At a press event today Steve Jobs revealed Apple’s latest iterations of its iPod music players. The biggest reveal was the iPod Touch — basically an iPhone without the phone. It comes in two varieties: 8 GB for $299 and 16 GB for $399. Since this iPod Touch has WiFi support, you can now preview and buy songs from the iPod — this WiFi Music Store functionality is coming to the iPhone as well. The iPod Touch features many other programs that the iPhone already has — Safari browser, YouTube browsing, a calculator, a calendar and the like. The iPod Touch will be released by the end of the month.
Other products updates were revealed, as well. The 8 GB iPhone dropped $200 in price to $399, with the 4GB model being discontinued. The current iPod is now the iPod Classic, besides a model similar to the existing iPod with 80 GB and a price of $249, there is now a 160 GB model with a 40-hour battery life selling for $349. Jobs also revealed the new iPod Nano, with a 2-inch screen that can play video, and a more square shape than the current Nano. There are two varieties there as well: 4 GB for $149 and 8 GB for $199. He announced new iPod Shuffle colors, too, including a PRODUCT(RED) version. These will all be available for purchase this weekend.
The press event started with Steve Jobs listing the company’s latest milestones: 600 million copies of iTunes released. iTunes has sold 3 billion songs, making it the number 3 music retailer in the US. Apple has sold over 95 million television shows. iTunes also has over 125,000 podcasts, with 25,000 being video. This segued into announcing a new iTunes with support for buying ringtones at $.99 each and a selection of 500,000, or for creating your own ringtones. Jobs also stated that his company has sold 110 million iPods to date.
Personally, I believe the iPod Touch was the wrong way for Apple to go. The difference in capacity with the iPod Classic is significant and many consumers may not feel the addition of WiFi and browsing capabilities makes up for it. But the real damage is that the iPod Touch seems redundant when compared to the newly priced iPhone — especially considering all the iPhone capabilities that the iPod Touch is missing.