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UPDATED: Apple’s new iPod: 12h battery, surprises

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Monday, July 19, 2004
News Categories: iPod

picFollowing a weekend trickling out of initial product details, Apple Computer has this morning officially premiered a “remixed” fourth-generation (4G) iPod on its web site. Confirming initial reports, the 4G iPod offers 12 hours of battery life and, while available in two familiar capacities, has dropped in price: 20 gigabytes ($299) and 40 gigabytes ($399). No 15 gigabyte version is available, nor is any size larger than 40 gigabytes. The 4G iPod also features a gray and white plastic Click Wheel controller (see iLounge Backstage for additional discussion), the familiar black and white backlit two-inch screen, Apple’s proprietary Dock Connector on the bottom, and the Signature iPod white and chrome case design familiar from prior high-capacity iPod hardware.

Contrary to initial reports, however, the 4G iPod’s body has not changed dramatically in size: the 20GB unit measures 4.1"x2.4"x0.57” and weighs 5.6 oz., while the 40GB unit measures 4.1"x2.4"x0.69” and weighs 6.2 oz. But iPod packages have changed, generally for the better: each iPod now includes a USB 2.0 cable, removing a separate but frequently necessary $19 purchase for 3G iPod consumers. However, only the 40GB iPod includes a new Dock ($39, new part number M9602G/A), wired Remote ($39), and carrying case ($39); the 20GB iPod loses these optional accessories.

The 4G iPods are the beneficiaries of additional firmware features, as well. Version 3.0 of the iPod’s firmware allows multiple on-the-go playlists to be created and audiobook playback speed (faster/slower) to be adjusted - but apparently not other audio. Menus have also changed slightly to create easier access to certain key features, including shuffled playback, and Apple’s site lists another new feature: “Clicker playback through headphones,” which lets users optionally hear their Click Wheel adjustments through headphones. Additional languages have also been added to the iPod, however, game and other menu offerings remain the same as before. Packed-in software also remains largely the same: the 4G iPod ships with the current (4.6) version of iTunes.

Apple claims immediate availability of the new iPod, and Hewlett-Packard has confirmed that its HP-branded version of the iPod will be based upon the fourth-generation design, and available in September. As of the time of this article’s publication, Apple’s online store currently shows 1-2 business day availability for the new iPod, and international orders are being taken. Free laser engraving is also available.

UPDATE (10:39AM PST): After posting specifications for the new 40GB iPod this morning, Apple has changed the list of pack-in items to reflect the removal of two accessories from the box - while the Dock ($39) is still included with the 40GB unit, Apple will apparently no longer include the iPod wired Remote ($39) or the fabric carrying case ($39) with either of the new iPods. Additionally, and contrary to Apple’s press release this morning, iLounge has confirmed that Apple retail stores do not yet have the new iPod in stock, with some stores claiming availability “in about a week.” More updates are available at backstage.ilounge.com.

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Comments

21

The 40GB includes the dock. What are you saying AndyH?

Posted by dino in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on July 19, 2004 at 8:06 AM (PDT)

22

Sorry, my computers and these new posts didn’t update quickly enough to notice the change you made.

Posted by dino in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on July 19, 2004 at 8:08 AM (PDT)

23

Joeysallamander:

The new iPods don’t have a different battery. They just have better power management which results in longer battery life per charge.

Posted by AndyH in Berwyn, PA on July 19, 2004 at 8:09 AM (PDT)

24

no cross-fader = no sale!

Posted by Ipoder on July 19, 2004 at 8:37 AM (PDT)

25

What is new about this “new iPod” ? All things that Apple is saying new should be there in first place when they released 3G. e.g.
1) 12hrs of battery life : Battery life was a major embarrasment for 3G iPod so they fixed that issue. There is nothing new about it.

2) 399 for 40GB : It took 4 generations for iPod to arrive at realistic price. 399 is right price based on number of features Apple is packing in iPod. 499 USD price for 3G was way too high compared to what we as a consumer were getting in return.

It seems Apple is following Microsoft’s way of repacking things and selling it as new version. 4G seems more like a service pack for 3G. There are no new features in 4G iPod. It seems Apple missed boat once again.


MJ

Posted by MJ on July 19, 2004 at 8:38 AM (PDT)

26

What’s the problem folks?  Are all your 3G Ipods that were working perfectly fine and dandy 2 weeks ago all of a sudden defective?  Will we die from not having “Shuffle” right on the menu’s first page?

I myself, in my opinion, don’t like the Click Wheel better then the touch-sensitive buttons on the 3G.  I think the touch-sensitive buttons give the Ipod more class then a Click Wheel does.  But that’s just me.

Boohoo! 

For those who’s 3G Ipods are no longer working as they did 2 weeks ago I will gladly take them off your hands.  Yay for ebay!

My Ipod still plays music perfectly fine and is still going strong from the 1G original I’ve owned to the 3G I’ve owned.

It’s about the music folks and being able to listen to it and carry all your tunes, not the ability to shuffle them, get over it.  Products go through their evolution if they didn’t you’d all complain about it either way!

Posted by barry on July 19, 2004 at 9:12 AM (PDT)

27

How long before new Minis come out? Hasn’t it been about a year since they were first released? My g/f wants one but I keep telling her to wait until the 2g minis come out.

Posted by Scot on July 19, 2004 at 9:24 AM (PDT)

28

Order placed smile

Posted by mongoos150 on July 19, 2004 at 9:27 AM (PDT)

29

At first the 4G looked like a fairly marginal improvement on the 3G.. but the better battery life is great. Don’t like the mini style click wheel much tho..
When I first heard that the 4G was going to be out soon I wished I’d waited before buying my 3G.. but I think I’ll be waiting for the 5G before I update now smile

Posted by Sypher on July 19, 2004 at 9:37 AM (PDT)

30

No the minis came out a couple of months ago; the 3G came out a year ago. 

I remember how pissed off I was when the 3G came out and the firmware update wasn’t compatible with 1G or 2G’s.  It’s not that they couldn’t have handled the update, it’s just that Apple wanted everyone to buy the new model so it didn’t benefit them to be good to their consumers.  I wish I could say that such an action would hurt the chances of snubbed 1 and 2G owners buying Apple products in the future, but I’ve already ordered my 4G earlier this morning.  smile

Posted by Drew-tang on July 19, 2004 at 9:37 AM (PDT)

31

I do notice two vocal camps re the new iPod:

1. Why did they have to change so much?!

2. Why didn’t they change more?!

smile

Making the remote optional is odd. Beyond that, a revolution would have been fun, but an evolution of a great product is no bad thing either.

Posted by Nagromme on July 19, 2004 at 9:41 AM (PDT)

32

Also, some people seem to think each iPod is meant to make people replace the previous one—and so it has to have several hundred dollars worth of new features. But don’t forget, Apple mainly sells iPods to people who don’t have them.

(And I want crossfade too!)

Posted by Nagromme on July 19, 2004 at 9:45 AM (PDT)

33

Excellent ! I just ordered mine (40 gb) and can finally replace my first generation iPod.

Way to go Apple !!!

Love the clickwheel and don’t mind the longer batery life either wink

Posted by dzign on July 19, 2004 at 9:57 AM (PDT)

34

hmm…I don’t think Apple gets it. 

IPODS ARE STILL OVERPRICED!!

If Apple wants to make the most out of the mp3 player market they NEED players that are less than $200 along with their $200+ players.

...if not we’re looking at the beginning of the end of the iPod craze…

Posted by adrenaline on July 19, 2004 at 9:58 AM (PDT)

35

does the speed up slow down feature work on songs too? i have only heard it works on audiobooks, so i wanna know if they work on any song. I play guitar, and it help to slow down the song if you are trying ot learn it. And it also may be fun.

The speed up/slow down feature is the only one i really like. The clicker may be nice, but i dont really want it. and the ability to delete songs from on th ego would be nice, but i have only used the on the go about 10 times over the past 9 months.

Posted by ipodmaster on July 19, 2004 at 10:05 AM (PDT)

36

::QUOTE::

> 3G users had better be getting a decent firmware update soon

Oh joy , how does this remind me about the days when Apple Came out with the 3rd Generation iPods and they left us 2nd Generation Podders out in the cold with updates ... I would say : don’t count on it ... what is new is supposed to be better, what is old tends to be forgotten

::/QUOTE::

I think there is a bigger chance for an update. Many more 3g ipods were sold that 2g. There are more 3g users now than there were 2g user. This means there is a bigger chance thate there will be an update. Hopefully a few basic features will be added such as the new clicker, and the new on the go. Also the speed up/slow down would be nice too.

Posted by iPod Master on July 19, 2004 at 10:09 AM (PDT)

37

Am I the only one that thinks thisw sucks ### this thing looks kiddy. I mean I always thought as the iPod Mini being for the kids and the ipod was classier because of the buttons and the wheel doesnt jerk around apple just lost my buisness if all the new modles are going to use the click wheel.

Posted by Chris on July 19, 2004 at 10:15 AM (PDT)

38

Eh.  I think I’ll upgrade when they decide to include Tetris smile

Posted by Zim on July 19, 2004 at 10:22 AM (PDT)

39

Aside from better battery life this is a total disappointment.

Posted by Nemesis in Lexington, KY on July 19, 2004 at 10:27 AM (PDT)

40

Just to remember. Apple bought a lot of 60 GB hds from toshiba… Apple confirmed that they will not sell 60GB ipods soon…. We can figure out that a “video pod” is coming.

What do you guys think ?

Posted by Seper on July 19, 2004 at 10:32 AM (PDT)

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