Apple upgrades iPod, shows Bluetooth

At Macworld Expo Tokyo, Steve Jobs has unveiled a new iPod with PDA features, Apple's larget flat-panel display yet and Bluetooth software for Mac OS X
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

As expected, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled a new iPod music player and a larger flat-panel display at Macworld Expo Tokyo on Thursday. He also demonstrated Bluetooth hardware and software for the Mac, which will arrive in preview form next month.

The new iPod has a 10GB storage capacity, double that of the original introduced last year, and includes software allowing it to store and manage up to 1,000 contacts. The software, available for download from Apple's Web site for earlier iPods, can transfer contacts from Microsoft Entourage, Palm Desktop or Mac OS X's Address Book into the iPod Contacts folder.

The software includes 20 new equaliser presets adapting to different music genres.

New iPods are available with customised names or messages laser-engraved onto the back, Jobs said. The new device can store up to 2,000 songs, something Jobs may have found handy while travelling to the Japanese show. "You can listen to your music continuously on six round-trip flights between San Francisco and Tokyo and never hear the same song twice," he said in the show's opening keynote.

The new iPod costs $499 (about £350), while the original model is still selling for $399.

Jobs unveiled a larger version of the Cinema Display for Power Macs, a 23-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display with a 1920x1200 pixel resolution called the Cinema HD Display. The monitor, which sells for $3,400, is expected to be popular with those creating video content for High Definition Television (HDTV) in its original resolution.

It is less than two inches thick, displays 16.7 million colours and features a wide 16:10 aspect ratio and a 160-degree viewing angle. The Cinema HD Display requires a Power Mac G4 with a digital ADC connector.

Jobs also demonstrated Bluetooth software and USB Bluetooth connector providing short-range wireless connectivity for Mac OS 10.1.3, the first time Bluetooth has been announced for the Mac.

Apple isn't the first to popularise Bluetooth as a way of connecting mobile devices and peripherals to a desktop computer, but it aims to simplify a potentially confusing technology for end users. "Apple was the first to build in Ethernet, one of the first to build in USB, the first to build in FireWire, and the first to build in 802.11 wireless networking," Jobs said at the keynote. "Now we're offering a Bluetooth solution that actually works and is easy to use."

Apple helped popularise USB by making it the standard interface for the iMac in 1998, and was an early adopter of 802.11 wireless LAN, with its AirPort wireless peripherals.

Apple is offering a USB adapter from D-Link on its Web site for $49, and in April will make a preview version of the USB software available on its Web site. At Macworld Expo Jobs demonstrated synchronising a PDA wirelessly with a Mac.

The company has also announced that it has raised prices on its popular new iMac computers by $100 because of price rises for flat-panel displays. Demand for the computers has been stronger than expected and Apple has had difficulties filling orders.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Go to the ZDNet news forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom.

Editorial standards