Apple refreshes iPod line, cuts touch model prices
New 'Genius' feature makes iTunes recommendations; iPhone 2.1 update unveiled
Computerworld - As anticipated, Apple Inc. today revamped its iPod music players and launched a new version of iTunes that includes a new community-based music recommendation feature. The company also promised to issue an iPhone update to solve the dropped call problems that have plagued users since July.
"There were no surprises today," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. "Everything was nicely done. Anyway, having a surprise every three months is not a great business model," he said, referring to Apple's habit of sneaking in something unexpected during many of its product launches.
Both the iPod Nano and iPod Touch lines have been redesigned, said CEO Steve Jobs, who opened the presentation and held the stage for much of the hour. Prices of the iPod Touch have also been reduced.
The new iPod Nano 8GB, which costs $149, goes on sale immediately, but it won't be in stock for a few days, while the 16GB model, priced at $199, should be available no later than this weekend or early next week, said Jobs.
Last year's iPod Nano was priced at $149 for the 4GB model and $199 for the 8GB device.
Apple has also refreshed the iPod Touch, which is now thinner and sports a speaker on the side. Memory configurations have not changed -- Apple will still sell 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models -- but prices have been cut to closer match those of the iPhone 3G.
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