Apple says new iPod Nano is slimmer, cheaper and faster

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has unveiled new designs, software and price reductions for most products in the iPod range.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has unveiled new designs, software and price reductions for most products in the iPod range.

The most anticipated announcement was a re-design of Apple’s most popular device and the highest selling digital music player in history, the iPod Nano. The new design boasts a thinner body, more colours and the ability to view videos in widescreen by tilting the device on its side.

“It’s the thinnest Nano we’ve ever made,” Jobs says, praising the device’s texture and ease of use.

iPod Nano new design

The new Nano also features a “shake to shuffle” feature, which allows users to skip to a different song by giving their iPod a small shake.

Other announcements include an iTunes software update, the reduction of the iPod Classic to a 120 gigabyte version only, new accessories and a slimmer, faster, cheaper version of the iPod Touch.

“We think we’ve got the best lineup we’ve ever had for this holiday season,” Jobs says.

The new version of iTunes also includes the new “Genius” feature, which automatically generates playlists of songs based on similar artists within a user’s existing library.

But the announcement didn’t please everyone. Shares in Apple dropped 4% after the widely advertised announcement, which some technology commentators had hoped would also include updates to the Macbook line.

Users on technology forum www.overclockers.com.au were disappointed, with one poster claiming Apple creating a fuss over nothing.

“Once again, Apple have created a huge event for a few minor changes to the iPod line up, such a waste of time,” he says.

But other bloggists say the updates are a marked improvement. “The Nano is a gorgeous device,” Kris Abel from ctv.ca writes, but says there is no point upgrading to the updated iPod Touch.

Technology site Gizmodo gave a raving review to the new Nano. “The very first thing you’ll notice is how much better the curved aluminum body feels in your hand… the brushed metal feels great,” reviewer Jason Chan writes.

Reviewers also praised the price reduction on Apple products, with the cheapest version of the Nano now offering 8GB of storage for $US150 or $199 from the Australian Apple store.

The announcement also quashed rumours about Jobs’ health, after wild claims spread on the internet that he may have passed away.

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Jobs exclaimed on a large slideshow demonstration, laying to rest claims his bout with pancreatic cancer claimed his life.

“I’m doing just fine; I’m healthy,” he says, but added he could stand to gain some more weight following a recent virus.

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