Apple’s Special Event “It’s Showtime” didn’t leave many surprises. The biggest disappoint, when compared to expectations, is the iPod.
It’s business as usual with what’s missing at Apple. The next great thing.
iPods are no longer in the Insanely Great category of toys and gadgets. iPods are mainstream.
Apple’s introduction of a whole new line of iPods, from top to bottom, smacks of pulling evolutionary products off the shelf, rather than innovating new devices.
Did I say, “whole new line of iPods?”
I’m sorry. What I really meant to say was, “A whole new mixed bag of old and older and variations on the same theme line of iPods.”
That’s what I meant to say. Seriously. iPods are the biggest disappointment of the whole Steve Jobs and Bob Iger Movie Show.
Even the near totally total lack of movie selection will play out over time, keep visitors coming back to the newly christened iTunes Store for more.
iPods? Puhleeeze. Where’s the beef?
All Apple’s done is take the current load of stale, last year iPod technology, and marry it with even older technology from the iPod mini days. Colors.
Yes, the great new innovation is color in the iPod nano.
Sure, we get greater battery capacity and longer play life, brighter color video screens, and new tweaks to iTunes.
Kate: “Hey, Steve. What’s insanely great on this year’s iPods?”
Steve: “Hey, Kate. You’ll love our new colored iPods. There’s the basic black, then we added silver, and for you women folks, there’s pink and blue, and I think green. I forget.”
Kate: “What about white?”
Steve: “White? Uh, well, that’s in the iPod with video. But white and black are the same price in the iPod.”
Kate: “Yeah, that’s innovation. Totally unlike the $150 extra you pay for a MacBook, huh, Steve?”
Steve: “You forgot about all the innovation we put into extra memory capacity for each iPod.”
I don’t think I’ll get invited to the next big Apple Special Event. After all, they quit running Macworld Expo in New York because of some comment I made to Steve about girly girly iBooks and fruity iMacs.
The big emphasis on the new line of iPods is color. The price range is virtually unchanged, though there’s more memory, more song capacity, for each model.
For example, there’s the sawed off iPod shuffle. Sawed off? Yes, it looks like a silver iPod nano was cut in half. The middle half. Then attached to a pair of ear buds. $79 gets you a generous 1 gigabyte of iPod shuffle.
At least the shuffle looks like an iPod now.
The important, though subtle changes, are in the iPod nano and iPod with video (I just need a better way to distinguish the two).
The iPod nano comes with a base price of $149 and that gets you 2 gigabytes of storage and limited color selection. The more expensive 4 gigabyte model gets you more colors.
The top of the line iPod nano is $249 and you can select from all the colors. Whoopdedoo!
My favorite iPod, but not on my shopping list this year, is the bigger, full-featured, full-sized, fully tricked out iPod. With video.
Besides a brighter screen and longer batter life, you can now jam 20,000 songs on to the 80 gigabyte model. Still at $349, sans the mandatory purchase of $250 in iPod-approved accessories.
Paying homage to aging rock stars, there’s still a U2 model for $279, but only in black. I’m sure it’s the exact same tint of black as Steve’s mock turtleneck t-shirts.
Oh, one thing I really like is automatic gapless playback. No more waiting for a song to come up to speed, so to speak, and listening to hissy nothingness in the meantime.
That’s innovation that belongs in the “up to 20 hours of battery life” category.
What’s missing, Kate? Why the generous doses of disappointment?
Where’s my freakin’ touch screen? How hard can that be? It’s technology that goes back to the 60s, fer cryin’ out loud. Well, maybe the 80s, or 70s. But touch screens aren’t new.
Star Trek’s had touch screens since about 500 years from now.
More than likely, the technology isn’t quite ready for prime time, and Apple has a stock price to manage, and an interim flurry of evolutionary products will make everyone feel good until the next fix of Reality Distortion Field is needed.
In looking at the Apple Store home page in OmniWeb, I can’t help but be impressed, despite my vinegar aftertaste regarding iPods.
Nearly everything has been updated since January. iMacs, Mac mini, MacPro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro have all gone Intel.
The entire line of iPods—shuffle, iPod, nano, iPod, uh, um, with video—all updated.
Call me crazy but Apple’s taking crazy cues from Intel and introducing a roadmap of products before they ship.
Think about it. Steve Jobs showed off a new hardware gizmo, tentatively called iTV, which is a wireless hub to distribute your media to your TV and entertainment system.
That’s a full six months before we see it in the Apple Store. $299 is a bit pricey, but that’s what people said about the original iPod.
What’ll it take to do a full living room media center? Well, a $99 TiVo. Or… here’s the list.
A Mac mini for $599, an iTV for $299, then add all the other necessities: display, keyboard, mouse, El Gato’s EyeTV for another $250, and…
Wait a minute. I was disappointed in the iPods? How about a bigger shopping cart, and an advance on my allowance?