At Apple’s invitation-only “It’s Showtime!” conference on Tuesday in San Francisco, the company unveiled numerous new product enhancements, including new iPods, a new iTunes and a sneak peek at a major new home networking initiative to be launched early next year.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs began by introducing updates to the iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. The new video-compatible iPod has a 60 percent brighter screen, comes in 30GB and 80GB models which can last for 3.5 hours and 6.5 hours respectively (an improvement over the 2 hour limit of the previous generation). The new iPod also features gapless playback and performs live searches via the click-wheel interface. That interface can also be used to help you play games such as Bejeweled, Mahjong, mini-golf, Pac-Man, Tetris, Cubis, Texas Hold ‘Em, Vortex and Zuma -- all newly available for the iPod and all downloadable from the iTunes Store for $4.99 each. The 30GB model sells for $249 and the 80GB model retails at $349, less than the $499 price point for the 60GB video iPod.
The iPod nano and shuffle have received updates as well, both now constructed of scratch-resistant aluminum instead of scratch-friendly plastic. Depending upon the model you pick, the nano will now be available in a variety of colors and can play up to 24 hours before recharging. The 2GB, 4GB and 8GB nanos carry an MSRP of $149, $199 and $249, respectively. The new shuffle is hardly larger than an Apple Remote, and comes with a built-in clip, presumably so you won’t swallow it, all for $79.
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