Ok so the event has come and gone today. Before I get into my thoughts on the announcements, it’s important to note that Steve Jobs was back up on stage and it’s good to see him there again. It was shocking to hear that after all the times he brushed off worries about his health, he ended up needing a liver transplant anyway. Regardless, he’s back now and Apple should consider themselves lucky. They would not be the same company without him.
That said, the show itself was kind of a let down. Don’t get me wrong, lower prices are good and the camera and radio for iPod nano definitely helps give people reason to be excited about that device again. To me it seems a bit like a smart business move to omit the camera and radio from the touch just to give the nano a boost. That may not be the case, but the lack of a touch camera was definitely a disappointment.
However, the most disappointing thing has to be the new iPod touch lineup. Obviously it’s hard to complain about the two higher end versions getting speed increases and double storage for the same prices, but the lowest end 8gb seems mostly unchanged. From what I’ve heard so far, it appears that the 8gb model is lacking the 3GS style speed increase of the other models, and while a price cut, albeit a small one in the UK (if at all, I can’t remember the old price) is good, it seems weird that they didn’t at least double the storage to 16gb.
So when you combine that with the lack of a camera it was a bit of a let down announcement in my eyes.
Moving on, as they do each year now, they increased the storage the iPod classic. I honestly don’t see why anyone should buy a classic over a touch at this point. Who really needs everything they own on a device all the time? Plus you have to deal with crappy battery life sucking hard drives. For those people, they get 40 extra gb.
The shuffle got new colours and a special edition stainless steel version. Nothing much to write home about but still.
They also updated iTunes with a nice new store and extra features that come with music albums and movies. This is cool but also nothing ground breaking here.
Overall, this show was more about functional changes rather than things that would blow people away. The iPod touch confusion is something that they should have avoided and just left all three models on a level playing field, with capacity being the only different aspect. I hope they sort this out soon.
Of course people were speculating wildly about all kinds of things, from the extremely unlikely Apple Tablet to seemingly pretty likely Beatles on iTunes. An announcement as big as a tablet would wait until MacWorld probably while the Beatles catalog on iTunes I’m a little surprised they didn’t mention at all considering all the band’s music got re-released today along with the Beatles: Rock Band game.
It would have also been great to see Apples computers lowered in price, or the company introducing a budget line of laptops, but it was never likely, and seeing as this was a show for music, even less so. Perhaps we’ll hear more on Apple Netbooks or Tablets in the near future.