Well, It's official. As of January 11, 2005 about 10:43 CMT Steve Job's uttered his trademark "And there's one more thing..." The new flash iPod from Apple! After some uncharacteristic delays on the Apple site, I finally confirmed my order for my 1GB iPod Shuffle literaly 9 minutes after it was anounced to the world. So did Reagan, my business partner. (For the record, I ordered mine a few minutes before he did. That's Right!) Delivery date is set for no later that 01.28.05. It seems that I wasn't the only one ready to jump on the latest must have from the company that truly knows what we all really want in regard to technology, funtionality, elegance and stuff that simply works. Here's the latest from Wired at Macworld.
SAN FRANCISCO -- To see the mob at the San Francisco Apple Store late Tuesday morning, you might have thought U2 was in the house. But the actual star of the day was the brand new iPod shuffle, a $100, 512-MB music player and Apple Computer's shot across the bow of its competitors in the low-end MP3 player category.
Just minutes earlier, at the close of his Macworld keynote address at Moscone Center, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had said he'd "heard a rumor" that the iPod shuffle was available at the nearby Apple Store, two blocks north. That set off a rush of more than 100 people who couldn't wait to get their hands on the new product.
"I'm here because I'm scared that they'll be sold out if I wait until tomorrow," said Steve Salos, an employee at the nearby CompUSA store. "At CompUSA, I get my (employee discount, but the Apple Store is) the only place you can get" the iPod shuffle.
In recent years, keynote attendees were treated to wireless internet connections and were able to order whatever product Jobs had just announced online. But this year, there was no working Wi-Fi in the auditorium, and so, perhaps by design, frantic would-be iPod shuffle buyers had little choice but to try to beat the crowd to the Apple Store.
"It was mass hysteria," said Paul Spalek, who was canvassing outside the Apple Store for the Fund for Public Interest. "There were pretty much people from every depth of the street who were taking pictures.... Everyone was in their own little head because of this."
Anthony Kolb, an Apple Store employee, said he was just returning from his lunch break when he saw the mass of people descending on the store. "It was pretty insane," Kolb said. "I had to swim through people to the back. It was a lot of fun."
Kolb also said that, due to the secrecy that always surrounds new Apple product launches, he and other store employees had not known what the big Macworld launch would be. Thus, he said, he had no advance sales training.
"You're going to know when the customer knows," he said he was told. "So you're going to have to learn (how to sell it) as fast as possible."
Meanwhile, inside the store, employee Michael Lyen was handing out iPod shuffles as fast as he could pull them out of boxes. Many people were taking two and three at a time. It had the feel of someone handing out freebies on the street. Such is the lure of being one of the first to shell out $100 for a music player that is shorter than a pen. Stefano Scalia, who was standing in line to buy one, said the whole experience was an exercise in being a part of what he called "Steve Jobs' reality-distortion field."
"Anything he says, everybody buys it," Scalia said. "I just wanted to run out and get one even though I'm on a tight budget.... I'm a die-hard Mac user, and basically, everyone's going to have one. I need to have one." It's not just Mac users who are buying iPod shuffles. Like the rest of the iPod family, the new devices work with either Macs or PCs, making it clear that Apple intends to take over what little of the music player market it doesn't already control.
Given the iPod shuffle's placement as the final announcement at Jobs' keynote, it is becoming apparent that, regardless of the name of the show, the iPod is Apple's standard-bearer. That doesn't necessarily sit well with everyone. "I like the Mac for the operating system and the computer," said Kolb. "The iPod is cool, but the Mac is cooler. I would hate to see the iPod take over the company."
Kolb shouldn't worry. On Jan. 22, Apple will begin selling its new Mac mini, Jobs' other big announcement of the day. With the Mac mini priced at $500, Kolb will probably have to swim his way through a sea of Mac buyers.
Thanks to Daniel Terdiman @ Wired