Apple “Let’s Rock” Event Delivers No Surprises

Sep 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, iPhone, iPods & Portable Media Players

Apple’s Let’s Rock event today offered anticipated updates to the iTunes and Apple’s iPod lines, but failed to do two things that many were hoping for: eliminate concerns over Steve Jobs’ health and offer “one more thing” – an unexpected introduction with some “wow”. 

Jobs noted wryly that “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” but he looked gaunt.

Here are the highlights of today’s introductions:

  • 4th generation iPod nano - The new iPod nano incorporates Apple’s “Genius” technology, which automatically creates playlists from songs in your music library. 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 immediately 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.
  • 2nd generation iPod touch – The second generation iPod touch features a thin contoured metal design, a 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, integrated volume control buttons, a built-in speaker for casual listening, a built-in accelerometer and other advanced sensors, and Apple’s Multi-Touch user interface. iPod touch is now available for $229 for the 8GB model. The new iPod touch is smaller and lighter than the original.
  • iTunes 8 - iTunes 8 includes a new “Genius” feature, which lets you automatically create playlists from songs in your music library with just one click. iTunes 8 also intros new ways of viewing your music and video libraries.

Jobs announced that the App Store had topped 100 millions downloads.

“Because I already had a full-time job I used the iPhone SDK to create Trisim in my spare time and in my wildest dreams I never expected this kind of result,” said Steve Demeter, founder of Demiforce. “Selling over 27,000 downloads in the first three weeks means I now have a significant new income stream and some exciting career choices that I didn’t have a couple of months ago.”

Numbers like these, and stories like Demeter’s, make the App Store Apple’s most significant release of 2008. 

Jobs also announced that NBC had come back to the iTunes Store. This announcement is probably the most interesting – it suggests that Apple’s digital video store is already the only major player in the game. 

While Apple didn’t deliver any big surprises today, they delivered their best lineup of iPod ever and solidified their lead over Microsoft’s Zune and other competitors. It should lead to a great holiday shopping season for Apple.

Update: BusinessWeek echoes our take on the introductions, saying “The new iPods feature cosmetic changes and lower prices, but Steve Jobs didn’t announce any game-changing innovations many have come to expect.”

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