February 23, 2005 9:00 AM PST
Apple pipes in new iPods
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these changes will widen the gap between Apple and potential competitors that are trying to chip away at iPod market share."
Aside from adding the camera link to the iPod Photo models, Apple lengthened the battery life of both Minis. Apple says the Minis can now operate for up to 18 hours on a battery charge. Apple has also changed the color lineup slightly for the Mini--retaining silver, dropping gold, and replacing the prior shades of blue, pink and green with "more vibrant" ones, Joswiak said.
In addition, Apple appears to have dropped its 40GB iPods in favor of 20GB, 30GB and 60GB models. The 40GB iPod and iPod Photo models disappeared from the company's Web site Wednesday morning shortly after the new iPod models were announced.
All four new iPods are available now, while the iPod Camera Connector will come out in late March.
The camera connector, Joswiak said, is a small white plastic device, similar in appearance to a small docking station, that has a cable for connecting to the iPod and a USB port for connecting to a camera. It will work with both the new iPod Photos and with earlier photo player models, Joswiak said.
Pictures loaded onto an iPod directly will be able to display immediately on the iPod. But for the photos to be shown on a TV, the iPod Photo will need to be connected to a Mac or PC first.
In addition to the price cuts, there are also slight changes to what comes in the box with new iPods. FireWire, which was the only way to connect the original iPod to a Mac, is now optional, with a cable costing $19. USB 2.0 is the standard.
"There is no doubt that USB 2 is the proper common interface of choice," Joswiak said, adding that Apple will continue to support FireWire as an option.
Also, while the iPod Mini is cheaper, it no longer comes with a power adapter to plug into an outlet. Customers can either charge the player by connecting it to a Mac or PC, or pay $29 for an adapter. Docks are also not included as standard with any of the new players, but one can be ordered as a $39 accessory.
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