Defunct Mini model briefly returns to online Apple store
Apple's official online shipping times for the iPod shuffle have improved in the UK, France, Germany, and several other European countries, reports say. Earlier this month, shipping times deteriorated to between seven to 10 days worldwide, prompting fears that Apple might be discontinuing the product. Sources claimed that Apple was just going through component supplier changes, however, and this may be borne out by the European Apple online stores, which is now seeing the media player ship in five to seven days. Delays have yet to improve in the US or Canada, but may follow suit in the near future.
Apple not dropping product, sources say
In spite of fears to the contrary, Apple is not killing off the iPod shuffle, according to sources. Stocks of the player have dwindled considerably, leading to speculation that it might be going the same route as the iPod classic. The sources say that instead, Apple is simply going through component supplier changes that have temporarily interrupted Shuffle production.
Could hint at possible discontinuation
Stock of Apple's original "wearable" device, the iPod shuffle, is drying up at both Apple's online store and its retail outlets, sources say - reports that are backed up by checks. The company is reportedly warning retail workers that Shuffle supplies will be low for an unspecified amount of time, so much so that shoppers looking to buy the product should be redirected to the online store. Even then, the US site is listing Shuffles as shipping in seven to 10 days, well beyond the 24-hour window quoted for the iPod touch or nano.
Patent submitted just before player's debut
Apple has won a US patent on the design and construction of the fourth-generation iPod shuffle, says AppleInsider. The patent is actually titled Very small form factor consumer electronic product, but clearly shows the Shuffle in diagrams, and talks about a media player constructed with a single-piece housing and other signature Shuffle elements, such as the clip and clickwheel. Also mentioned are two co-pending applications, related to protection against moisture and electrostatic charges.
Showcases new Touch, Nano, Shuffle colors
The ad for the new iPod lineup seen at the iPhone 5 unveiling last month has now been broadcast on television, and posted by Apple on its website and YouTube channel. The spot, which showcases the colorful lineup consisting of the refreshed iPod Touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle, uses computer graphics to have the devices bounce and dance through a portion of the song "Yeah Yeah" by Willy Moon. The ads emphasize the new colors rather than any new features, even though both the Touch and Nano received significant updates.
Nano gets tall screen, multi-touch, video recording
Apple today overhauled its iPod line, updating the Nano to the seventh generation, and the Touch to the fifth. The new Nano is switching back to a tall design, but now has a 2.5-inch multi-touch screen, with a Home button as on iOS devices. The player is almost half as thin as its predecessor, and uses the new smaller Lightning connector also seen on the iPhone 5.
iPhone, iPod may finally implement panoramic camera option
The new iPod touch should have a 1136x640 display like the iPhone 5, and is currently using an N78 codename, reports say. Developer Will Strafach -- better known as Chronic -- is claiming that the device will get an S5L8942X processor instead of an S5L8950X, which should finally upgrade the Touch to an A5-level chip, but still leave it behind the iPhone 5 in terms of performance. 9to5Mac sources say that Apple intends to keep the same base price point for the media player, on or around $200.
Touch, Nano may see major revisions
Beyond the iPhone 5, Apple's September 12th event will also see updates to the iPod touch, nano, and shuffle, according to 9to5Mac sources. The Touch lineup is thought to be getting some of the more interesting changes; while there will still be three models, the sources say that the cheapest one will be a tweaked version of the current-generation design, while the other two will be more substantially altered. The latter are linked to $299 and $399 pricetags, and are expected to come in several variations, though what that means isn't explained. It could imply real color options, instead of just black or white.
Earlier auction reportedly hit $26,000
A fourth-generation iPod shuffle signed by Steve Jobs is now back on auction at eBay, its seller remarks. eBay is said to have accidentally ended the original sale, even as bidding reached up to $26,000. Although the company reportedly apologized to bidders, a new auction was needed. Bidding on the Shuffle is so far back up to $9,995 with over nine days left.
Auction already over $10,000
A fourth-generation iPod shuffle with a case autographed by Steve Jobs is currently up for auction on eBay. The seller says that as part of an "innovators of tomorrow" program, he and three colleagues were invited to an internal Apple event, before which they got free Apple products including Shuffles and iTunes credit. The event ultimately gave the seller and his group a chance to talk with Jobs, at which point they convinced Jobs to sign the iPods.
Apple patent would boost sound of iPod nanos
An Apple patent application published Thursday points to Apple exploring the possibility of giving the current iPod nano and iPod shuffle much larger speakers. The simply titled "Speaker Clip" would integrate a flat-panel speaker directly into the clip itself. The improved sound could be used to provide anything from audible feedback for the interface through to direct listening without needing headphones.
iPod introduced 10 years ago today
Apple's iPod on Sunday marked its tenth anniversary in a very different landscape. The MP3 player was unveiled on October 23, 2001 at an event in Apple's Town Hall at its Cupertino headquarters in what's now considered one of the late Steve Jobs' crowning achievements. Its first iPod, available in just a 5GB capacity with only Mac and FireWire support, reached stores on November 10 that year for $399.
Rumors of classic/shuffle iPods' deaths premature
rumors were flying that Apple planned to discontinue the iPod shuffle and iPod classic. The axe was supposed to fall at today's big media event. That did not happen, and both iPods continue to be part of Apple's iPod lineup.
Non-touch iPods may disappear at October 4 event
A rumor with a potentially far-ranging impact has alleged that Apple might drop the iPod classic and iPod shuffle. The two remaining non-touch iPods would disappear "this year," TUAW heard from its lone source. Only the iPod nano and iPod touch would remain, although it's not clear if Apple would slash their prices or deliver upgrades.
Vendors start clearing stock ahead of refresh
Retail chains are beginning to discount the iPhone 4, reports note. Radio Shack has a sale running through Saturday, in which 16 and 32GB models are priced at $170 and $270 on contract instead of their regular $199 and $299. A $100 trade-in credit for previous iPhones applies, potentially lowering the cost of an iPhone 4 to just $70.
Canadian hint emerges of iPhone 5 release
Purportedly leaked documents from Canadian carrier Telus suggest the iPhone 5 might ship on October 1. The release date comes along with several, presumably for other products, that are all cast as concrete and not fillers. The choice would be a Saturday but isn't "unrealistic" given how busy phone stores are those days, BGR's tipster said.
May be connected to exchange rates
Apple's Australian division has lowered the prices on all iPod models. As with most countries, Apple charges more for its products in Australia than it does in the US, even when taking exchange rates into account. The latest cuts may be an acknowledgment, however, of the flip in value between the American and Australian dollars.
Joins new Chinese, Italian stores
The upcoming weekend will see a flurry of international Apple Store launches, the company has confirmed. Germany is getting a fourth store on Saturday, based in Oberhausen's CentrO shopping complex. The facility is described as the largest of its kind in Europe, with luxuries such as a movie theater, water park and even a model train layout.
We review Apple's 4th-gen iPod shuffle
While the new iPod touch stole the show during Apple's recent marketing event, the company also introduced its latest overhaul of the entry-level iPod shuffle. In theory, it's the best of two worlds: it combines the simple button controls of the second-generation iPod with the VoiceOver that made playlists and podcasts possible on the third. In our full review, we'll determine if Apple has addressed the issues that frustrated owners of earlier shuffles.
Key features still missing
Apple has generally done well with its latest iPods, reviewers say. The iPod touch is so far garnering the most praise, for instance getting compliments on its thinness, audio quality and HD video recording from Wall Street Journal writer Katherine Boehret. Businessweek's Arik Hesseldahl claims that the player has "kicked up the intensity about a dozen notches" thanks to an A4 processor and a Retina Display. Edward Baig of USA Today points out that the Touch is now closer to the level of the iPhone 4, but still missing some core features, like a GPS receiver, an LED flash and a five-megapixel sensor for the rear camera.
Design reverts to second-generation form
Although Apple has focused recent iPod marketing on the new Touch, the entry-level offering has not been forgotten. The company has yet to settle on a form factor for the Shuffle, as the design seems to bounce between a vertical stick and a squarish shape. The fourth-generation model brings back the click wheel of the previous three editions, while reverting to a shape similar to the second generation.
iPod shuffle 4G teardown reveals tight design
DIY repair shop iFixit today posted a teardown of the new iPod shuffle that reveals an extremely tight if limited construction. The device took about half an hour to pry open as the clip was both press-fit into the body and glued at the same time; while sturdy, it guaranteed that anyone would have to "break it" to open it. To save on space, Apple has also soldered the battery directly to the circuit board and uses very small connectors that could easily snap if the explorer isn't careful.
Nano switches to iOS
Apple today announced several new iPods, amongst which were the new iPod nano and shuffle. The Nano has seen the most radical changes, as it is now a square touchscreen device based on iOS, having completely jettisoned a clickwheel. It's said to be 46 percent smaller while also incorporating a belt clip, making it possible to use the player during exercise without an armband.
Nano prices expected to hold stable
The sixth-generation Nano will not force the Shuffle out of Apple's iPod product line, people familiar with Apple's plans are said to claim. The size of the Nano is expected to shrink substantially, according to AppleInsider, to the point of being little larger than a 1.7-inch display -- possibly a touchscreen. Dimensions may be comparable, in fact, to the second-generation Shuffle, creating some duplication. Nevertheless, Apple is claimed to be keeping the Shuffle on as an "entry-level" iPod.
New Touches, Nanos predicted
Even though the event is several days away, preparations have already begun for Apple's music-themed announcements at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The exterior of the building now bears the same image as an e-mail invite sent out to the media. Photos of the interior have yet to come in, but Apple is unlikely to provide many if any clues as to what it plans to reveal.
4th-gen iPod touch to have flat back, no flash
The fourth generation iPod touch may have had some of its details clarified tonight through a rumor this evening. The design would abandon the curved back of the current model and would have a flat back like the first generation model: similar to the "top of a MacBook Pro, only smaller," according to iLounge. It would have the rear camera, but a space near the camera would hold a microphone, not a flash.
Nano based on small touchscreen
Several cases from the Chinese vendor X-Doria allegedly show the external designs for the fourth-generation iPod touch and sixth-generation iPod nano. The touch case appears to be built for a device with the rounded housing of the second- and third-generation devices, but with a cutout for a camera lens and microphone or flash.
Apple surprises with early Sept iPod, iTV event
Apple today up-ended expectations and said it would hold a special music event on September 1. The invitation provides few details but has the photo of a guitar with the Apple logo as a cut-out, signalling that Apple will once again focus primarily on music. It comes about six days ahead of a rumored September 7 date.
Only one local retailer so far dropping prices
Sharp price cuts at a major UK retailer may be foreshadowing the arrival of new iPods. Some Morrisons outlets -- namely those with "techno bars" -- are now selling 4GB iPod shuffles for only £20. The iPod nano has meanwhile been slashed 40 percent, down to £60. The deals are only valid while stores still have stock, and some locations are reportedly already selling out.
Analyst sees new two new MacBook Air models
Apple is planning a huge ramp in production for a new MacBook Air that could suggest a much more mainstream design, BMO analyst Keith Bachman said today. An investigation into the supply chain suggested that two models are enroute in September that would ship in numbers far larger than for the existing Air. The researcher didn't yet have specs but believed the volume was a sign it would cost significantly less than the $1,499 Apple asks today.
iPhone refresh could be as simple as new shell
Several major product plans are underway at Apple, an anonymous source claims. Coming first are said to be three new iPods, which will allegedly be finished as soon as this month, or else sometime in September; even if they are ready by the end of August however, Apple typically announces new iPods in September. One of the new models is said to be a nano, while another is a touch. The third is so far a mystery, but could be a Shuffle based on a miniaturized touchscreen. The source also mentions the possibility of a three-inch touchscreen, though which iPod would get it is not known.
Apple 1.2-inch square touchscreen leaks
Apple may be planning a major iPod redesign or another class of device altogether if a discovered part today is an indication. A 1.2-inch square touch display has surfaced at Taiwan's Apple.pro with clear Apple labeling and a thin black frame. It has two connectors; one of these is presumed to attach to a home button, although the button isn't part of the frame here.
Price cuts on iPods, headphones, and more
Today's deals from DealNN include a range of bargain priced items from iPods and headphones to hard drives. OnSale.com currently has the 4GB iPod shuffle 3rd generation for $66.67, which is already $12.33 less than the list price of $79, and about $2 less than the lowest price available anywhere else. A $20 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price further to $46.67. The 4GB iPod shuffle holds up to 1,000 songs with a run time of up to 10 hours on a single charge. A set of Apple earbud headphones are included, along with a one year warranty from Apple.
In-Ear, Remote and Mic sets also covered
Owners of the third-generation iPod shuffle may be eligible for a free set of replacement earbuds. The default buds can stop working properly "under certain conditions," according to Apple, although only a "very small percentage" of Shuffle owners have allegedly been affected. Broken earbuds display signs such as inconsistent or unresponsive controls, along with unintended voice playback, and/or sudden jumps or drops in volume.
Apple accused of false advertising
An iPod shuffle owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, after his device allegedly malfunctioned due to perspiration, according to The Wrap. Manhattan Beach, California resident Stephen Vale claims sweat ran down the headphone cord during an exercise session, shorting out the in-line controller on the third-generation Shuffle.
Waterproof Apple in-line earphones also available
SwimMan has launched a new waterproofed iPod shuffle, and is offering a combo deal for the holidays. The Shuffle is a 2GB, third-generation model waterproofed from the inside out, and so does not require special external casing. It can be submerged to 25 feet, although the waterproofing process does disable the on-off and shuffle buttons, which can be substituted for with the headset and the center-wheel button. The other buttons remain functional, but tend to be stiffer.
Refurbished iPods from Apple's online store
Apple's online store today has a wide selection of refurbished iPods at reduced prices. The previous-generation 1GB iPod shuffle, in pink is available for $39, the 2GB model is available for $20 more. Previous-generation 8GB iPod nanos are also available in orange, green, purple, pink, silver, yellow, and black for only $99. The 16GB Nano is also featured for $129 in all of the same colors. The second generation iPod touch is available in three configurations; 8GB for $149, 16GB for $199, or 32GB for $249. Last on the list is the 120GB iPod classic which is available in both black or silver for $189.
Apple headset would play music, record calls
A US patent filing published today suggests Apple has been researching the prospects of a wireless headset with its own media playback support. The device would operate as a typical wireless headset as a companion for an iPhone or similar device but would play music from storage built into the earphones. It could have basic music controls and a display, but with a microphone it could also use voice commands to play specific content without looking.
New H2O Audio products rated for up to 12 feet
H2O Audio on Tuesday showed off three new products for music listening around water. The Surge Pro earbud headphones, the Surge Sportwrap neckband headphones as well as an updated Interval Waterproof Headphone System are all built to withstand heavy perspiration common during exercise routines, and can be submerged without any ill effects in up to 12 feet of water.
Cuts affect all models
Slightly less than two weeks after introducing new models, Apple has announced a series of price cuts to its older, refurbished iPods. An 8GB Touch is now $149, for instance, a drop of $40. A 16GB Touch is now $50 less at $199, and a 32GB model has been slashed in cost by $30, reaching $249.
Sansa Clip Plus reviewed
Nowhere is it harder to make a good portable media player than in the ultra-small, wearable field; even Apple decided it would rather go without a screen than try to fit the usual controls into something that clips on your belt. SanDisk has long thought differently and has carved out a niche for itself with the Sansa Clip, but we want to know in our full reviewif its Clip+ sequel can topple the iPod shuffle.
Same iPod designs, new storage and colors
As part of its music event, Apple on Wednesday refreshed the iPod classic and third-generation iPod shuffle. The iPod shuffle has received the most noticeable changes with new color options. Beyond the original black and silver, the screenless player will now also come in blue, green and pink at its existing $79 price. The company is also introducing a special stainless steel trim that will cost $99 at the same capacity and is rolling out a 2GB edition with the same features for $59.
iPod touch absent from reseller part number list
A leaked list may reveal today's iPod capacity changes, or the lack thereof, according to a report. Said to have been supplied by "people familiar with the matter," the list details an assortment of iPod models and colors, as well as their onboard storage in gigabytes. Significant in the collection is a new iPod classic, with 160GB of memory instead of the current 120GB. Silver and black colors remain.
First time Sony leads in four years
Sony's Walkman players overtook Apple's iPods in market share for the first time in Japan in over four years, according to a study by BCN. Although Apple held the lead as recently as a month ago, a sudden surge in the Walkman's popularity and a corresponding drop in the iPod's has led to Sony just edging out Apple with 43 percent of the market versus 42.1 percent. The upset ends an unprecedented 241-week run for Apple, which took the top spot from Sony in early 2005.
SanDisk Sansa Clip Plus
SanDisk launched its first new media player in over a year today with the Sansa Clip+. The major revision to its iPod shuffle competitor fits a microSDHC card slot and can use this either to expand the built-in storage or to play the company's preloaded slotMusic or slotRadio cards. It's also finally Mac-compatible and lets those users drag-and-drop music from Mac OS X Panther or later.
iPod scammer sentenced
A 23-year-old man who exploited Apple's warranty program has been sentenced to 13 months in prison, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. Nicholas Woodhams of Portage, Michigan recently plead guilty to charges of mail fraud and money laundering; in addition to his prison time, he will have to pay $648,568 in compensation to Apple, and another $8,066 to the US Postal Service. Woodhams has been forced to surrender his house, an Audi sedan, a Honda motorcycle and over $570,000 in funds.
RunWallet Shuffle holster
Grantwood has released the RunWallet, an armband holster designed to carry important cards, keys and money alongside an iPod shuffle during a wearer's workout. The armband is stretchable, and the holster can also be attached to a person's shoe, belt or pocket. Shuffles are attached to the outside of the holster, between the storage pocket and another thin band.
iLuv iPod shuffle Adapter
iLuv today quickly followed Belkin by providing official details of its own remote adapter for the newer iPod shuffle. Already teased, the IEA15 gives any minijack earbud or headphone set the same controls as Apple's remote, both for click actions and for volume. The add-on is also confirmed to add full remote control to any other 2008 iPod as well as the iPhone 3GS.
Belkin iPod Shuffle Adaptr
Belkin this morning addressed the complaints of those wanting to use more advanced headphones with Apple's third-generation iPod shuffle and launched its Headphone Adapter for the music player. The simple add-on gives any typical earbuds or headphones with a 3.5mm headphone jack a remote much like Apple's own pack-in model, including the ability to invoke VoiceOver. It's not known if other iPods receive similar features.
iLuv iEP515 and iEP315
iLuv catered to owners of Apple's latest handhelds today with two in-ear headphone sets. Both the higher-end iEP515 and basic iEP315 are primarily treated as upgrades for the iPhone 3GS with an in-line remote and microphone in addition to passive noise reduction through its design. Their controls are also supported on the third-generation iPod shuffle, second-generation iPod classic and fourth-generation iPod nano as well as the iPod touch, where the microphone also works.