Mossberg: Apple’s new iPod+iTunes are ‘better products at better prices’

“Next month marks the fifth anniversary of one of the most successful products of the digital era, Apple Computer’s iPod music player. Since 2001, potential iPod-killers have come and gone like autumn foliage. Apple claims an astonishing 76% market share in the U.S. for the iPod and an equally amazing 88% share of the U.S. legal music download market for its companion iTunes online store. Over 60 million iPods and 1.5 billion songs have been sold,” Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret report for The Wall Street Journal.

“This holiday season Apple has made some of the biggest changes to the iPod and iTunes in years. It has redesigned the iPod Nano and Shuffle, cut prices and/or raised capacities on all models, introduced a new iPod search feature, added color games and movie playback to the full-sized iPod, and more. Plus, it has given the iTunes software its biggest overhaul ever, making the software both simpler and more fun to use,” Mossberg and Boehret report. “Oh, and it has started selling downloadable feature films, which can be played on computers, iPods, and, soon, via a forthcoming new device, on TV sets.”

“We’ve been testing the new iPods and iTunes for several weeks… Our verdict: the new iPods are more versatile and less costly than ever, but the new iTunes software is an even bigger improvement, although it has one big downside — its coolest new feature [CoverFlow] is so graphically demanding that it doesn’t work right on some older computers,” Mossberg and Boehret report.

“In addition to viewing full-length movies on the full-sized iPod, you can now play classic color games, such as Tetris, Pac-Man, Bejeweled, Poker and Mahjong. Apple sells these games via iTunes for $4.99 each,” Mossberg and Boehret report. “In our tests, playing even very familiar games with a scroll wheel instead of a mouse or joystick took some adjustment. But, eventually, we got the hang of it, and the color and detail of the games on the iPod’s screen was impressive.”

Mossberg and Boehret report, “It’s impossible to know if Apple can sustain its remarkably high market shares in the face of new competition, but it is going into the battle with better products at better prices.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
The Washington Post: ‘New competitors can’t measure up to Apple’s iPod’ – September 30, 2006
Computerworld review: ‘Apple’s new iPods are better than ever’ – September 27, 2006
Review: Pac-Man for iPod – September 27, 2006
PC Magazine’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for MP3 players: Apple iPod line – September 25, 2006
Thurrott reviews Apple’s iTunes 7: ‘the best software-based media jukebox I’ve ever used’ – September 22, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’ – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
PC Magazine review: iTunes 7 ‘Apple’s best effort yet’ (4 stars out of 5) – September 15, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
What’s new in Apple’s iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Analyst Gartenberg: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006

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