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Apple strives to keep its iPod lineup fresh with its latest round of updates

Well, it's that time of the year again. September is usually the month when Apple updates its iPod lineup from top to bottom and the boys from Cupertino didn't disappoint with today's announcement which was delivered by none other than Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs kicked things off today by bragging about the performance of the iTunes App Store and announced iPhone OS 3.1. As DailyTech has reported before, iPhone OS 3.1 adds improved voice control via Bluetooth, better video editing, and faster boot times among other things. The update will be made available today for free to both iPhone and iPod touch owners.

Jobs also announced iTunes 9 which brings a wealth of new features including Home Sharing (allows you to share music, TV shows, movies, audiobook, and apps with up five PCs on a network), Genius Mixes, improved syncing capabilities, a revised iTunes Store appearance, iTunes LP (music, photography, liner notes), and the ability to manage how apps appears on your iPhone or iPod touch directly from the iTunes interface (no more dragging app icons from page to page on your iPhone's touchscreen).

Before revealing the latest generation of iPods, Jobs was more than happy to announce that over 225 million iPods have been sold since its introduction with the iPod touch representing 20 million of that total. Apple is currently sitting at nearly 74% marketshare with its iPod family, while SanDisk is far behind with 7.2%. Microsoft is barely a blip on the screen with just 1.1% marketshare.

Leading up to today's announcement, Apple went on a price slashing spree for its current iPod models as witnessed by the second generation 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB iPod touch models dropping from $229, $299, and $399 respectively to $189, $249, and $279 respectively. The lower pricing makes room for Apple third generation iPod touch lineup.

As expected, the 3G iPod touch lineup comes packing the same processing platform (32GB and 64GB models only) as the recently introduced iPhone 3GS. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Apple wants the iPod touch to have a camera just yet. The new iPod touch models start at $199 for the 8GB model, then ramp up to $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model – there is no longer a 16GB model in the lineup.

“At just $199 the iPod touch is the most affordable gateway to Apple’s revolutionary App Store with more than 75,000 applications that you can wirelessly download right into your iPod touch,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “You get a great iPod, a great pocket computer with the industry’s best mobile web browser and a great game player, all in this super-thin beautiful enclosure.”

The traditional HDD-based iPod Classic got a storage bump to 160GB (from 120GB) and keeps the same $249 price tag.

Apple's iPod nano also got a revamp and is now available in capacities up to 16GB. While the basic design remains unchanged from the previous model, the new iPod nano gains a camera for pictures/video, a microphone, and a speaker for audio playback. And what may be one of the most improbable features added to an iPod (after years of discounting the feature) is the addition of an FM radio tuner on the iPod nano. The 8GB iPod nano is priced at $149 and the 16GB model is priced at $179.

“iPod nano is the world’s most popular music player with over 100 million sold,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “And now we’ve added a video camera to its incredibly thin design, without any additional cost to the user.”

Last year's refresh of the iPod shuffle didn't go over so well with the iPod community. The model's lack of physical controls and featureless design left many puzzled. Apple didn't rectify those issues this time around, but prices are now lower (2GB for $59 and 4GB for $79). The shuffle is also now available in blue, pink, green, silver, and black – there's also a polished steel 4G version for $99.

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No Camera
By Pippy on 9/9/2009 2:32:49 PM , Rating: 3
WTF, just WTF. The entire fucking planet was expecting a camera and mic built in. So much for a VoIP phone... and no 16GB model, just WTF. Sorry Apple's not getting my money.

RE: No Camera
By RjBass on 9/9/2009 2:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have been saying that for a long time now, and finally got a Zune a few months ago. I'm glad i did too as I love the Zune and never use my old iPod anymore. Heck my kids didn't even want the old iPod, so I gave it away to my mother. She used it when running for about a month, and then bought a Zune lol. I have no idea where it is now, nor do I really care.

RE: No Camera
By Tony Swash on 9/9/2009 3:46:05 PM , Rating: 3
I have been saying that for a long time now, and finally got a Zune a few months ago. I'm glad i did too as I love the Zune and never use my old iPod anymore. Heck my kids didn't even want the old iPod, so I gave it away to my mother. She used it when running for about a month, and then bought a Zune lol. I have no idea where it is now, nor do I really care.

I guess that means that your family now represents approximately 10% of total Zune sales.

RE: No Camera
By RjBass on 9/9/2009 9:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
lol, no probably more like 15%.

The only hold out is my sister and her husband who loves their iPod and Mac computers. I have tried to make them listen to reason but they just aren't having it. Can't really say I blame them though, even though my household is a Windows household, I still really like the look and feel of OS X.

RE: No Camera
By MrDiSante on 9/9/2009 2:49:32 PM , Rating: 1
Sorta weird... I mean given all the sabre-rattling that Microsoft's been doing since June and that there have been reputable leaks since March, I thought they would have come up with something better. At least maybe adding a camera into the iTouch so it has a checkbox that the Zune doesn't.

RE: No Camera
By Mitch101 on 9/9/2009 3:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
From what has been floating around there is a very high failure rate on the camera parts. Will be interesting to see if it paper launches. So far the refresh seems lame.

I think I'm going to get a Zune HD my car radio is FM and would be cool to get HD radio just by plugging in the new Zune.

RE: No Camera
By neothe0ne on 9/9/2009 11:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Source(s) on the failure rate of the Nano's camera parts? In any case, I ordered a 16gb earlier today and Apple sent me a tracking number already.

RE: No Camera
By Mitch101 on 9/10/2009 9:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
This isnt the original source I read but just as good.

Just days before Apple is expected to unveil its new line of iPods, multiple reports are suggesting that some of the widely anticipated camera-equipped media players could be delayed due to technical difficulties. [Updated with info from Hardmac.]

RE: No Camera
By jay401 on 9/9/2009 3:48:02 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, shove a crappy camera onto the touch so it can no longer be brought into government facilities or courthouses (think about jury duty, for example), and add zero actual benefit considering the cameraphone in your pocket already has a crappy camera and can do whatever you want a camera on your touch to do. Stupid idea. And thankfully not everyone wanted or expected it, including Apple.

RE: No Camera
By DLeRium on 9/9/2009 4:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Just because the cameras they sell in the US for cameraphones suck balls doesn't mean much ok?

Apple's cameraphones are behind technology. It's good for a 3MP camera but I could've gotten one in 2006 with the SE K790/K800.

But big deal. Over 2 years ago we had flagship 5MP phones like the N95. Those pictures are amazing.

Today's 8MP N86 and C905 or the 12MP Pixon 12 are really even more amazing. So maybe if they shoved a decent camera in the iPod touch it's not a bad idea.

The reason Apple didn't do it is for other reasons, but who cares? Cameras are cheap and for them to integrate it is no biggie.

RE: No Camera
By afkrotch on 9/10/2009 1:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
Good god, you thought those cameras in those phones were good? Guess you never owned a good or decent camera then.

RE: No Camera
By Aloonatic on 9/9/2009 4:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
Have you guys seen all the "augmented reality" stuff on TV? It does seem pretty handy.

When you link a camera, with GPS & Compass with the addition of 3G internet there are some pretty useful applications to be had.

RE: No Camera
By PrinceGaz on 9/10/2009 3:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
Augmented Reality is all very well, but if you added a camera, GPS & compass, plus critically the 3G internet capability to the iPod touch, you've just turned it into the iPhone :p

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