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Apple Unveils Underwhelming New iPods

Gordon Kelly


Apple Unveils Underwhelming New iPods

iPods. Love or hate them Apple claims market share in the US is currently a whopping 73 per cent with 20m units shipped of the iPod touch (iPhone sales are at 30m) - scary. Will it stay the same after a distinctly underwhelming series of announcements?

Despite all the marketing spiel what we got was a larger, faster iPod touch, larger iPod Classic, a basic video camera strapped to the iPod nano and some new iPod shuffle colours with a smaller capacity option! Consider us bored.

So let's break this lot down. The iPod touch isn't getting a camera, unless that is to avoid cannibalising iPhone sales this is an utterly ridiculous decision for a platform with such rich social networking applications. What is welcome are price cuts with the 8GB entry level model now priced at a wallet friendly $199, then a nice jump to 32GB and new 64GB models at $299 and $399 respectively. Inside we also get the newer A8-Cortex chipset with OpenGL ES support (but no GPS or digital compass) so general operation is inline with the iPhone 3GS.

The iPod Classic has a stay of execution with the capacity bumped to 160GB for the same $249 RRP (we're still waiting on all UK pricing). With such an incremental change don't expect to see the Classic survive next time around. It looks the same too, so Apple didn't even bring one out for us to play with.

Surprisingly then the iPod nano gets the day's most significant changes with a marginally larger 2.2in screen and the addition of a 30fps VGA video camera. There is no still capture, but it does keep the nano relatively interesting when $149 (8GB) and $179 (16GB) prices place it dangerously close to the $199 8GB iPod touch. On top of the video camera we finally get an integrated FM tuner plus mic and a pedometer which can sync with Nike+.

Lastly we have the iPod shuffle and this really was dull. We get a new size, but not the long awaited 8GB edition. Instead the ($79) 4GB shuffle will be augmented by a $59 2GB model and a ‘special edition' with stainless steel finish (it's a finger print magnet) for $99. If this doesn't make the iPod shuffle the most ridiculous and overpriced MP3 player on the market, I don't know what does. We'll take a $70 8GB SanDisk Sansa Clip+ any day.

All in all a great disappointment and as I theorised this morning, the Palm Pixi has indeed turned out to be the most interesting announcement of the day...


iPod & iTunes Homepage


September 10, 2009, 12:45 am

It's worth noting that the 8GB Ipod Touch may be the original with no new '3GS' insides, the new cpu may only apply to the 32 and 64GB versions. Just look at the descriptions of each at the Apple store to see what I mean: http://store.apple.com/uk/brow...

I think the reason for a lack of camera on the Ipod Touch is simple: if the Ipod Touch had the camera/mic/radio that has been added to the new(ish) Nano, just what would be the point of the Nano?

The 8GB Ipod Touch (£149) would only be £34 more expensive than the 8GB Nano (£115), and would then offer everything the Nano offers and a rgeat deal more.

Thus, far from canabalising the iphone market, it would seem that Apple might have been worried that giving the 8GB touch a camera would seeriously effect the amount of Nano's that they would sell.


September 10, 2009, 12:51 am

When you said "larger iPod" i honestly thought you meant as in literall size - can't you put larger capacity :D

it confuzzled my brain :)


September 10, 2009, 1:01 am

The 4G nano last year was as close to perfection as you can get, so I don't think the update is that bad really.


September 10, 2009, 1:06 am

Surely you were excited by the new shiny shuffle?


September 10, 2009, 1:10 am

If Apple could "prodictise" hype, they'd sell it by the shipload .. iHype! Coming soon to a store near you .. along with a promise of all sorts of goodies, but delivering nothing.

aurora atl

September 10, 2009, 1:47 am

"Revolutionary Tablet", "Massive changes to iPod line", "New product released after years of top secret underground development". But what does apple announce? This.


September 10, 2009, 1:51 am

"iPod nano gets a camera, everything else is snooze worthy."

The Nano is snooze worthy. Who buys a DAP for the camera especially one which has a spec worse than most camera phones? But I am sure Apple fanboys will spin this to something positive.


September 10, 2009, 2:02 am

New favourite word : 'confuzzled'

(Honourable mention still goes to 'unibody' and of course 'gunishment')


September 10, 2009, 2:15 am

re: gav66 ... except that apple don't generate the hype, they leave that to the rumour sites, the tech sites and guy behind the bar at the Queens Head, all Apple have to do is stay silent, brilliant.


September 10, 2009, 2:33 am

just noticed the "new" itouches (rebel!!1!!1!) ship with microphones built into the headphones now.

a year too late, i'd had the shazam aplication doing bugger all without a mic in the past...


September 10, 2009, 4:05 am

The FM radio is the only noteworthy upgrade of the day, because you can pause and rewind radio -- neat! Overall, extremely underwhelming refresh.

"The 8GB Ipod Touch (£149) would only be £34 more expensive than the 8GB Nano (£115), and would then offer everything the Nano offers and a rgeat deal more."

Along with a significantly larger size and no clickwheel... And I'd be a lot more worried about dropping it, too.


September 10, 2009, 4:58 am

"Along with a significantly larger size and no clickwheel... And I'd be a lot more worried about dropping it, too."

I totally agree, those are 2 very obvious downsides to the Touch/Nano buying decision, but that was not my point.

Even as it is, anyone looking at getting a Nano will almost certainly consider getting a Touch, Apple would be shooting themselves in the foot by bringing EVERY feature the Nano has (especially brand new features), over to the Touch at the same time... if they did that then the Nano and the Touch would be (even more so) directly compared.

Personally, I just think that the Nano needs to be significantly cheaper, more like £79/£89.


September 10, 2009, 5:04 am

so do the new touches have the powervr gpu or just the new 600mhz cpu,if not an upgrade from 533 mhz ...so what.


September 10, 2009, 5:21 am

@betelgeus - Apple isn't giving anything away from comparing the 3rd gen touch with my iPhone 3GS the two operated at an identical pace, so it looks highly likely they are using the same core chipset.


September 10, 2009, 5:36 am

@Gordon- Is that all 3 versions, or just the 32/64 GB ones?


September 10, 2009, 6:17 am

@Richard Apple only had the 64GB edition available for me to test first hand, but we were told it would apply to the entire line.


September 10, 2009, 12:28 pm

@Richard - hit the nail on the head. Too expensive.


September 10, 2009, 1:27 pm

So, everyone has a computer of some sort, everyone has a phone that is capable of more than the basics, some have a dedicated camera, some have a dedicated music player, portable games console/device..

What SHOULD the next big thing be then? I know people are underwhelmed by this announcement, but what do you want next?


September 10, 2009, 1:29 pm


Oh, what? So you mean that Apple is a business, which exists to maximise profit from by timing the release of products onto the market in such a way as to guarantee the most current sales without compromising future sales? You mean that Apple doesn't exist to act merely as a conduit, speeding products and tech from the research lab to the market in the shortest time possible, in order to satisfy tech website fans?

Wow - such revelations!

To win a race you only need to beat the next guy. It doesn't matter whether its by one step or one mile. Seriously though, I am continuously amazed that people still don't realise that technological progress is generally driven by market forces, and not by intellectual curiousity.


September 10, 2009, 1:41 pm

@Richard: even if the iPod Touch did have all the new features of the Nano, the Nano's smaller size would certainly appeal to me for going to the gym or jogging. An iPod Touch, iPhone or any other smartphone is just too large to be worn comfortably. Admittedly I'm not sure what I'd need a camera on a Nano for, but I guess there may be some interesting video opportunities at the gym?


September 10, 2009, 2:54 pm

ipod touch usually gets an october update,but even if it does get a camera hardly inspiring,people are saying the show only helps the zune hd,i think the lack of a tablet will help archos 9's if they do a decent job thats what ill get next if the crunchpad dosent show up.

and probably a bl40.

dont care about beatles i can buy a cd for 99p and rip it to itunes.


September 10, 2009, 3:15 pm

Steve Jobs says iPod touch didn't get a camera because "it's a great game machine"

this statement makes it even stranger considering the dsi and the fact assassins creed 2 lets you use your own photos ingame,think they missed the point.


September 10, 2009, 4:10 pm

While I continue to be underwhelmed by the iPod range, even as a hardened Apple-skeptic I must give them credit for keeping the Classic and increasing the capacity. Judging by the market, it seems that what the rest of the world wants from a music player is a tiny device with a rubbish camera, a miniscule screen to strain your eyes watching movies on, and WiFi because apparently every device than runs on electricity must also have internet). But personally I just want a good music player which holds as much of my collection as possible. So, despite the fact that I still think both the earphones and iTunes are next to useless, I'm glad to see Apple still producing the Classic and it will be a shame to see it discontinued.


September 11, 2009, 10:03 pm

I'd buy an iPod touch if it had an internal GPS


September 11, 2009, 11:26 pm

@ilovethemonkeyhead: yeah but they're still apple headphones so you'll have to carry 2 pairs arround for it to be useful.

I want to know why they've got rid of the 16Gb touch would have been really good at the £179 price new insides of course

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