Oct. 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM ET
While the death of the iPod classic is still unconfirmed, it was conspicuously absent from Apple's big event Tuesday, where there were updates on the iPod touch, nano and shuffle. An press release following the event included the iPod classic as part of Apple's holiday lineup, but that was all the exposure the device received.
Available Oct.12 will be a $199 8GB iPod touch, touted by Phil Schiller (senior VP, worldwide product marketing) as Apple's most popular music player (which is to say, it's the world's most popular digital media player) and the No.1 portable game player in the world, to boot. It's also thin, plays and records HD video and has that crisp and clear retina display. A 32 GB version will sell for $299 and a 64GB version for $399. It will also now be featured in white, as well as black.
The iPod touch will run iOS 5, which will also debut Oct. 12. iPod touch owners will be able to take advantage of services like iMessage on Wi-Fi, free and clear and plug into iCloud for maximum benefit.
The itty bitty iPod nano has been updated with bigger icons to make the multi-touch display easier to navigate (especially for those with bigger hands). In line with its reputation as a favorite amongst fitness-minded folk, the nano can now go straight to a run fresh out of the box, without adding any sensors or devices.
In a nod to nostalgia, and perhaps bowing to retro cool fashion, Schiller also introduced 16 new clock faces for the nano that would turn it into a watch for people who have already converted it to one with a band. Mickey and Minnie Mouse are among the images on the clock faces.
The refreshed nano will be ready to go today for $129 (8GB) or $149 (16GB). Both models are available in silver, graphite, blue, green, orange and pink.
The shuffle didn't get much stage time, but it was also on a slide and will sell for $49 (2GB).
The classic, which didn't get any love today at the big show, is still $249 for 160GB.
It's been 10 years since the iPod first debuted, changing the landscape of portable music players. New Apple head honcho Tim Cook proudly proclaimed the dominance of the device in his intro today, with not only the claim of the iPod as the world's No.1 music player, but also has consistently held a 70 percent marketshare in the U.S.
More than 320 million iPods have been sold around the world, Cook said. To put that in perspective, he said it took Sony 30 years to sell 220 million Walkman casette players.
Cook emphasized the relevance of the iPods to Apple, calling it a "large and important market," with 45 million iPods sold in the last fiscal year, ending in June. What's more astounding is that half of those are going to folks who are just now jumping on the iPod bandwagon with their first device.
And while the iPod is still a great digital jukebox where people are still converting their CDs (yes, those still exist, Virginia), many are buying songs on iTunes, which has 20 million to choose from. Apple loved saying "No.1: today and used it for iTunes, too: It's the No.1 music store in the world, with a "mind boggling" 16 billion songs downloaded, and counting.