Jobsnote wrap-around: in Apple’s words, REVOLUTIONARY. actually, meh..

by Andi

The big keynote has just ended. We’ll get ‘fabulous’ iPhone ringtone for a huge price, and the iPod line’s been refreshed, with a new member born, the iPhone touch.

Apple fanboys, read no further. The rational analysis and non-reverence to Steve Jobs and his cohorts will utterly shock you. It might even pose a danger to your health. uSheep… Thinkers everywhere, please read on and share your opinions.

As usual, there’s little innovation, and some huge cashcow milking. Everything’s convenient for Apple, everything will be adored by the hordes of fanboys, little is truly outstanding.
Read on for the marvels and delights of the new iPod lineup. I’ll keep it short, because there’s not much to be said…

First of all, the ringtones for the iPhone.. Well, iTunes gets new options. You can purchase a track for the usual price, and then edit it into a ringtone for 99 cents per edit. That’s plain robbery.. Once you have the tune, why pay for cutting and adding effects?.. Well, it’s Apple, that’s why.

Now, the iPod line refresh:


The shuffle: we now get it in Red, as part of (product) RED. marvellous, isn’t it?


The nano: new design, small, thin, landscape 2 inch QVGA screen. Coverflow (the first nice thing about it). Ugly, I think this is the ugliest iPod yet.
Other niceties you say? yes indeed: Photos, Videos, Games. Stuff that any Chinese mini-PMP has been offering for loong months.
Really high prices: $149 for 4GB and only silver color, and $199 for 8GB and the privilege of different colors.
Battery life? Decent… 24 hours of music or 5 of video. That’s it.


The classic: ridiculously high capacity: 80 or 160 GB. Why one would need that much music on the go is a true mystery to me.. First of all, think of how much you’d have to spend just to fill it. Second, for the happy pirates, think of the fact you’d need iTunes on the computers you use on your way, and that the transfer rate isn’t that great at all.
One cool thing: they’re now made out of metal (but still look exactly as plain as the old ones).
The battery life is alright, but still not enough for a long trip. 30/6 hours for the 80gig version, and 40/7 for the other (which is also a tad thicker).
The prices are high enough.. $249 for the 80 gigger, $349 for 160.

touch vs iphone

The new member, and surely the future bestseller: the iPod touch!
What a big surprise! It’s an iPhone with no radio. Really! The phone icon has been replaced with an iTunes mobile store, and the messaging with ‘Videos’. You get WiFi, safari, youtube, and the usual iPhone functions, sans the one that have to do with a mobile phone.
It’s a tad thinner, and sports an ugly antenna on the back, for that WiFi.
It’ll come with 8 or 16 GB of flash storage, and empty your wallet by either $299 or $399.
One new feature: Starbucks integration. No, really!.. If you’re in a Starbucks and like the tune played, you can quickly buy it and download it via iTunes to the new iPod.

A good piece of news: the iPhone will cost $399 as of today. We’re talking 8GB here, no words about the 4GB.. It might’ve become impractical and may be discontinued, apparently.

Mobile iTunes will be made available for the iPhone soon. Everything fun and convenient, just to make us pay some more…

Thanks Engadget for your live feed, and for the pictures.

A final notice: all of you fanboys who might accuse me of pointlessly bashing Apple, please include solid arguments when accusing me. I’ll take and answer anything, as long as it’s logical and well backed up.

26 reviews or comments

scott Says: September 5, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Just checked the Verizon site. What a great deal! For $2.99 you can choose a ringtone and … boom … it’s on your phone. Why pick the part of the song you want when someone has already picked it for you. And while you’re at it, why waste space on your phone downloading the whole song? who listens to the whole song anymore? Apple sure is a ripoff to make you pay less money to have the full song and more freedom in creating the ringtone. Yeah, you’re right. Apple missed the mark.

Andi Says: September 5, 2007 at 12:50 pm

buy a song. you have it. use a simple editing program, do it yourself. for free. for as many times as you wish.

or, buy a software for making ringtones. $10. Then make as many ringtones from as many songs as you like. There’s even a sequencer for dummies included.

yep, I’m right…

Shawn Says: September 5, 2007 at 1:11 pm


your point is… pointless. Last time I checked, $2.99 is more then $1.98?… and you get the entire song… and you can use any part of the song you define. I’m afraid Verizon has you bent over.

Who listens to the whole song anymore? – Apparently over 100 million people with 3 billion in songs do…

turtle Says: September 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

For the average “Joe”… I think not. Plus what you described sounds like a lot of fun and all but most people do not have the inclination or that kind of time.

Show me one of these “Chinese mini-PMP” that even comes close! I have looked and nadda… at least not for any less than the nano. Seriously… If I could find one I would buy it.

johnmeister Says: September 5, 2007 at 2:36 pm

No. You’re wrong.

Why bash apple for selling ringtones when others do the same? You pay $1.98 from Apple for a full song and ringtone. Verizon sells just the ringtone for $2.99.

There are lazy people everywhere who want things made for them. These people have money. Don’t knock companies for trying to make money off of them. Tmobile charges 1.99 for the instrumental version of songs and $2.50 for a clip of the real ones. But you are either ignorant of that (in which case, do a little research) or willfully misleading when you say: “That’s plain robbery.. Once you have the tune, why pay for cutting and adding effects?.. Well, it’s Apple, that’s why.”

kboggs Says: September 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm

OK, we get it. You hate mean old Jobs and all his apples. If that’s the way you feel then why do you care what Apple does? Did you buy a Zune and are now suffering from iPod envy? I guess some people just like to b!tch.

Speaking as a true Fanboy, (I love that phrase, makes me feel young.) I think it was a pretty cool bunch of new products. The ring tone stuff is pretty lame but the iPod touch is very cool. I think the idea behind the huge disk capacities on the iPod classics is either to accommodate movies or when the iPod is used as storage. My 80GB has about 40GB of backups and other files.

Brett Says: September 5, 2007 at 3:32 pm

A few of your criticisms seem unjustified.

Expensive ringtones – Charging extra for ring tones sucks– no doubt. However, the decision to charge extra for ring tones most likely was driven by the record labels– not Apple. And by comparison, some other phones sevices charge $2.50 for a ring tone.

No Radio – The lack of a radio hasn’t stopped iPod from dominating the MP3 Player market. The beauty of the iPod is that it is like a radio that plays only music you like, and without commercial breaks. The 12 people that must have a radio can always buy Apple’s FM tuner/ remote control that connects in-line with the headphones.

The “ridiculously high capacity” (of the iPod Classic) – While it is rare that anyone would completely fill their 160GB iPod with music, all that extra space lets you carry a nice selection of movies, TV shows, music videos, photos, and audiobooks–good for long trips You can also declare a portion of the iPod’s hard disc for general use (file backup and transfer).

The Nano’s high price – Value is in the mind of the beholder. Show me a nicer screen in a device that small. If you care about video and photo qualty, the cost is justified. As you have noted, coverflow isn’t shabby either.

Apple isn’t perfect, but all in all they have been doing a good job of keeping the iPod line fresh and compelling.

Anonymous Says: September 5, 2007 at 5:24 pm

I’m not a huge Apple fan but bashing Apple for making money is ludicrous. I think the iPod Touch is a pretty good idea for people that already have ridiculously expensive phones and just want a really cool music player.

The Starbucks move you apparently haven’t looked into a whole lot, though. Considering that Google has confirmed that it will be releasing a gPhone, and that Google just bought a gigantic portion of the WiFi airspace, it’s actually a pretty smart move for Apple to have Starbucks offer iPhone and iPod Touch users wifi, especially since Starbucks has a bitch-ton of locations. It also allows Starbucks frequenters to get a hands on look at the iPod Touch and iPhone and what it can do with wifi (My friend actually works at Starbucks and they’ll be going through a 51 hour training course on using/demoing the iPhone and iPod Touch to aid users in connecting etcetera.)

The iPod Nanos are a bit ugly, but they have a beautiful screen (The resolution for such a small screen is intensely impressive) and are relatively cheap for the features included.

I’m not saying that I’m going to go out and buy any of these products (Especially since I’m a Linux user and gPhone will be running on a Linux based OS so I can actually sync the thing properly), but bad mouthing a company based on it’s want to make capital off of it’s users and what it’s users ask for is childish.

Markus Says: September 5, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I’m just going to jump on the bandwagon and start to hate you… er… your opinions. For quite a few reasons, but mainly your criticism of the nano. Vacations aside, show me someone who goes more than 24 hours without being able to charge it. High prices? There’s a reason for that, it’s called killer service. And the apparent ‘lack of features’ you talk about, I agree that there are other players with more capabilities. But you just try to show me a ‘chinese mini-PMP that does it all with as much style and ease of use as the ipod. As one apple supported remarked “It’s the software idiot”

Andi Says: September 5, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Ok, I’ve made a mistake then… Charging as much as $0,5 for a ringtone is robbery to me, as long as I know how easy it is to do for free. I think that not only Apple are unfair for asking so much for them.

As a nano alternative? take this one for example. . A friend has an older version, and even that one has good build quality, a good battery and sounds a tad better than the iPods. If you want great sound quality, even a Nokia phone delivers that, but I’d suggest you looked towards Sony.

Speaking of Nokia, no, I haven’t got iPod blues, and no Zune. For media I use a good old smartphone (as in TRUE smartphone, not iPhone) with a 4gig card. It plays high quality music in ANY format, and fullscreen videos on a 352 x 416 pixels 2,1 inch screen (nice density, huh?). The battery life is better than the iPhones, it really has features, it has a better internet browser, and even a QWERTY keyboard.

For backups and file transfers I have an external hard drive, as big as an iPod but without the unneeded player, which I bought for $120. And it’s designed by Porsche, looks fabulous.

kboggs – yes, I hate jobs, because all he does is bullshit people. every new feature is ‘revolutionary’ to him, but it’s GUARANTEED to have been introduced a while ago by another company. He’s either one of the biggest bullshitters ever or totally ignorant to products other that his own. Look how a single man has managed to overtake Microsoft..

I smilingly await your follow-ups

Andi Says: September 5, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Brett, I must also make an addition: when speaking about the new Touch as an ‘iPhone without a radio’ I meant the telephony radio. I don’t feel the necessity of a radio in a PMP. I like to hear my own music, rather than have (usually crappy) radio music forced upon me. And as a side note to all, I’m writing this comment from that old Nokia, all while listening to high-quality music, and being connected to Yahoo and MSN and google talk via a speedy UMTS connection and riding the subway.. I’m truly and utterly satisfied with that :)

tastes differ, folks!.. I’m content with the quality I already have, and have posted my opinions about the Apple devices. I’m not looking to pointlessly bash Steve Jobs, but merely offer alternatives to people who haven’t discovered any themselves

H Says: September 6, 2007 at 4:31 am

Look, I love Apple’s products. I always have and I will continue to buy them. I have a 5G iPod, an iPhone, and a MacBook. My whole family has converted over, as well as many of my friends and they have never complained to me once. I don’t think Jobs is a bullshitter, but he is definitely a good salesman. Who else gets the world so excited about a product that they camp out for days just to get one? Video games aside, there isn’t a consumer electronics device in memory that people have waited in line for the way they waited for the iPhone.

Apple has top notch customer support and their devices are not only beautiful, but a pleasure to use and that’s why they dominate the MP3 player market and soon the smartphone market. Say what you will about the iPhone, but it’s a hell of a lot smarter than the Treo I had a few months ago.

Interesting question, though – who is going to go to Chinatown or a shady internet dealer during the upcoming holiday season and buy a PMP from some Asian country? What happens when it breaks and there’s no one to go to for support? Why not just buy similar technology from a reputable company where the customer service is excellent?

I’ll admit that Apple has its flaws, like the iPhone price cut announcement only 2 months after people bought their iPhones, or the fact that there’s a new and better version of a product only a few months after the first one is released. I also would have liked a radio in the new iPod/iPhone because I do listen to the radio when I’m sick of listening to my iPod.

If you hate Apple, fine. You’re allowed to have your opinions, but the average consumer is going to buy what works and what has worked for the past 5 years. Your little tirade against the keynote, as unneeded as it was, isn’t going to bring down Apple, nor do I think that was your intention. The problem with your “review” was that your bias came out first, then your comments. You either prefaced the few good things that they announced with something negative, or you followed the good things with something negative. It’s ok to say, “you know what, the product is good, but it could have used more this/less that,” instead of, “The iPod has good battery life, now here’s a laundry list of reasons why it sucks.”

The problem with a lot of Tech Fanboys is that they are impossible to please. Sure, the Chinese PMP has all this stuff the iPod doesn’t, but when you finally get your hands on it, you find something better to compare it to and then automatically it’s complete crap.

I like Coolest Gadgets – they make me aware of some pretty cool stuff – but your article looked like something that should have come from the depths of a CNet comments section.

Andi Says: September 6, 2007 at 7:54 am

H: OK, I get your point… and to make mine stronger, I’ll say that I never bought some Chinese craptastic products, just tested a lot and questioned my friends.

As I’ve said before, my convergence devices of choice come from Nokia (and sadly they’re not as well represented in the US as they are in Europe or Asia), and for music players I’d choose Sony, if only I needed that now. They’re both great companies, have excellent support, but I only had to call them up once, as their products didn’t just break down.

Apple has a very simple interface, and simple designs. They appeal to many non-techi because of that, and I have nothing against it. It’s cool. But for a gadget/tech fan, it’s unsatisfactory. And for power users too.

I’m calling Jobs a BSer only and only because he pipes up calling most features ‘revolutionary’ ‘never-seen-before’ ‘innovative’ and so on… Sadly, most if not all of them have already been featured quite a while ago in other devices.

Design-wise, Apple’s kinda going down in my humble opinion… iPods are just boxes with a circle and a screen, and the new iMacs don’t appeal to me like they did at the first generation. Sony has a new Vaio all-in-one that looks far better than the Apple. The iPhone looks good. Really. But I could not stand having a smartphone that has so many locked features and doesn’t even have a real keyboard. I love mine (nokia e70).. but in the US it lacks 3G and isn’t loved because it’s ugly.

I thought that the iPhone getting cheaper was good news, really..

And, as an endnote, YES, jobs is an EXCELLENT salesman. But without the lies he wouldn’t be as good as he is now…

I’ve just stumbled upon a feature comparison put in a nice way:

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johnmeister Says: September 6, 2007 at 10:04 am

iphone vs N95? You really want to compare a $400 iphone to a $600 N95? You think that is fair?

Andi Says: September 6, 2007 at 10:14 am

johnmeister: -> do the math, add the subsidies you have to pay for 2 years… the nokia is $600 unlocked and off contract ;)

johnmeister Says: September 6, 2007 at 10:39 am

So you still think it is fair to compare a $400 phone to a $600 phone? That says it all.

phone plans are a different thing altogether. Without a phone plan, your phone is useless. You will be paying “subsidies” as long as you have a phone. BTW, you know you can unlock the iPhone with a simple downloadable app. Or did you not know that?

JoeS Says: September 6, 2007 at 10:47 am

Okay, I have something to add to Andi’s collection of Apple-bashing goodness. The “face” that Steve brought up when mentioning the iPod Touch was the first PMP to have a browser built-in amazed me. The Archos has WiFi in the last generation, and the move to 160 in the iPod classic is to compete with the recently released 405 and 605 from Archos, the 605 and 705 can come with 160G, a touchscreen, WiFi, and the Opera browser. So the first? Far from it. Obviously wherever he lives everyone rides Segways, plugged into their iPhones with an iPod in their pocket, a MacBook Pro in their messenger bag, with a PowerMac at home, no one has heard of the Archos brand. One thing you’ll never find on an Apple product, is the ability to use their PMP’s as a DVR. The Archos has an available DVR dock so you can record it, then take it with you. I own an Apple G5, and an 80G iPod I will be replacing with the 160G Archos 605, a Dell laptop running Ubuntu, and a 17-in MacBook Pro just purchased recently. Oh, and a media server running a dual boot for Fedora 7 and Windows Vista. I enjoy all platforms for various reasons. I’m not biased towards one company or another. I don’t understand why anyone is, unless you need to feel a part of the Mac “Community.”

Anonymous Says: September 6, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Hey Johnmeister, by the way, how’s it feel to be paying over 1200 dollars a year for iPhone service? That must be pretty awesome.

scott Says: September 6, 2007 at 1:33 pm

To Shawn

Dude, pick up on the sarcasm….

scott Says: September 6, 2007 at 1:53 pm

To Shawn (con’t)

Oh yeah. I’m also a happy 8gb iPhone owner

johnmeister Says: September 6, 2007 at 3:13 pm

to anonymous,

it is great! It is less than I paid on my plan when I had a Sony Ericsson w810i. The UNLIMITED internet access plus 200 text for $20 a month is a great price. I don’t think you can beat that in the US. That’s $60 a month. The cheapest similar plan with Verizon is $80.

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