Having rushed back from the European briefing, got to say the general consensus is that while the new improvements in iTunes look good, and while the iPod nano has been given some great new features, most felt a little underwhelmed.
One thing that did strike many in the place – if Apple can add a video camera and microphone to the iPod nano at such a low cost that it has been able to pretty much maintain existing price points, why on earth did it neglect to introduce this in the iPod touch? Particularly as that product’s WiFi connectivity could make this one amazing video camera.
The new products – the iPod shuffle stainless steel version is actually quite astounding in how it looks. We watched an Apple staffer lovingly polish it to keep its luster up before passing it around. It’s a very attractive little device, though it’s debatable if most users will need that sign of luxury. But those who do will like it (probably a present for your favourite client or best loved father or father in law)…
The new nano’s are sculpted somehow. While very much like the preceeding generation there’s many small details which please the eye. The new metallics are very lustrous, they catch the light in highly interesting ways. And the video – while not HD – is a nice feature. We played with a test unit for a minute or two, before being brushed aside by some big Northern (meaning North of the UK) bloke messing with his camera, who claimed to be a news writer of some kind.
We also note that the radio works effectively, and while we couldn’t test the pedometer, we think there’s enough new features packed into the device that it’s going to attract a lot of interest. It’s possible including a camera in the touch at this point would have blunted the effect of the new nano. There’s probably a camera-equipped touch lurking in the secret corridors at the back of the keynote stage, but if there is Apple’s staying tight-lipped.
Back to the radio, there’s a few features that didn’t get a mention in Jobs’ "One More Thing" moment: You can rewind a radio show up to 15 minutes – you can also tag songs that are playing on the radio, a reminder to you to purchase them next time you drop into iTunes.
The iPod classic has become an extremely attractive beast, ever so slim and packed with capacity.
Conclusion: Nano sales will spike, potentially cannibalising iPod touch sales while customers consider their need for a camera.
Gossip: Next major Apple event’s scheduled for October.
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