By Matthew Henry
SYDNEY: Apple’s iPod is no longer white. The company today released a new iPod range, abandoning its signature glossy white player finish for metallic grey aluminium, while also introducing an iPhone-like model called the iPod Touch.
The company’s familiar standard iPod form factor, now called the iPod Classic, has benefited from a boost in hard drive from 30GB to 60GB on the base model (RRP $349), with a high-end 160GB option now available for RRP $479.
The Classic lineup will be available in silver and black with an annodised aluminium outer casing replacing the white or black glossy plastic typically associated with the world’s most popular mp3 player, which has to date sold more than 100 million worldwide.
However, the trademark white earphones will remain.
The change in Apple’s aesthetic design follows the restyled iMacs released last month, which also moved from a white look to an annodised aluminium finish.
Among the refreshed lineup announced today was also a third-generation iPod Nano with a more squat form factor, to accommodating a larger two-inch screen for pictures and video. The Nano will be available in 4GB (RRP $199) and 8GB (RRP $279) with a choice of silver, black, blue, green and red.
The new iPod Touch is modeled on the iPhone with a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface, built-in Safari web browser, Wi-Fi connectivity and other features such as the company’s Cover Flow interface.
“The iPod Touch is a landmark iPod, ushering in a whole new generation of features based on its revolutionary multi-touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking,” said AppleCEO, Steve Jobs.
“People are going to be amazed at how thin it is and how much it does.”
When connected to a Wi-Fi network, iPod Touch users will be able to access the new Wi-Fi iTunes Music Store to buy and download songs directly through the iPod with no PC required.
The 8mm thin Touch is a flash memory based player available in 8GB (RRP $419) and 16GB (RRP $549), with battery life delivering up to 22 hours of music playback and five hours of video.
The Touch will be launched in Australia later this month – well before the iPhone is due to arrive on local shores.