Apple Fails To Inspire With iPod Refreshes – Focus Remains On Jobs Health
Apple’s Let’s Rock! media event yesterday was a disappointment in terms of new product announcements, and instead focused attention on the frail state of CEO Steve Jobs, who appeared emaciated.
At the keynote, Jobs introduced the new fourth generation iPod nano, which was no surprise to anyone who follows the Apple rumor mill, since pictures of the unit and third party cases were leaked on the Internet during the last couple of months. The 4th Gen nano is the thinnest iPod ever and features a skyscraper design with a curved aluminum and glass enclosure, in nine colors.
The new iPod nano incorporates Apple’s new Genius technology, which automatically creates playlists from songs in your music library that they figure go great together, with just one click. The new iPod nano also features a refined user interface, a high resolution portrait display and a built-in accelerometer which automatically switches to Cover Flow when rotated and automatically goes into Shuffle mode when lightly shaken. The new iPod nano gives users up to 24 hours of music playback or four hours of video playback and is available now in an 8GB model for just $149 and a 16GB model for just $199. Both models come in silver, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, pink, (PRODUCT) RED and black.
Jobs also premiered the second generation iPod touch featuring a new, thin contoured metal case, incorporated Nike + iPod support, integrated volume control buttons, and a built-in speaker, along with the same 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, built-in accelerometer, and the Multi-Touch user interface. Although the iPod touch is has a more sleek silhouette, it failed to evoke serious technolust. The iPod touch comes in three storage options: 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399.
Jobs finally announced that Apple has upgraded iTunes to version 8. iTunes 8 includes the new Genius feature, which helps music fans rediscover favorite songs in their existing music library and suggests related music on the iTunes Store they might want to add to their music collection. iTunes 8 features new ways of viewing your music and video libraries, and adds television programs in high definition for sale on the iTunes Store.
Since the new product announcements didn’t inspire; no subnotebook, no tablet, no new product to provide Holiday spirit, the media focused on the state of Steve Jobs’ health. Still appearing fragile, Jobs did not put back any of the weight that Apple claimed he lost from the mild cold he suffered just prior to the last keynote. Jobs joked about the recent Bloomberg obit that mistakenly appeared last month with the cheeky slide you see above, but that didn’t put the skids on the continued speculation.
The Future: A disappointing “Dog ‘n’ Pony” show for sure, and the street reacted with a mild Apple sell off. Why Apple can’t debut a new subnotebook, or a multi-touch tablet computer for the Apple faithful who demand it, is beyond many…