Apple Enters Portable Media Player Market

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Apple Revenue Soars,
Income Quadruples

Cupertino, Calif. — Strong demand for iPods and personal computers helped Apple Computer boost fiscal fourth-quarter revenue by 57 percent and quadruple net income.
 

San Jose, Calif. — Apple added video and photo playback to two new iPods and video downloading to its iTunes Music Store.

The video iPods, due next week in Apple stores and authorized retailers, feature a 2.5-inch 260K color screen and come in 30GB and 60GB versions at a suggested $299 and $399, respectively, in black or white. The screens display album artwork, photos and videos transferred from a PC, including music videos, in-season TV shows, video podcasts and other video content available for authorized downloading from Apple’s web site.

Apple struck content deals to include more than 2,000 music videos, six short films from Pixar Animation Studios, and five television shows from ABC and Disney Channel, including “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.” The TV show downloads will be available a day after they air on network TV. Video downloads cost $1.99.

Video and photos can be displayed on connected TVs for viewing through an optional docking station, which also connects the iPods to stereo systems.

The new models are 30 percent thinner and offer 50 percent more storage capacity than the music-only models they will replace but will be available at the same prices, said CEO Steve Jobs. He predicted that millions of people would buy the new devices simply to play music, enabling it to “quickly become the most popular portable video player in history.”

They are 4.1 inches by 2.4 inches by 0.43 inches and 4.1 inches by 2.4 inches 0.55 inches in size and weigh 4.8 ounces and 5.5 ounces, respectively.

Like before, they play music files in the following formats: 16 to 320Kbps AAC and MP3; protected AAC; MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; WAV; AIFF; and Audible formats 2, 3 and 4. The new models also view photos in the JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, Mac-only PSD and PNG formats. Video can be stored in H.264 up to 768Kbps at 30 fps in 320 by 240-pixel resolution or in MPEG-4 up to 2.5Mbps at 30 fps in 480 by 480 resolution.

The 30GB model features up to 14 hours of battery life for music playback, and the 60GB model features up to 20 hours of battery life for music playback.

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