Apple Launches New iPod Touch With Wirelss Technology!

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]

new iPodOn August 29th we had written about rumors in the air of an anticipated launch of new products from Apple (AAPL) on September 5th. Well the rumors were true. Today, at an invitation-only press conference held in San Francisco, Mr. Steve Jobs unveiled the curtains on a new wireless iPod player "iPod Touch" designed along the lines of iPhone. Accompanying this new product were a series of iPod upgrades, including more storage and bigger screens. Also, now we can buy songs wirelessly from a new version of the iTunes music store. A new iTunes tweak is that now we will be able to create a custom 30-second iPhone ringtone clip for an additional 99 cents.

This is a major overhaul of the popular iPod music digital players in nearly two years. Another good news is that Apple has slashed the price of its new iPhone by $200. The model with 8 Gigs of storage will sell for $399!

And the accompanying bad news is that Apple shares fell 4% to $138.42 following news of the price cut! Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner Inc said:
"I think it's a sign that the iPhone isn't selling as fast as they hoped for, so they decided to get aggressive on price."
Returning to iPods, it is to be noted that to date, more than 100 million iPods have been sold! But since last year's holiday shopping season, sales have been drifting with shrinking profit margins. Perhaps that is one of the reasons behind Mr. Steve Jobs decision to overhaul the iPods and polish them well before the beginning of the holiday season. We have a feeling that iPods will be a big hit this Christmas!

There are four types of iPods, namely, Classic, Shuffle, Nano and Touch (the new kid on the block). So what are the new iPod goodies? In a nutshell they are:
  • A new sleeker version of the Classic has arrived with a full metal design. 80 gigabytes of storage and 30 hours of audio will cost us $249. A slightly thicker model with 160 gigabytes of storage has been priced at $349.
  • The new Nano has arrived in black, red, silver, blue and green with a bundle of three games including the popular Sudoku from Electronic Arts. But the best part is that new Nanos will have video and a larger, brighter screen with an interface similar to the iPhone. Two memory sizes have been featured: a 4-gigabyte model for $149 and an 8-gigabyte model for $199. They will be available in Apple Stores by this weekend.
  • The iPod Touch is slimmer than the iPhone, features a similar multi-touch interface, built-in Wi-Fi (now we can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots using it) and an Internet browser "Safari". We can play YouTube videos on the iPod Touch. The device will sell for $299 for the 8-gigabyte version and $399 for a 16- gigabyte version. But remember that an iPod Touch cannot receive or send our phone calls!
Is that all? No, there is more to it. Mr. Jobs announced that they have struck a deal with Starbucks Corp. that will soon let people in hundreds of the coffee retailer's stores buy and download music from Apple's iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store! At present, this will enable customers who enter a Starbucks store with an Apple gadget running iTunes to automatically recognize the wireless music store without a connection fee. To do anything else on the Internet, Starbucks customers must pay to log onto the company's T-Mobile service. Well Apple has enabled us to buy music with our coffee!

As an investor in AAPL, how has the speculation and pompous product release from the company affected the price of its stocks? Well we observe that there was a steady rise in its price from Aug 29 to Sep 4 when there were high speculations about the release of the new products. However after the release and subsequent announcements of price-cuts (with obvious conclusions about declining sales and hence aggressive price cuts) the prices have been dropping! Let us wait and watch to see how and where the price stabilizes.

new iPodAnd how are other tech giants reacting to Apple's major release today? Earlier today, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) slashed the price of its own digital music player, the Zune, by $50 to $199. Zune has been received tepidly, and has failed to get a strong hold in iPod's market position.

So what is next from the innovator "Apple"? Analysts speculate that the next major release will be new upgraded version of Apple's TV digital media center. We love Apple, the constant innovator!

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