In his usual ‘genius-in-a-black-turtleneck’ manner, Steve Jobs led the Apple faithful in another fanboy convention today.
During the event, horribly named ‘Let’s Rock‘, Jobs addressed concerns about his health, introduced the new iPod nano, the new iPod touch features, updates to iTunes and the iPhone, his new deal with NBC, and some monetization specifics for all these cool gizmos.
Because really, that’s all traders and investors want to hear about anyway. We’ll leave the gushy ‘everything is soooo cool’ love poems to some other blogs. Photos, analysis, and more info after the jump:
Going into the event, one of the main concerns was over Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO’s health. He looked paler and skinnier than usual at his last public event, which fueled speculation that his cancer may have returned. Perhaps more so than any other company, Jobs’ leadership is deeply ingrained in Apple success. Diminishing health and a new CEO would definitely spell doom for Apple stock.
Jobsy came out blazing with this introductory quip, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Oh Steve, you crazy guy, you.
Jobs went on to laud iTunes as the dominant music player/shop in the industry. These numbers speak for themselves: 8.5 million songs, 125,000 podcasts, 2,600 movies, 3,000 apps for the iPod Touch and iPhone. 65 million accounts.
Next up, iTunes is unveiling a full arsenal of HD TV shows. Costs $1.99 for standard def, and $2.99 to purchase a show in HD. Would you pay twice as much for HD? Of course you would. The biggest win for Apple in this announcement is that NBC is back on board with exclusive distribution of its shows on iTunes. That means Heroes, 30 Rock and The Office — the big TV hits among the young (and most active online user) crowd.
There was a bit of a hit to the Apple/Nike partnership though. That cool nano/sneaker device that kept track of your running distances, workout times, and played your favorite pump-up music is coming standard on the iPod touch now without the extra transmitter. Looks like you wouldn’t need to buy Nike’s specially designed shoes anymore. Ouch. Good for Apple, bad for Nike.
NPD, an independent research group, announces the iPod has 73.4% of the MP3 player market share. Some other random dudes are in 2nd with a combined 15.4%, and SanDisk is in 3rd. Microsoft’s Zune is in a very distant 4th place. Also, 90% of car manufacturers offer iPod connectivity in new car models and, in total, over 160 million iPod have been sold.
In other news, the iPod nano is back and it’s skinny again with a bunch of girly colors and a bigger screen. You can literally shake the device now and it will shuffle random songs for you. Kind of a kitschy little idea, but I’m sure it will also cause you accidentally shake it without the ‘hold/lock’ button on.
A version of the much anticipated Spore videogame will be available on the iPhone/Touch. EA’s new ‘Need For Speed’ game will have an Apple device version too. Awesome idea! If it’s functional, this could legitimize the iPhone as a rival videogame device to the Nintendo DS and the PSP.
Jobs also said he is pleased to announce that after only being open for 60 days so far, the Apple App Store has already sold 100 million applications and is now availble in 62 countries. This will probably be Apple’s new money-making product. With iPhones/Touches becoming more ubiquitous by the day, more users will want to buy additional add-on features to make working with them more fun/convenient.
In conclusion, although this conference didn’t have any of the big ‘Wow’s or surprises we’ve grown to expect from these things, it did make an impressive impact in the form of cross-promotional business ties. NBC, Nike (unfavorably, in our opinion), EA and a host of other companies are all involved in the Apple bandwagon now.
Let us know what you thought of all the hooplah in the comments section.
CNBC: Apple Event ‘Let’s Rock’ Liveblog, September 9, 2008
Gizmodo: Live blog from Apple Let’s Rock, September 9, 2008
Wired: Apple Live blog Let’s Rock, September 9, 2008