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Additional notes from Apple's iPod-athon

It is late in the UK, I’ve put stuff together here and here. There’s a few facts which might be of interest to some readers, so I thought I’d take a moment to put them down.

The Apple TV runs an A4 processor

OK, as I expected international audiences lucked out on the Apple TV. We have no on device purchases (so no random podcasts, either), and without access to $0.99 show rentals the product loses a lot of its pitch for international audiences. This is compensated slightly by Apple’s move to cut the price and to make set-up of new computers from which to stream content much, much easier — you don’t need to log in or use code numbers anymore.

A bloke from Apple confirmed the Apple TV is powered by an A4 chip. So while I can see the system doesn’t run apps yet (and lack of a drive makes this challenging) I can’t see any theoretical reason the device couldn’t in future run apps in some way, though perhaps only streamed versions of video games controlled and hosted on an iPad. Well, so I wish, anyway.

I also predict there will be demand in future to separate audio from video streams. This will let people play their audio via the AirPort Express on their huge phat music system while watching the movie on their gazillion-inch Apple-branded TV (did I get ahead of myself there?).

There’s no video in the iPod nano

Yeah, you read that right — that small screen won’t let you watch the tiniest video in the world. And there’s no camera also. Never mind thought, it is a really nice little device. And if all you want is music the iPod shuffle is pretty good, too.

The iPod classic

Speaking to my contacts I got no sense that the iPod classic is on its way to the great product graveyard in the sky. I suspect Apple will keep selling them until people stop buying them. I do think a capacity upgrade would be nice, particularly for those who like to use their classic to play lossless audio files. The product isn’t an A-lister anymore, but it is respected as a veteran product which opened a new world for AAPL. And it still sells.

Apple v MySpace and Facebook

Apple’s new social network for music *as Steve Jobs called it several times* is not just what it says. It is a starting point.

Think about how Apple gets into any new industry. It puts together a simple concept. tests it and makes it popular, then extends it incrementally. This is why I still believe the Apple TV will one day run apps, and also why I believe Apple’s taking a new initiative to get into social networking. Particularly now it has iAds and valuable location-based data to use, and is developing understanding of the value of that.

This is a nice and simple beginning. Can’t wait to see the Lady GaGa ad for it at some point in future.

Baffle ’em with B.S.

Apple always offers up a few interesting statistics at the beginning of these events. Many of us Mac scribblers gloss over these while we wait for the meat. It is only weeks later that we find we need them and no one has written them down. Here’s what we learned in the first few minutes:

Apple retail

  • Apple has 300 stores, Covent Garden, London was its 300th store
  • Over a million people visit these retail stores some days in every month.
  • Apple runs 80,000 one-on-one sessions per week in stores

iOS 4

  • iOS 4.1 update fixes the Proximity bug
  • 120 million iOS devices have shipped since one year ago – that’s 230,000 iOS devices per day.
  • 25,000 iPad apps
  • HDR photos are based on algorithmic treatment taken from three images, it pulls out enhanced detail by doing this.
  • iOS 4.1 is for iPhone and the iPod touch. Available next week.
  • iOS 4.2 comes a little later this year

Apple has sold 275 million iPods since 2001. (iPhone is already catching up. I’m sure it must be time for one of those info-graphics, but that’s beyond the call at midnight).

I’m sure some of these notes will help somebody. On a lean day, some of these are stories in themselves. (Incidentally, in previous years Apple has hosted a nice little party for Europe’s tech hacks. This year it didn’t — that’s fine, but it underlines the new austere age we’re in. Sigh).

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