Apple Media Event – September 1 2010

Apple hosted a media event, returning to their past practice of ‘live-streaming’ the event.  There was some speculation that due to issues experienced with the iPhone 4 launch event, specifically with the number of Wi-Fi access points being used that this caused technical challenges for Steve Jobs in fully demonstrating the iPhone 4.

Steve welcomed the audience right on time at 10:00 am PT.  Steve Wozniak was also in attendance in the audience.

The first part of the briefing dealt with the success of Apple stores.  Additionally stores have been opened in China and London.  Over 50% of visitors to Apple stores are new to Mac and are buying their first Mac.

The next update was on iOS.  Based on this common operating system on iPod Touch, iPads and iPhones, there are over 120,000,000 devices deployed with 230,000 new activations per day.  iOS 4.1 was officially announced as well with availability the week of September 6th 2010.  New features included:

  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos.  This technically takes three photos in rapid success – one normal, one that is under-exposed and one that is over-exposed.  A built in algorithm takes all three photos and provides the best, overall combined image.
  • Game Center was also officially launched for users.  It allows you to challenge your friends to games and also will do auto matching, based on abilities.  A new game was demonstrated, codenamed Project Sword that highlighted some of the capabilities of Game Center.

iOS 4.2 was also previewed and is specifically being updated to support the iPad.  This includes wireless printing and a feature called AirPlay.  AirTunes has been officially renamed AirPlay which will permit streaming not only of music, but also video and photos.  iOS 4.2 will be released in November and will be a free update for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Steve then moved on to the main event, which focuses on music and the iPod.  Over 275 million iPods have been sold.  New designs have been released affecting every single model.  It represents the biggest change in the iPod lineup.  The new iPod shuffle is even smaller and brings back full button control.  It provides 15 hours of play and sells for $49 US.

The iPod Nano has gone through signficant change, eliminating the click wheel and moving to a full multi-touch control screen.  It includes a built-in FM radio and ships in six different colours.  The iPod Nano will sell for $149 US for the 8GB version and $179 US for the 16GB version.

The iPod Touch has become the most popular iPod, surpassing the iPod Nano.  It has also become the most popular game player, outselling both Nintendo and Sony players combined.  It comes with the same Retina display as is currently available with the iPhone 4 and includes the Apple A4 chip.  Also as expected, it ships both with a front-facing and rear-facing camera and will support FaceTime.  The 8GB model will sell for $229, the 32GB model $299, and 64GB model at $399 US.

Additionally, iTunes is being updated from version 9.2 to version 10.  The biggest new feature is called ‘Ping’, which is a new social networking capability designed primarily for sharing information about music with your friends.  This capability provides the ability to follow anyone that has permitted this as well as the ability to create a ‘circle of friends’.

Steve finally came to the famous ‘One more thing’ line..  and changed it to ‘one more hobby’.  As expected this dealt with the Apple TV.   Apple TV was introduced in September 2006 and while it hasn’t been a huge hit, research with Apple TV users have shown that they absolutely love the device.  Users have consistently said that they want Hollywood movies and TV shows with everything in HD.  They also want lower prices for content and don’t want to have to worry about managing storage or requiring syncing to a computer.

The new Apple TV is physically 1/4 the size of the existing Apple TV.  It has a built in power supply,  HDMI connector and Ethernet and 802.11N wireless.  It has moved to a full rental model, eliminating purchases.  There is no storage requirement as everything is streamed.  HD TV shows will rent for $0.99 and be completely commercial free.  ABC and FOX are the launch networks under this new model.  It also fully supports streaming content from Netflix and YouTube.  It also will stream all existing content from your iTunes enabled computer on your local network.  New movie releases will cost $4.99 and includes integration with Rotten Tomatoes.  With AirPlay, you can stream from any iOS 4 device to your Apple TV.  The price for the new Apple TV is now $99 US.

The event closed with a performance from Chris Martin of Coldplay.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.