The Apple announcement has come and gone and it went pretty much the way I expected. We saw a new iPhone (called the iPhone 5 and not, thankfully, the “new iPhone”). We also got to see redesigned iPod Nano and iPod Touch devices. A new pair of earbud headphones called EarPods rounded out the new hardware. Updates to iOS and iTunes rounded out the announcement. But despite the hype, I think the biggest conversations will be around pricing and the lack of a smaller iPad.
The new models sport some impressive features. They’ll use a new connector, abandoning the 30-pin cables of the old iPhone and iPod lines. The iPhone 5 has a faster processor, a larger four-inch screen and is both thinner and lighter than all previous models. The iPod Nano, which has already been redesigned several times, now looks like a miniature iPhone and boasts a multi-touch user interface and integrated pedometer. The new iPod Touch also has a larger screen and will support Apple’s voice-activation software called Siri right out of the gate.
The iPhone 5 is available for preorder starting on September 14th and will ship on the 21st. The iPod devices will be available “for the holidays.” The new version of iOS 6 will come out on September 19 and an extensively revamped iTunes will come out in late October.
There was no hint of a seven-inch iPad, something that’s been rumored to be in the works at Apple for several months now. And, based on the pricing of the new iPod Touch devices, I’d be surprised to see the company launch anything in that space this year. The new iPod Touch comes in two models. The 32-gigabyte version will cost $299. The 64-gigabyte model is $399. The base models for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet and Google’s Nexus 7 tablet cost $199. That tells me any seven-inch iPad from Apple would cost well above the competing tablets on the market. I don’t think there’s any point for Apple to wade into that fight.
Most of what we heard today had been leaked in earlier reports with no huge surprises. What’s your reaction to Apple’s announcement? I think the new designs are nice — it seems like this year’s event was more impressive than last year’s iPhone 4S event. But I also think people expect so much from Apple these days that it would be very difficult for the company to really blow away the audience.