Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a new line of iPods Wednesday and a new $99 Apple TV. He also introduced a new operating system for Apple's mobile devices that will correct issues with iPhone 4 and with older iPhones running slowly when using the new operating system.
The new iPod Touch will add all the popular features on iPhone 4, including the "Retina" display and FaceTime video conferencing. Apple TV will let users rent movies and TV shows and stream content from Netflix and YouTube.
Also a new version of iTunes will be launched with a Facebook-like social intergration app.
A quick rundown of the day.
New iPods Launched
Jobs said the company has sold 275 million iPods in its history.
Every iPod is being redesigned and will be available next week. Pre-orders will be taken today.
The new iPod Touch is now the most popular iPod.
"A lot of people call it an iPhone without the phone," Jobs said.
The new iPod Touch is even thinner than the old version, has the Retina Display and runs the Apple A4 chip, just like the iPhone 4. It has 3-axis Gyro plus a front facing camera with FaceTime over WiFi. A rear camera has also been added with HD video recording.
The new touch will have 40 hours of music playback. It's $229 for 8 gigs, $299 for 32 gigs and $399 for the 64 gig version.
More than 1.5 billion games and entertainment titles have been downloaded to the Touch.
-- The new iPod Shuffle is smaller than last year and has buttons, voiceover and playlists. It's about the size of the palm of your hand. It'll speak through your playlists, Genius mixes and the Voice over will tell you song and artist and even let you know when the battery needs charging. The shuffle is good for 15 hours per charge, Jobs said, and comes in five colors. Price is $49.
The new iPod Nano is 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter and loses its click wheel. It's square shaped instead of rectangular. It uses the same multi-touch as iPhone. It has a clip on it to attach to your clothes. It's got FM radio, the Nike pedometer and 24 hour audio battery life. This comes in six colors. Price is $149 for 8 gigs; $179 for gigs.
NEW ITUNES RELEASED
Jobs said 11.7 billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes, more than 100 million movies, 450 million TV episodes and 35 million books.
Jobs announced iTunes 10, the latest version, Wednesday with a new logo. It launches today.
The interface has changed and Apple has added "Ping" to iTunes, a social network for music. Ping is available on computer, iPhone and iPod Touch.
"It's sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes," Jobs said. "It's a social network all about music and its' built right into iTunes."
Users can follow favorite artists and friends and find out what's popular. Simply click the Ping link in iTunes. A top 10 chart of songs and albums is customized for each user based on what their friends and favorites are downloading.
NEW APPLE TV LAUNCHES
The old Apple TV was $229. The new one is $99. It'll launch in four weeks with pre-ordering starting today.
Introduced in September 2006, Jobs said Apple has not sold a lot of its Apple TV hardware, but the users who use them tell Apple they love them. Jobs said users said they wanted Hollywood movies and TV shows.
"They don't want amateur hour," Jobs said. "And they want everything in HD."
Jobs said consumers don't want a computer attached to the TV or to have to manage storage. "Your hard disc starts to fill up, what are you gonna do?" Jobs said.
The new Apple TV is about 1/4th the size of the current Apple TV. You can hold it in your hand. It's a small black box. It has a power cord, HDMI, and an ethernet cable. WiFi is built-in. It comes with a remote.
Users will rent all their content and not purchase anything. The device will stream content from your computer with no synching required.
First run movies will cost $4.99, on the day and date they are released on DVD. Renting HD TV shows will be 99 cents. These shows will be commercial free. Only ABC and Fox are on board first. Jobs said he expected the other major studios to come on board soon.
Netflix subscribers can stream content on Apple TV, Flickr, mobileme or YouTube.
-- Apple released its new operating system, iOS 4.1 that fixes promixity sensor bugs, bluetooth issues and a problem where the old 3G iPhone slowed down with the new operating system. Users will be able to upload HD video over WiFI, rent TV shows and Apple's Game Center will debut. The new system debuts next week and is a free download via iTunes for iPod Touch and iPhone.
A new feature is High Dynamic Range Photos. Users tap a button and the camera takes three photos in rapid succession. One will be shot in normal exposure plus one that is underdeveloped and one over exposed. It then combines the three to produce an "HDR" photo. The normal and HDR photos are both kept in the camera roll.
GameCenter is used for multi-player games and allows you to challenge friends or auto-match you with players. Gamers can compare scores and see popular games.
-- Jobs offered a sneak peek at iOS 4.2 for iPad that will come out November, as a free update for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. "It's bringing everything to iPad," Jobs said including folders, GameCenter, HDR photos and wireless printing, a much requested app.
A new feature, AirPlay, will also debut. It'll allow users to stream audio, video and photo to other devices. Users with an iPad or iPhone can stream content to Apple TV.
You can watch a movie or look at photos on iPhone or iPad and watch the rest on your flatscreen via Apple TV.
-- Apple has shipped 120 million iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch products in four years, Jobs said. He said Apple is activating about 230,000 new iOS devices every day. That figure doesn't include upgrades.
-- There are 200 apps per second are being downloaded from Apple's App Store, and more than six billion total in its history. There are more than 250,000 apps currently in the store, 25,000 are iPad exclusive.
-- Jobs said Apple Stores draw more than one million visitors several days per month. He said more than half the people buying Mac computers are new users.
Link: Apple set to introduce new hardware Wednesday