Even when there’s no surprise to the surprise, Apple’s Steve Jobs manages to pull out a few surprises.
New toys from Apple. What a surprise. To almost no one’s surprise Apple sells movies online.
CEO Steve Jobs and his buddy from Disney, Bob Iger, introduced movie downloads from the iTunes Movie Store.
Regular movies will be priced from $9.99, new movie titles from $12.99 with a pre-order, $14.99 later.
There wasn’t even a surprise in the list of movie studios willing to provide movies to Apple’s new movie venture.
Disney. Yes, Touchstone, Miramax, Pixar, too—but they’re all owned by Disney. It’s Steve and Bob. Apple and Disney.
Movie quality is called “near DVD” so it should be considered acceptable, though certainly not innovative with some cool new, proprietary compression scheme.
Apple didn’t surprise anyone with announcements of new iPods, either.
There’s a new shuffle, new iPod nano, new iPod with video and the price points range from $79 for the shuffle to $349 for an 80 gigabyte iPod.
Video screens are brighter, battery power lasts longer, even on movies, and there’s colors all over the place. Black, white, silver, and in between.
Did I mention games? This little rumor’s been floating around awhile but never gathered steam. iPods from 5G on will play games.
Where do you get these games? From the new iTunes Music Store for a mere $4.99 each. This won’t be competition for PSP or Xbox, but it’s nice to have.
I know how to play Tetris. What else is there?
iTunes reaches version 7 and handles all the media department stores better than before. It’s easier to find and work with music, movies, TV shows, music videos, podcasts, and the like.
I’ll do a full review on iTunes 7 after the download.
So, movies, games, new iPods, new iTunes. What’s left?
Did I forget to mention Apple’s new wireless TV box? For now, it’s called iTV and looks like a Mac mini cut in half. Think thinner different.
iTV should fit nicely atop or below a Mac mini, but comes with all kinds of things the mini does not.
It’s wireless, naturally, has USB, Ethernet, and optical audio. There’s also an advanced HDMI port which handles the new plasma and LCD TVs.
The whole idea here is to send your TV shows and movies and music videos to iTV, and iTV plays it all on TV. Control is handled by Apple’s remote control and a new version of Front Row.
Oh, one more “One more thing…” Apple won’t deliver the iTV box until next year; Q1 2007. I’m betting we see more demonstrations at Macworld in January.
New products deserve new price tags. Besides the movies ranging from $9.99 to $14.99, the iPods remain competitively priced but have more memory and can play more songs.
I love an aluminum iPod nano. Slick chic.
The games are $4.99 but the whopper is the iTV at $299. It does about what the Airport Express does for costs over twice as much and looks great on a Mac mini.
Apple’s found a way to get into our living room, our car, our pocket, onto Windows PCs, run Windows PCs, and now our TVs.
Now, if I could just find a way to get Apple to help me pay for all of Steve’s new toys.