Today, Apple held their 'One More Thing' presentation. Apple is always very mysterious whenever they announce new products. They are very careful not to let any information slip out as to what they are going to announce. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, is known to get to a point in his presentations where he casually says 'one more thing...'. This is usually when he announces a major new product. Everyone who follows Apple knows this, so based on this mysterious phrase, they new this was going to be a big day. As usual Apple didn't dissapoint. Here's some of the things announced:
Updated iMac: This new iMac is now even thinner than the old one (wow!) and has a built in iSight (a video camera). This means you can now do video conferencing 'out of the box'. A nice addition. I can see how this would be a useful feature. The new iMac costs the same as the old 'fatter' one. It also comes with some new 'media center' type software that lets you view videos, music, etc through a wireless (Bluetooth!) remote. I haven't seen this software yet, so I'm not sure what I think of this yet. All in all, some nice improvements to the iMac.
Cancelled the eMac: This wasn't really announced at the presentation, but it was discovered afterwards. The eMac is Apple's computer aimed at the educational market. In other words, its the 'school Mac'. The eMac consists of a CRT monitor and computer all integrated together into one box. From what I've been reading, this is a difficult computer to work with, when it comes to any kind of repairs, due to it's all in one CRT case. This, plus the fact that CRT monitors are becoming rare. Most computers these days are sold with LCD monitors. The new iMac more than fits the bill here (since it is essentially an entire computer integrated into an LCD screen.). I guess they figured that the iMac can easily fill the area the eMac once served, so it is no longer needed.
Cancelled the U2 iPod: The U2 iPod is no longer listed on their online store. This means that they are no longer selling it. It is no longer needed, since the main appeal of it was that the U2 iPod was black, whereas the regular iPod was white. The new iPods they also released today (more below) come in black so it's no longer needed.
Introduced the video iPod: This has been a product that has LONG been rumored to be coming from Apple, but they have always denied it in the past. The video iPod looks basically the same as the old iPod, only now it comes in 30 and 60 GB capacities and it's thinner than the old ones. It also comes with a larger screen, which has a higher resolution (320x240, versus the old color screen that was 160x160). It also has the ability to display video (i.e. movies) and has a video out so you can display these movies on your TV.
Added the selling of music videos to the iTunes store: This is not really a surprise. They've been selling a few videos on there for a while now and the iTunes software has been able to play movies for a while. This is just the natural progression of things. I wasn't surprised by this, and frankly not impressed. So the new iPod can play a few music videos. So what? That's not worth buying a new iPod for. It was their final announcement (the 'one more thing...') that makes the new video iPod very interesting.
Added the selling of episodes of TV shows to the iTunes store: This is where things get very interesting. I wasn't expecting this. When you think about it though, this is the natural progression of where they should go. They have sold individual tracks from a CD and entire CD albums before. Now that they are selling episodes of TV shows on the iTunes store, I fully expect them to start selling 'season packs' of TV episodes, and to provide the ability to make DVDs from these videos. This is the next step. They new have audio albums and 'video albums'. Apple has already taken over the market for CD singles and singlehandedly legitimized the online music business. Now they are going to take over the DVD market! DVD producers make a lot of money selling these DVD season packs in the stores. Once Apple starts doing this, they stand to steal a lot of business from the DVD producers. A very clever move.