Now that I have woken up from the sleep that Apple put me in, I figure I should comment on the very underwhelming event where Apple launched a couple of new iPods, changes some prices and launched iTunes 9.
Lets start off with the big news, Steve Jobs is back! It is great to see that Jobs is back and acknowledging his liver transplant which apparently came from an organ donor that was killed in a car accident. That said, either his shirt is really large or his is skin and bones with saggy man boobs which you can see in the picture below from gdgt. I would say he really needs to gain some weight. Less vegan food and a few more Big Macs would do him good. Anyway, he gave us some impressive numbers about 30 million iPhones being sold, 20 million iPod touches, and 1.8 billion apps have been downloaded.
On to iTunes! It seems Apple is jumping on the ringtone movement that died out long ago by selling over 30,000 ringtones for $1.29. Nice job at keeping up with current trends Apple! Next time, I recommend jumping on the bandwagon before the wagon has been abandoned in a field with only one wheel left. That said, I do like the look of the new iTunes as it has more of a Zune Marketplace kind of feel in some areas. The ability to manage apps directly from iTunes looks to be a great feature as well as bringing the Genius technology used to bring you the music you like to apps to help you find apps you might like. Finally, the iTunes LP stuff looks pretty impressive, especially if you are a music fan who likes pictures. Now onto the iPod news!
The first part of the iPod news talking about how it is a great gaming platform and such was real snooze of the show. While I do enjoy a couple of the games on my iPod Touch, they are trying to make it sounds far superior in nearly every way to the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. IT IS NOT! I will admit it has potential as a gaming device, but a touch screen will never beat the controls you will find on any handheld gaming device going all the way back to the Gameboy. Actually, I feel like ranting on this more, so that will be the focus of my next post, but I will let it go for now so we can focus on other iPod related news. Apparently Apple thinks that at the low price of $200, people will want to get an 8GB iPod Touch. 8GB Isn’t enough to take most people’s music collections, rather less video and apps. This was done purely to undercut the Zune HD who’s 16GB version (the smallest size) is $220. Personally, I would prefer the far better audio experience and double the size for the extra $20. Apple can play the price war all it wants, but value speaks volumes. Speaking of the iPod Touch, the new 64GB version sounds nice but it needs more features, like maybe the camera everybody was expecting which came in the iPod Nano.
Before I talk about the Nano, the iPod classic has been upped to 160GB which I think is a bit too big. Not too big for a large music collection but who really needs to carry around 400,000 songs with them? I would call that overkill. Anyway, back to the Nano. It seems the Nano is getting the rumored camera that everybody figured the iPod Touch would get too. They didn’t say much about the camera other than it could do video and had a mic. I would say its certainly a good update and a good play against the Flip camcorder but I wanted to see it on the iPod Touch as well since it is far more capable than the nano and would have some real uses for it. Oh, and both the nano and the shuffle have a bunch of new colors for those that care about about fashion. I have always found the many colors idea of gadgets kind of pointless but I guess I am not the average person. I am a proud owner of a poop brown Zune, so clearly I have no fashion taste. The only other noteworthy thing in relation to the Nano is the fact that it is getting an FM radio. For my opinion on that, scroll back up to the bandwagon comment since the Zune had this from day one as well as a good number of other portable media devices. If they really wanted to impress me, they would put in an AM radio.
That was pretty much the event. No Beatles, no camera in the iPod Touch, no Rolling Stones and no Mac tablet. The event was pretty much a big snooze and I am amazed that the stock didn’t drop more than a whole 1% considering it usually plunges on even good release events like this. There is one image that they showed that I think speaks volumes about the idea of an Apple netbook. They talked about how the iPod Touch/iPhone are basically portable computers and showed an image (seen below) of some body trying to shove a Dell netbook into their back pocket. I think this is a good indication that a netbook isn’t coming and that the closest thing you are going to get to one is and iPod Touch.
What did you think of the event? Exciting? Boring? Did Steve Jobs look healthy to you? Share your thoughts in the comments!