The iPod Shuffle is the smallest one yet...
APPLE have unveiled the
latest addition to the IPOD family – the IPOD
CEO Steve Jobs showed the world the new product
from the annual Macworld event in San Francisco, syndicated live by satellite to Paris, where NME.COM was in the audience.
The iPod Shuffle is the smallest
iPod yet, and is Apple’s answer to
the growing range of compact ‘Flash’ digital music devices.
Barely the size of a packet of chewing gum, the
iPod shuffle dispenses with a screen display, instead
playing its music on constant shuffle mode, or by a pre-set playlists,
determined via the iTunes interface.
It features the trademark iPod click-wheel, comes
with a 12-hour rechargeable battery, built-in USB port, works through
PCs and Macs, and is worn round the neck with a built-in lanyard.
But the most appealing thing about iPod shuffle
will be its price. One model holds 512MB (120 songs) of memory and
will retail at $99 in the US, with a 1GB (240 songs) model costing
$149. The iPod shuffle will be shipped from factories today. Models in
the UK cost £69 and £99 respectively
Highlighting the cultural dominance and market share of the
iPod, Jobs announced that over
10million iPods have now been sold, 8.2million of
them in 2004. 4.5million of those were sold in the Christmas quarter,
compared with 733,000 in the same period of 2003.
Meanwhile, the iTunes Music Store has now sold
230 million songs, boasting a 70% market share.
Jobs also announced that the first generation of
iTunes compatible mobile phones – produced by
Motorola – will be available in shops within the next
six months. Additionally, Mercedes,
Nissan, Volvo, Sion
and Ferrari join BMW in
manufacturing cars with iPod inputs.
Compact was the theme at this year’s Macworld –
which showcases all of Apple’s new products for the forthcoming year.
The other headline-grabbing product is the Mac Mini,
the smallest, most affordable computer Apple has ever
made. Just big enough to house a CD drive, two different capacity
models will cost $499 and $599, starting at £399 in the
The Mac Mini comes without a keyboard, mouse or
monitor, but is compatible with most industry models. It will be
shipped to retail from January 22.