Apple today introduced the new iPod shuffle, which the company now calls the world’s smallest digital music player. The new shuffle, which is nearly half the size of the original, weighs half an ounce and features a new aluminum design with built-in clip. The new shuffle offers 1GB of music storage, features up to 12 hours of battery life, and includes earbud headphones and an iPod shuffle Dock. The new iPod shuffle is expected to be available worldwide in October for $79. “It’s hard to believe the new iPod is a real music player when you first see it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “But it is real, and holds up to 240 songs in an incredibly compact and wearable design that weighs just half an ounce.”
SigmaTel will likely remain the chip supplier for Apple’s iPod shuffle, after a Samsung executive revealed publicly that the company had won a contract to supply chips in future iPods. According to Wedbush Morgan Securities, Apple may be “punishing” Samsung for the leaked news by keeping SigmaTel as the iPod shuffle chip supplier. “It is not surprising that Apple would ‘punish’ Samsung for commenting publicly about its position within the iPod Nano follow-on, and we believe that SigmaTel is likely to be the resulting beneficiary of the Samsung executive’s gaffe,” wrote analyst Craig Berger in a report Tuesday.
Apple’s 1GB iPod shuffle is back in stock at the online Apple Store after being sold out through the holiday season. Apple posted a note on the store in mid-December that read: “Sold out for holiday. Expected availability mid-January.
The 1GB iPod shuffle is out of stock at Apple’s online store and is not expected to be available again until next month. A brief note on the store reads: “Sold out for holiday. Expected availability mid-January.” Coincidentally, Macworld Expo in San Francisco, where Apple annually releases new products, runs January 9-13. The 512MB shuffle is still available for order and ships in 1-2 business days, according to Apple.
American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said last month that the shuffle is due for a refresh as early as January. “We are hearing of an even smaller form factor (smaller than a stick of gum) and the potential for the re-introduction of multiple colors, particularly popular among women, including black,” Wu wrote in the report obtained by iLounge. “We believe price points ($99 and $129) and storage capacities (512 MB and 1 GB) will be similar to the current offerings to minimize overlap with the iPod nano.
Apple today released iPod Updater 2005-11-17, a new software update that apparently corrects major issues with the iPod shuffle. According to the brief release notes, the update includes iPod Software 1.1.3 for the shuffle, which provides “bug fixes.” Apple said the update does not offer other iPods any additional enhancements.
iPod Updater 2005-11-17 appears to be fixing problems related to widespread complaints of green and orange blinking error lights and iTunes and PCs suddenly no longer recognizing the device. The issues affect both 512MB and 1GB shuffles. Many shuffle owners blame a recent iPod firmware update or even iTunes 6.0.1 for the issues.
The online Apple Store has begun offering free personalized engraving on the iPod shuffle. Unlike the full-size iPod and iPod nano, the laser-engraved text is printed on the side of the shuffle and has a one line, 40 character limit. “Engraving is simple,” explains Apple. “First, choose the iPod, iPod nano or iPod shuffle you want. When you put iPod into your Apple Store shopping cart, you’ll be asked whether you want a personalized engraving. Just enter your text and see what it looks like. Since it’s free, why not do it?”
Apple today released iPod Updater 2005-09-23, which includes new software to correct issues with the iPod shuffle. According to Apple’s release notes, the update contains iPod Software 1.1.2 for the shuffle, but the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-06 for all other iPods. No other specific changes were available beyond the statement that the update provides “bug fixes for iPod shuffle.”
iMojo has announced its shuffle Sweats, new armbands for the iPod shuffle made from absorbent, machine-washable cotton terry-cloth. Designed to be worn on the forearm, the armbands feature a silicone cable wrap for extra headphone cord and come in black or white 2-packs for $18.95.
“Unlike other armbands worn above the elbow, the iMojo shuffle Sweats don’t create any friction against your body when running or exercising, heralding an end to bicep rash,” says the company behind the product. “They are also fully compatible with all T-shirts—unlike other armbands, sleeves don’t get in the way of the shuffle controls or the cable.”
Griffin Technology has announced the SiliSkins, a set of silicone skins for the iPod shuffle. Each SiliSkins package comes with three skins in three frosted colors: clear, pink and blue. The set is priced at $19.99.
“Shelter your iPod shuffle from scratches, drops, and bump,” says Griffin. “Pick a color to fit your mood or activity. Mix and match cap colors for a look all your own. SiliSkins are form-fitted and their see-through design allow for easy operation of the iPod shuffle.”
Matias has unveiled a new computer keyboard that features a dedicated USB 2.0 dock for the iPod shuffle (or other iPod using a USB cable).
The Matias USB 2.0 Keyboard, which was originally planned to be called the “iPod shuffleboard,” also features two USB 1.1 ports for other devices such as your mouse and joystick. It comes in two versions—a white, Mac-only version with Option Key symbols like the company’s OS X Keyboard and Tactile Pro Keyboard, and a black version that works with both Macs and PCs. They both sell for $39.95, or $49.95 with a mouse.
The iKeychain is a new machined aluminum iPod shuffle case that doubles as a keychain. The case is available in black, blue, gold, red, and polished aluminum for $29.95. Pure silver and gold plated versions are also available for $99.95.
“To test the strength of the iKeychain, we ran over it with a car five times and the case remained in tact,” says the manufacturer. “This durability can come in handy when using your shuffle while skateboarding, rollerblading, mountain biking, snowboarding, snowskiing, bungee jumping, skydiving…you get the picture.” [via TUAW]
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the TransPod for iPod shuffle, an all-in-one car solution that lets you transmit, charge and display your iPod shuffle.
Like the company’s larger TransPods for full-size iPods, the TransPod for iPod shuffle broadcasts music to any FM radio frequency from 87.9 to 107.9. It features four programable presets, a line-out for use with a cassette adapter or auxiliary car stereo input, and a USB connection that allows the TransPod to interface with other iPods and audio devices like the Sony PSP.
“The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle is the only car accessory shuffle owners will ever need,” says DLO. “It lets them enjoy their entire music library on the road by broadcasting the iPod shuffle’s music through a car’s FM stereo. The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle also charges the iPod shuffle while cradling it in an adjustable, easy to position dock that attaches to any standard 12V cigarette lighter.”
The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle is available now at Best Buy stores nationwide for $59.99.
PodGear announced today that it’s now shipping the PocketParty Shuffle portable speaker system for the iPod shuffle.
“PocketParty Shuffle turns an iPod shuffle into the world’s tiniest ghetto blaster,” says the UK-based company. “Designed exclusively for the iPod shuffle, and taking design cues from the world’s most iconic flash MP3 player, the PocketParty can even be worn around the neck like the iPod itself.”
The iPod shuffle plugs into the top of the PocketParty via the headphone port. The £24.99 device has two speakers and a status light on one side. It offers 1 watt of stereo output and up to 10 hours of battery life from a single AA battery.
Otter Products today announced the OtterBox for iPod shuffle. The rugged new hard case features a clear exterior with a rubber cradle lining, and a rubber button that lets you use the shuffle’s control pad through the case.
The OtterBox for iPod shuffle is “waterproof, dustproof, dirtproof, sandproof, and drop-proof” and “keeps your iPod shuffle safe at the beach, pool, river, lake, gym or just walking in the rain,” according to the company. It’s priced at $29.95 and comes with a removable neck lanyard.
Tunewear today announced its Poptune collection of removable wrappers for the iPod shuffle. Each Poptune protects the shuffle from dirt and scratching, and comes with two USB cap covers, one for the lanyard cap and one for the regular USB cap. The company said they won’t leave behind sticky residue when removed. The Poptune series comes in a $19.95 pack of 12 patterns—“Aloha”, “Dragon”, “Wood”, “Snake”, “Karakusa”, “Sakura”, “Fire”, “Stone”, “Orange”, “Green”, “Sparkle Silver” and “Sparkle Gold”.
Mophie has announced the Song Sling, a new iPod shuffle case and lanyard combo with integrated retractable earbuds. The Song Sling is priced at $39.99 and will be initially available in three colors—gray, blue and pink. It’s expected to ship beginning next month.
“Song Sling takes the basic lanyard concept to the next level,” says Mophie. “Its patent-pending design features concealed audio connections and retractable earbuds for ‘pull and play’ functionality. Song Sling raises the bar when it comes to style and convenience on the portable music scene.”
Hewlett-Packard announced on Friday that it has added the iPod shuffle to its lineup of HP-branded iPods. The “iPod shuffle from HP” is identical to Apple’s version and comes in both the 512MB ($99.99) and 1GB ($129.99) sizes. The HP iPod shuffle is available now online at hpshopping.com and will soon be at major retailers, including Radio Shack, Sears and Wal-Mart. HP now sells all current iPods except for the special edition U2 iPod.
Griffin Technology is now shipping its iVault aluminum case for the iPod shuffle. The machined aluminum case, which came about through a collaboration with iLounger Greg Gutierrez (“helixipod”), completely encloses the iPod shuffle while allowing access to the control pad, earphone jack, LED light and slider switch. The iVault sells for $19.99 and comes in five anodized colors—silver, blue, red, green and purple—and ships with a USB cable to sync/charge your iPod shuffle without removing it from the case.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the DLO USB Dock Cable, a mountable 4-Foot USB cable with a docking cap designed specifically for the iPod shuffle. The $19.99 product allows you to easily charge/sync your shuffle and mounts to any surface with included white Velcro tabs.
“The DLO USB Dock Cable frees up adjacent connectors that would otherwise be blocked by the extra-wide iPod shuffle,” says DLO. “It plugs into any free USB port with a standard size plug, and with its 4-foot length, offers a super-handy connection port, providing easy in-and-out access for the shuffle.”