Apple's Jobs Looks, Hypes Thin At IPod Launch


Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, appeared on stage at Apple's "Let's Rock" event in his customary long-sleeved black shirt and jeans. Early on, a slide on the giant screen behind him appeared which cautioned, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

The Bloomberg news service mistakenly published Jobs' obituary late last month. Media organizations commonly keep the obituaries of famous people on file and the Bloomberg error is actually a fairly common one.

The Apple CEO's hour-long presentation covered a string of new iPod and iPhone-related announcements, before winding down in a mellow fashion with a two-song performance by best-selling musical artist Jack Johnson.

Jobs first unveiled a new 8GB iPod nano featuring a "shake to shuffle" feature for advancing songs via the motion sensor technology already in Apple's iPhone. The 8GB iPod nano will sell for $149 and it's Apple's thinnest iPod to date, according to Jobs. A $199, 16GB version will be available at the weekend.

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Apple also has three new iPod Touch devices, all made available Tuesday. These include an 8GB version priced at $229, a 16GB version for $299 and a 32GB version for $399. The latest, ultra-thin Touch is "the funnest iPod ever," according to Jobs.

Owners of iPhones also received some welcome news from Jobs. Apple announced a software update for both iPhones and iPods, Version 2.1, which Jobs promised would reduce dropped calls on the iPhone and extend the battery life and trim back application crashes on both devices.

Jobs also boasted of some sales and download milestones. Apple has sold some 160 million iPods since the first was released in 2001, he said. Meanwhile, users of the company's online App Store have downloaded 100 million software applications from the site since it was launched alongside the 3G iPhone two months ago, he said.