Apple afterthoughts: The real news is what wasn't announced

Let's recap, shall we? Apple's news event is over and we now know that there's a new version of iTunes and some tweaks to the lineup of iPods.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Let's recap, shall we? Apple's news event is over and we now know that there's a new version of iTunes and some tweaks to the lineup of iPods. Here's what there isn't:

No Tablet Mac. Well, that shouldn't come as a big surprise, given that the buzz around the launch of a tablet Mac started to fizzle a while back.

No iPod cameras. It's tough to say whether the rumors over the past week or so about technical problems with the camera that was supposed to go in the iPod were true or not. Aside from a video camera feature in the iPod Nano - now a competitor to the FlipCam - there was no mention of a camera in any of the iPods.

No major price drops. Sure, the lower-end iPod Touch dropped by $30 but everything else was a capacity upgrade for the same price. Does that count as a price drop? Personally, I think not.

No upgrades to the IPhone - which wasn't expected either, seeing how this "It's Only Rock n Roll" event clearly seemed to be about music.

No real news. Sure, there were some cool new features in the all new iTunes 9 and I plan to do some upgrading to my home machines right away. But even the return of Steve Jobs to the center-stage was more exciting than some of the other headlines.

The critics are already chiming in - many on my liveblog post this morning - about this event really being more of a non-event. And, for the most part, it's hard to argue against that assessment. Clearly, Apple needed to make some sort of announcement about its holiday lineup and early September seems to be the time of the year that the company chooses to release news. But the fact that this particular event devoted so much time to partner demos of new iPod Touch video games and a full demo of iTunes kind of offered a hint that that was as good as it was going to get.

And it was.

But make no mistake - the iPod remains the 800-pound Gorilla among portable music devices with nearly 74 percent market share. And little things like new colors and small tweaks here and there will be enough to bring the kids - and parents - into the stores to take a look this holiday season.

Right about now, Mac fans are likely thinking about the next big announcement, traditionally made as part of MacWorld in January. Only problem is that Apple is no longer affiliated with the annual trade show so don't expect some big keynote speech and major announcement about a tablet Mac there. Tech bloggers - myself included - still think early 2010 will be the time frame for a Tablet Mac announcement but I guess we'll have to wait for another event invitation to fall in our inboxes.

Sure, today's event may have been more of a non-event - and there's a risk that the next Apple announcement could also be a disappointment. But until Apple falls off the pedestal that tech geeks have put the company on, I'll continue to attend and write about their news events.

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