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Apple Product Announcements

Today at 10:00 AM PST, Steve Jobs announced the release of three "fun new products" as mentioned in the invitation given out to certain press outlets earlier last week.

The announcement opened with the release of the Mac mini going Intel. The new mini ships with what Jobs referred to as "Front Row with Bonjor" meaning that users of the software can now access shared music and videos in iTunes as well as shared photo albums from iPhoto from other Macs on the same network. With that it was also announced that this new version of Front Row would be available to other Mac users with Front Row installed. In addition to this, the new units ship with either an Intel Core Solo 1.55 GHz or an Intel Core Duo 1.67 GHz, with an included combo or super drive and sixty or eighty Gb drive respectively.

Both versions include four USB ports, Firewire 400, Dolby Digital 5.1 analog in and out as well as a DVI video out port and Gigabit Ethernet. Also each unit ships standard with Bluetooth and Airport Extreme as well as Mac OS X Tiger 10.4 and iLife '06. Both units will be selling for a price of $599 and $799 USD respective to the Solo and Duo models and ship with an Apple Universal Remote for use with Front Row. With that, Jobs announced that over fifty percent of the Mac line had transitioned over to Intel within sixty days.

On the iPod front, it was announced that Apple would be selling specially fit Italian Leather cases for both the iPod and iPod nano. Both will sell for a price of $99 USD. After the case announcement, Jobs spent a brief moment talking about the automotive front, announcing that approximately forty percent of all vehicles sold ship with iPod connectivity. This is where he transitioned over to the home entertainment front where it was announced that an Apple branded speaker set is now on the market.

The iPod Hi-Fi features a top loading iPod dock accepting all iPod models (Shuffle and other non-dock iPods plug into an auxiliary audio port mounted on the rear) and optical and analog audio input. The speakers included feature two 80 mm mid-range speakers housed in a sealed acoustic suspension, and a 130 mm dual voice coil woofer featuring a ported bass reflex design, housed inside a sealed resin enclosure. The exterior is comprised of a traditional iconic white plastic housing with a black speaker grill covering the enclosed speakers. The top features as mentioned a universal dock compatible with all docking iPods and two handles for easy movement.

To power the Hi-Fi, an AC adaptor is built into the enclosure so that only a simple cord is required. And for on the go, it can be powered off of six D cell batteries. Another feature (exclusive to the nano and fifth generation iPod) is a new "Speaker" menu item which provides a user with several Hi-Fi only options including a full screen album viewing mode, additional backlighting settings, and Hi-Fi EQ presets allowing the user to adjust the tone for a given environment.

The Hi-Fi ships for $349 USD and includes an Apple Universal Remote for controlling the iPod from a distance.

Link: iPod Hi-Fi

Link: Mac mini

News source: Macworld: News: Apple Event Live Update

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