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Apple iPod Refreshes Add Storage, Tweak Prices

While the big news on the iPod front at last week’s announcement was the iPod nano, Apple also tweaked prices, performance, and capacity on the iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPod classic. None of the changes are in any way earth-shaking, but they, along with the significantly updated iPod nano (see “iPod nano Morphs into Video Camera, Pedometer, Radio,” 2009-09-09) put the iPod line in a strong position for the upcoming holiday feeding frenzy.

Noting that $199 is a “magic price point in the iPod market,” Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said that’s now the price of the new 8 GB iPod touch. A new 32 GB version is $299, and a whopping 64 GB model costs $399.

The 32 GB and 64 GB models will be 50 percent faster than the 8 GB iPod touch, Schiller said, and can use the OpenGL ES2.0 technology that’s part of the iPhone 3GS.

We were surprised and disappointed that the iPod touch still lacks a camera, even as video was added to the iPod nano. With its large screen and iPhone OS, one would think adding a camera to the iPod touch would be both easy and obvious. In an interview with the New York Times, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company is positioning the iPod touch as a gaming platform and also keeping it as inexpensive as possible.

The iPod classic, the only remaining iPod with a hard drive, remains priced at $249, but now contains a 160 GB drive instead of 120 GB. It’s Apple’s answer for those people who have huge music or movie collections that they need with them at all times.

The iPod shuffle comes in two models, now priced at $59 (2 GB capacity) and $79 (4 GB). The latest versions are also available in new colors: silver, pink, green, blue, and black. A special edition 4 GB model will have a case of polished steel and will sell for $99.

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