Highlights from Apple’s ‘Let’s Rock’ special event [updated]

Aside from major product upgrades, Apple today also revealed an update to the iPod classic, announced iPhone Software 2.1, and made several remarks regarding the performance of the iTunes Store and iPod sales.

iPod classic: Apple today updated its iPod classic line, removing both the 80GB and 160GB models and replacing them with a single, thin-bodied 120GB model, which will sell for $249. The new iPod classic offers on-device Genius playlist creation, and compatibility with the newly-announced Apple headphones.

iPod shuffle: Not mentioned during the event, Apple today quietly updated the iPod shuffle, replacing the current colors with more vibrant hues of blue, green, pink, and red (pictured). The silver model remains unchanged, as does the pricing: $49 for 1GB models and $69 for 2GB models. We had previously heard that there were electronic changes being made to the iPod shuffle for this revision; it is currently unclear whether this will result in a different sound profile for the shuffle, or what other changes might have been made.

iPhone: Apple will release iPhone Software 2.1, which debuts on the second-generation iPod touch, as a free update to all iPhone users this Friday. According to Apple, the update fixes lots of bugs, reduces call drops, significantly improves battery life, fixes problems caused by installing lots of apps on the phone, and provides faster backups in iTunes.

iPod: According to Apple, the latest data shows the iPod at 73.4% marketshare in United States. #2 is “other” at 15.4%, followed by Sandisk, and then Microsoft, which holds 2.6% of the market. Over 5,000 iPod accessories are now available, and 90% of all cars in the U.S. offer iPod integration. Cumulative iPod sales are now over 160 million units.

iTunes: The iTunes Store now offers 8.5 million songs, 125,000 podcasts, and 30,000 episodes of TV shows, and boasts 65,000,000 unique accounts.

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