to the click wheel found on previous models. The Nano has also undergone size reductions, making it 45 percent smaller and more than 40 percent lighter than older Nanos. The Nano will be available in an 8 gig model for $149 and a 16 gig version for $179. Jobs didn't mention any changes to the iPod Classic, which continues to feature more storage space than any other model. All the new iPod models are available to pre-order now, and will begin shipping next week.
Jobs said that 275 million iPods have been sold since Apple first introduced the product in 2001.
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