Monday, September 10, 2007

iPhone Gets Cheaper, New iPod Looks Like iPhone

Keeping with tradition, Apple announced a slew of new players at the same time that a big, industry show was taking place. I can’t say this is an entirely bad idea on the company’s part: CEDIA EXPO was a great place for many to get a first glance at these new iPods in the flesh. After all, several iPod docks and compatible devices were on display at the show, ready to be taken for a test run. That being said, I wasn’t surprised to see people with the new models in hand already! Wake up, grab a coffee, and shoot over to the store to buy the latest iPod before heading to the show. Yep, that sounds about right.

Probably the most interesting of the new models is the iPod touch, which incorporates many of the features of the popular (and still not available in Canada) iPhone, including its touch-screen design.

Oddly enough, others might disagree: the player I saw most on the CEDIA show floor was the tiny new nano that adds video to the feature set, along with a wider, 2.5-inch screen. I’m not sure why this model seems to have piqued the interest of tech-geeks more so than the other two (the third being the iPod classic, which is essentially a next-generation iPod with the Cover Flow and built-in accelerometer features of the iPhone). Isn't video still considered the least important feature of such players?

Anyway, slightly off topic, I thought it would be funny to look back to July, when I discussed confusion about an alleged nano that would be modeled after the iPhone. It looks like these reports weren’t entirely untrue, but could be a case of broken telephone: there is now a nano with video, and indeed an iPod that's modeled after the iPhone, but they are two separate devices, neither of which have cellular functionality. Put them together, and, well, the reports were still wrong, but you never know...

Speaking of the iPhone, Apple has reduced the price of the 8GB model by $200 to US$399, and will only sell the 4 GB version “while supplies last”. This is good news for those who haven’t invested in one yet; but bad for existing customers who have already forked over the extra $200 bucks. To ease the pain, Apple says it will give any current iPhone customer a US$100 store credit toward the purchase of any product at Apple’s retail or online store. However, this only includes customers who are “not receiving a rebate or any other consideration”. I’m not sure what this means, nor do I know the intricacies of the U.S. cell phone plans. I just hope for their sake that existing customers get something back: it's not right to be punished for being an early-adopter!

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