Zune and iPod news: Apple is certainly looking nimble and responsive

the family of iPodsFirst as I grabbed a little late lunch between meetings, an catching up after the holiday weekend, I read on CNET that Zune gets price cut and that a day later Apple's Steve Jobs brought out a slew of new iPods and lowered the price of the iPhone.

Busy day.

Reviewing the news tonite, I thought about the points that Jobs made in his keynote today as covered here on engadget by Ryan Block...

  • 600 million copies of iTunes distributed
  • More than 3 billion songs bought on iTunes
  • 6 million songs on iTunes in 21 countries, making iTunes the number 3 music retailer in the US, behind Wal-Mart and Best Buy
  • Nearly 100 million TV shows sold
  • Over 110 million iPods sold to date

And the whole iPod in the line will be refreshed or replaced this holiday season.

First off, let me say that I'm a fan of the Zune (we have a couple at home). But I'm fickle: I also like Rhapsody on my 1GB Sandisk Sansa music player as I previously noted here. 

Back to Apple: that new iPod nano is just too cute.

I was exhausted, just in reviewing the Steve Jobs keynote slides: there's so much going on. And this evening as I put the kids to bed and my Zune in its dock, I thought, this area of portable digital entertainment is one that Apple really has established, developed, refined and continues to pound, over and over and over.  

Momentum.  Apple has momentum.

And it appears that the new iPod products are well positioned for this holiday, IMHO, and messaged at the right time: students are heading back to school, they're thinking of new technology and already thinking of holiday gift lists. 

As for Zune? Well, lots of speculation on next-gen Zune models and gearing for the holiday season.  Just have to wait and see.  There are now five nifty colours and the new Halo 3 edition model

I do like the business model in subscription music (as mentioned here) and the option to download as many songs as I like via Zune Marketplace.

Apple generally responds well to customer feedback and demands, given the breadth of new designs that appeal to a wide range of consumers and price bands.  The latest additions and enhancements to the iPod line continue that tradition.  And I've found that Apple provides elegant and easy-to-understand consumer customer support (slick site) and reliable products, save a few issues with the iPod batteries and to be seen with the iPhone battery as noted here:

What is the iPhone Battery Replacement Program?
If your iPhone requires service only because the battery’s ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will repair your iPhone for a service fee of $79, plus $6.95 shipping. Be sure to follow these instructions for optimizing lifespan and battery life before submitting your iPhone for battery replacement.

Two months in and they already have a battery life problem?  Ouch.

I do feel for the people who purchased the iPhone this summer at a premium, given the price drops noted today. (The 8GB model is now $299, and 16GB comes in at $399.) Perhaps Apple will spiff those early, top-dollar customers the $86 to cover a new battery with diminishing electrical charge issues.

Speaking of batteries: