The Latest Scoop On The Apple Tablet

Apple iPad.Jeremy Horwitz, editor-in-chief at, says he has the latest scoop on the Apple tablet from a reliable source. How reliable? This guy predicted the Chinese iPhone! The Nano Camera! The iPhone 3GS! Oh yeah, so did a couple thousand other people, but hey, it’s better than someone who predicted none of those things…I guess.

So what’s the newest of the new news? Almost nothing. The source says basically everything we already know. It’s a big version of the iPod Touch/iPhone. It’s not competing with netbooks (Apple making a $300 tablet…right). It can be used as an e-reader. About the only new information is that there will be two models, one with 3G and one without, and it will likely be announced on or before January 19, 2010.

Wait, none of that is new either. Speculation about the device has long included 3G capability, and discussing the lame factor in predicting a 14-week announcement window seems cruel (though really, that’s weak).

To end the roundup of half-assed guessing-at-shit-that’s-almost-certain, Horwitz reminds you to keep an open mind. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake iLounge commenters made when they asked, “what’s the point of putting a camera on the Nano?” would you? You’re right, I would too. That camera sucks.


Apple’s iPod Lineup Change Roundup

the-ipod-lineupAs expected, Apple made some changes to its iPod lineup today. With a few improvements, a few additions, and a few unexpected omissions, the new models may or may not be all you’ve been waiting for. This post is a short list of the changes made to each model. I’ll have detailed posts for each model change over the next day or two.

iPod Shuffle
It’s the smallest of the bunch and got very few changes. You can now get a 2GB model for $59 and a 4GB model for $79. Apple is still committed to that ridiculous VoiceOver feature, so you’ll be seeing more headphone manufacturers with VO support built in. Oh, you can also get the shuffle in five different colors. Nothing else to say, so you won’t get a breakdown post for this one.

iPod Classic
This old boy got the smallest (or biggest) update of all. The Classic is now up to 160GB of storage for $249. Boring.

iPod Nano
This is where things start to get interesting. Steve Jobs said today that the Nano has sold more than 200 million units, making it the most popular music player the world over. This is where most of the event was focused – new features for the Nano. As you’ve probably heard, Apple added a camera. It added a video camera. Only a video camera. More on that later.

The unit also got a microphone to go with video recording, which means it’s got voice recording capability as well. There’s also a pedometer inside and Apple even added FM radio capability. Really, this is the MP3 player that just about everyone else on the market has been making for years, plus some video, plus that special Apple touch. You can now get the Nano in nine different colors. Read the full update…

iPod Touch
You feel that? That’s the feeling of disappointment. The iPod Touch didn’t get a camera. Period. No camera. Instead, this model got a price reduction on the low-end and a processor boost on the in the upper two-thirds. The 8GB model is down to $199 while the 32GB and 64GB versions, both of which have the faster processor from the iPhone 3GS, will cost $299 and $399 respectively.

The real update for the iPod Touch is iPhone OS 3.1, adding peer-to-peer gaming functionality, Genius Mixes, and Genius Recommendations for apps. In fact, Apple’s whole presentation surrounding the Touch today pitched the model as a “great pocket computer.” Unfortunately that computer didn’t get the camera update we were all expecting, forcing the average consumer to choose between the functionality of apps versus a video camera.


Best Buy Leaks New iPod Cases

Best Buy leaked some iPod cases. Suprise!Seems like most major announcements this summer just haven’t been able to stay secret. First we had the PS3 Slim, then the Xbox 360 SKU change and price cut, and now it’s the iPod Touch/Nano camera update. The last got another check on the confirmation list today when the Best Buy website leaked an inventory listing for iPod Touch 3G cases and iPod Nano 5G cases. There’s really only one reason for those cases to change from the last generation – significant changes to the body – and we’re guessing that change means a camera.

Now the leak doesn’t include pictures, so it’s not an official confirmation of the camera theory, but it’s damn close. We won’t have to wait long to find out, though. As I’m sure you’ll remember, Apple’s “Rock and Roll” event is happening tomorrow at 1PM EST. Be sure to check back here. We’ll have the latest from the completely unexciting and totally expected updates.


Walkman Outsells iPod In Japan

Sony W205 Walkman.According to a Bloomberg report, Sony’s Walkman outsold the iPod in Japan last week for the first time in four years. It’s likely no small coincidence that Apple’s media event, the one at which they’re rumored to unveil a new line of iPod Touch and iPod Nano models with cameras, is just a week away.

One analyst thinks the shift came from consumers looking for less expensive devices. I’m calling bull on that one. It looks to me more like market forces aligned to give Sony the .9 percent jump over Apple in the week ending August 30th. Sony had recently released the W series Walkman, which got some good reviews, and again, Apple is almost certainly launching a new line.

I don’t mean to sound so vehemently fanboyish, but let’s be realistic. Sony has done anything big enough to really take back the market. Sure, the W series is one of the best looking devices they’ve designed, but you don’t just win back market share with a pretty device because it costs marginally less than the dominant competitor. I hope that analyst isn’t getting paid much, if at all.


Analysts Say No iPad In September

The Apple iPAD?Despite all the rumors flying about an impending Apple tablet release, analysts don’t expect we’ll see one at the glamorous September Apple event. Instead, you should be looking for an iPod Touch/Nano refresh that includes cameras for both models and possibly a video cam on the new iPod Touch, bringing the flagship mp3 player in line with the iPhone.

The Apple tablet rumor got a whole lot bigger back when Borders posted a survey regarding ereaders that referenced an Apple device. Since then it’s been a lot of speculation, but nothing truly official has surfaced. The camera rumor, on the other hand, has more substantial evidence. There are countless cases with camera ports all in the same place, along with insider info that the cam is coming. I’d say it’s definitely a safer bet.

There’s also the nature of a tablet release for Apple. It has to be good. It has to be really good. The netbook craze is already starting to decline as the models get stuffed with more and more features and look more and more like actual notebooks. Convincing the world to reconsider what is essentially an MID will take an exceptional product, and that’s something Apple may not be ready to roll out by September.