Apple upgrades dying iPods

Fruit-themed flogger of broken iPhones Steve Jobs disappointed the throngs when all he could come up with from his much hyped press conference were a few new iPods.

There will be few that remember iPods, they were basically MP3 players that were completely locked into Jobs’ Mob’s Walled Garden of Delights.

They were a fad amongst Coldplay fans for a while and saved Steve Jobs from making a  fool of himself when he first arrived at Apple. Until then Apple had been seen as a maker of outrageously priced computers for the terminally smug.

With the iPod, Jobs turned it into a toymaker for those who had more money than sense. However people have largely lost interest in iPods and sales were falling fast so Jobs felt the need to give the range a refresh before it is finally packed off to the iGlue factory for good.

Stood before a latte-filled, morally challenged bunch of hacks who have sold their credibility for the early  rights to print Apple press releases, Jobs showed off a number of the new toys.

The iPod Shuffle, which got its buttons back. Jobs took them away and everyone said “cool” and “magical” and after running out of ideas about how to make the thing look different he added them back again. And the hacks said “cool” and “magical” again. And all was well..Jobs claimed that users missed them. We can’t say that we’ve heard of anyone who missed anything about the Shuffle.

The new ones with a button will cost £40 with a 2GB capacity, and give you a 15 hour playback and five different colours.The iPod Touch had a huge makeover with front and rear facing cameras and a 1Ghz chip installed.

Jobs promised the device will have Apple’s ‘retina display’ too. Unfortunately it will cost a King’s Ransom to own. The 8GB version would go for $229 while the 32GB would cost $299 and the 64GB, $399.

Those in Blighty will pay more under Jobs’ radical new scheme to have the fanboys of the UK subsidise the fanboys of America. Brits will have to pay £190, £250 and £330 once various taxes and levies are added. But that is the price for having a Queen – it means that Steve can never be the ruler of the UK, like he is in the US. If you don’t like it, you can always have your own tea party.

The iPod Nano has has now shrunk to the size of a screen capable of displaying little more than four Iphone OS (IOS) icons. Jobs claimed that the new Nano could run for 24 hours which is the same as playing all of Coldplay’s catalogue half a dozen times.

The unit comes in 8GB and 16GB flavours going for £130 and £160..Jobs muttered something about iTunes getting a social notworking function called Ping, that focuses on the musical tastes of its users. Given that Apple fanboys only listen to the same stuff – Chris Martin – this software does not have to be the brightest.

Ping gives access to record labels, artists and consumers and has the ability to keep in touch with artists and friends and snoop on their purchasing. So if your mate buys a Céline Dion album you can arrange for them to be killed.

Jobs added that a new Ios 4.1 would be released next week and the press said “super”, “cool” and “magical”. Under the bonnet was something called a Game Centre which appears to be a rip off of Microsoft’s Xbox Live match making service.

Of course it can’t be. Everyone knows that Steve Jobs has the only original ideas in IT and Microsoft just copies him.

There was also a preview of IOS 4.2 which Jobs implied is just the IOS 4.1 when it is installed in the iPad. This will appear in November and will bring wireless printing and streaming of music and video to the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Jobs spilled the beans on the much awaited details for the Apple TV. He showed a palm sized pillbox which has no storage, a single HDMI port, a power connector and Ethernet jack. The press said “super”, “cool” and “magical” while Jobs had a go and harped on that it was wonderful that he was only charging $4.99 per viewing of a 720p flick.

Not to mention £100 for a box that has sod all in it.  The Apple press has gone on a sterling defence of the product this morning claiming that “it was all about the content stupid” so our guess is even they think this is a waste of time. 

All up the entire  press conference was a waste of time, but just so that you didn’t think that all the quips about Apple and Coldplay were part of a diseased imagination, the Jobs rally ended with a song from Chris Martin who happens to sing with the popular beat combo… er, Coldplay.

Chris Martin’s daughter is called “Apple”. We really, really, really couldn’t make this up.

Sometimes Apple, Jobs and the fanboys end up so close to the stereotype held in our minds, we wonder if we are in a Matrix style universe and are just dreaming the whole lot up.