iPod nano, shuffle Discontinued as Apple Looks to Simplify Lineup

iPod nano, shuffle Discontinued as Apple Looks to Simplify Lineup


  • The two products have been removed from Apple’s online store
  • The shuffle hit the market in 2005 with faster flash storage
  • Apple updated the storage capacities for the iPod touch

After years of being outsold by the iPhone, the venerable iPod has taken a big step toward eventual oblivion. Apple said Thursday it was discontinuing two of the cheapest iPod models: the nano and shuffle.

The two products have been removed from the Apple online store and will vanish from retail locations as well. Apple demoted the iPod’s placement in its retail stores a couple of years ago, moving the devices to the company’s accessory shelves. The $149 nano and $49 shuffle were last updated with new colors in 2015, but the nano hasn’t been revamped since 2012 while the shuffle hasn’t been redesigned since 2010.

“Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” Apple said in a statement.

The original iPod arrived in 2001. It wasn’t the first digital music player but it upended the music industry and put 1,000 songs in your pocket. The shuffle hit the market in 2005 as the first iPod with faster flash storage and without a screen, while the nano was introduced later in the year as a replacement for the then-popular iPod mini. Both went through several redesigns in their early years before being supplanted by iPhone.

The iPod touch, the company’s highest selling iPod and once referred to by Steve Jobs as an iPhone without the phone, remains on sale. The company updated the device’s storage capacities on Thursday, discontinuing the 16GB and 64GB models and lowering the price of the 32GB and 128GB options to $199 and $299, respectively.

Apple discontinued the iPod classic in 2014, a large iPod with a “click wheel” that looked most like the original model. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said at the time that the classic was discontinued because the company was unable to source the necessary parts. Nonetheless, with the success of the iPhone, the lack of an App Store and services like iCloud and Apple Music, the non-touch iPods have become less useful to both Apple and consumers.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has sold more than 400 million iPods so far, while the iPhone surpassed a billion units sold in July 2016.


Ooma Office Adds IP Phones to Analog, Mobile Lineup for Small Business

Ooma, a cloud-based phone service provider for small business, just announced on its blog that it intends to include IP phone support for its Ooma Office phone system, which means that businesses can now use analog phones, fax machines, mobile and IP phones in combination.

Initially, the company plans to sell and support three phones — Cisco SPA 303, Yealink SIP-T21P E2 and Cisco SPA 504G — but will increase selection in the future.

Ooma Office Changes

The IP phones will be sold exclusively by Ooma as part of Ooma Office, the blog post said, and will come with “enterprise-level” features, such as blind transfer (1-step transfer), supervised transfer (2-step transfer), extension dialing and a “Do Not Disturb” function, in addition to caller ID, call waiting, three-way conference calling and others.

Regarding the addition of IP phones, Ooma CEO Eric Strang, in an interview with Small Business Trends, conducted via telephone, said, “Until now, we weren’t able to grow with the small business. With the addition of IP phones to our lineup of analog, mobile and fax, we can.”

Strang said the phones will come preprogrammed to work with Ooma, so they are literally plug-and-play. The company also provides 24/7 365-support, based in the U.S.

Enterprise Solution at Small Business Price, Company Says

The addition of IP phones aside, through the Office product, Ooma prides itself on providing what it says is an enterprise-grade solution at a price small businesses can afford. And at $19.95 per user per month with no contract required, the company is well on its way toward fulfilling that promise.

In a separate release, dated May 18, 2016, Ooma stated that the average business saves more than $1,800 per year. The company provides an online calculator, which businesses can use to estimate cost savings compared to their current supplier.

“Most small business of the size Ooma serves — 10 employees or fewer — get a couple of phones from AT&T or a cable operator and are pretty much stuck with that,” Strang said in the interview. “Ooma brings the power of the full PBX, including features like music on hold, extension dialing, and virtual receptionist, all at a price that saves the business as much as 75 percent over a traditional system.”

Each business receives a local and toll-free phone number, a virtual fax extension and a conference extension, Strang said. Subsequent users each get a direct personal phone number and virtual fax extension.

Additional features include:

  • Unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada
  • Low international rates
  • Caller-ID and name
  • 9-1-1 service
  • Free number transfer
  • Toll-free numbers

Ooma’s System: On-premise and in the Cloud

Ooma’s system, which combines on-premise and cloud architecture, is built around a small, network-managed, secure Linux computer (shown below) that sits on-site and acts as a router, connecting to the Internet. It also has a fax mode built-in.

Ooma's System: On-premise and in the Cloud

Extension devices hook up to employee phones wirelessly, linking them to the network. Hardware costs start at $199, which includes the base and two extensions, and is available from Ooma or through retail outlets such as Staples, Best Buy and Amazon.

In addition to its business products, Ooma offers a home phone service that includes free calling within the U.S. and a free mobile app. The service also integrates with Amazon Echo, enabling users to initiate phone calls by number or contact name and check voicemail.

Cloud-based Security and Redundancy

Ooma backs up all data in the cloud, ensuring a level of security and redundancy not available in on-premise PBX systems.

It is this redundancy that enables Ooma to also guarantee excellent voice quality, so users never experience garbled communications, a problem endemic among Internet-based services.

“Ooma lumps four technologies together into something we call ‘PureVoice,’” Strang said, explaining how the system works. “It gives us the ability to ensure excellent voice quality. Our systems actively monitor voice packets. If there is a delay in one, thanks to our adaptive redundancy, the next one has the information.”

Previously, Small Business Trends reported on Ooma in 2013, when the company announced the launch of its small business product, Ooma Office, and again in 2015, when it unveiled an addition to Office called Ooma Office Business Promoter, a marketing service aimed at increasing a small business’s online presence through promotion to search engines, mapping sites, business directories and location-based advertising.

Image: Ooma


Apple Watch Series 2 Now Available in India, Here’s the Price of the Entire Lineup

Apple Watch Series 2 Now Available in India, Here's the Price of the Entire Lineup

Apple Watch Series 2 Now Available in India, Here’s the Price of the Entire Lineup
Alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is launching the Apple Watch Series 2 in India at 7pm IST on Friday, with prices starting at Rs. 32,900. The refreshed previous generation Apple Watch – now called Series 1 – will also be available in the country at a price starting at Rs. 23,900. Gadgets 360 understands that supplies for the new Apple Watch models will be limited this week, with fresh supplies expected next week, when the Watch Series 1 and Series 2 should have greater availability online and across the country.

To recall, the Apple Watch Series 2 was unveiled at the company’s September 7 launch event of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The first generation Apple Watch also saw a refresh at the same event, receiving a minor hardware upgrade in the form a new processor. Readers should note that the original 2015 Apple Watch has been discontinued.

There are several differences between the Apple Watch Series 2 and the original Apple Watch, and the biggest is that the new watch is ‘swim proof’, touting a new design that makes it water resistant up to a depth of 50 metres. The speaker on board was redesigned for this purpose as well, allowing water in, and then pushing it out with sound vibrations. Apple Watch Series 1 is only splash resistant. The other major change over the previous generation, as well as the refreshed Apple Watch Series 1, is the inclusion of a built-in GPS chip for more accurate distance and speed measurements.

(Also see: Apple Watch Series 2 Teardown Reveals a Larger Battery and That It’s Nearly Impossible to Repair)

Other changes include the Apple S2 dual-core processor, a brighter 1000-nit Retina display with Force Touch, and a choice of Sapphire crystal glass on the stainless steel and ceramic cases.

As we mentioned, the Apple Watch Series 1 sports only some upgrades over its predecessor, with the new Apple S1P dual-core processor. Unlike the Apple Watch Series 2 and the 2015 Apple Watch, it is now only available in one design – an Aluminium Case and a Sports Band. It is available in two sizes 38mm and 42mm, priced at Rs. 23,900 and Rs. 25,900 respectively.

Getting into detailed pricing of the Apple Watch Series 2, the smartwatch is available in Aluminium Case with Sport Band or Woven Nylon Strap, in a Stainless Steel Case with Sport Band, Stainless Steel Strap or Leather Strap. Each is available in 38mm and 42mm sizes.
The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 with Aluminium Case with Sport Band or Woven Nylon Strap is priced at Rs. 32,900, while the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 34,900. The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Sport Band is priced at Rs. 48,900, and the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 52,900. The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Silver Link Bracelet is priced at Rs. 83,900, and the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 87,900. The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Link Bracelet is priced at Rs. 91,900, and the 42mm variant is priced Rs. 95,900.

The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Silver Milanese Loop is priced at Rs. 56,900, while the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 60,900. The 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop is priced at Rs. 60,900, while the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 64,900.

Apple Watch Series 2 Stainless Steel Case with Saddle Brown Classic Buckle is priced at Rs. 56,900, and the 42mm variant is priced at Rs. 60,900.

Finally, we come to the Apple Watch Series 2 ‘Edition’, which bears a Ceramic Case (seen above) and Sport Band. The 38mm model is priced at Rs. 1,10,900, and the 42mm model is priced at Rs. 1,14,900.

Tags: Apple, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, Smartwatch, Apple India, Apple Watch Series 1 Price, Apple Watch Series 2 Price, Apple Watch Series 1 Price In India, Apple Watch Series 2 Price In India, Wearables


Apple Aims to Bolster Lineup With New iPhone

Apple Aims to Bolster Lineup With New iPhone

New iPhone and iPad models likely to be unveiled Monday are aimed at helping Apple keep momentum in the fast-evolving mobile device market.

The media gathering at the company’s intimate Town Hall auditorium in Silicon Valley will also give Apple a chance to restate its case for fighting a US government demand that it break into an attacker’s iPhone.

Apple is widely expected to release a small-screen iPhone to encourage replacement of the 5s and 5c models, which have four-inch displays. The new device is to be called the iPhone SE or 5SE, reports said.

This would help Apple in a traditionally slow season before the likely upgrades to the large-screeniPhone 6 family later this year.

But in keeping with its practice, Apple has been tight-lipped about what it will reveal.

A message on copies of the invitations posted online simply states “Let us loop you in,” prompting some to speculate that new bands for the Apple Watch would be among the announcements.

A four-inch screen iPhone which boasts improvements under the hood could help spur replacements.

Such an iPhone would be “an incremental positive” for Apple, ensuring that lovers of the company’s smaller smartphones don’t switch to rival devices powered by Android software, RBC Capital Markets said in a note to investors.

RBC projected that sales of a new handset would tally between 10 million to 15 million annually, giving Apple fans an option for upgrading before an iPhone 7 debuts late in the year.

The new iPhone will likely be priced to shore up the low-end of Apple’s line but not to compete in the budget-priced smartphone market, according to analysts.

“I am not expecting a ton of surprises,” Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin said of what Apple has in store for Monday.

“The biggest news will be pricing for the newer iPhone.”

Reaching buyers in India?
If Apple lowers the price for the new device – existing big-screen iPhones start at around $650 (roughly Rs. 43,200) – it may be able to expand to new segments of consumers.

“I suspect this is far more about boosting off-season sales than it is about introducing a new iPhone at a dramatically lower price point, for example, for emerging markets,” said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research in a blog post.

But Dawson said the new handset could be priced as low as $450 (roughly Rs. 30,000) without subsidy to help Apple make inroads in new markets.

This would enable Apple to sell refurbished iPhones at $250 to $350 (roughly Rs. 16,700 to Rs. 23,300), according to Dawson and “suddenly allows the iPhone to hit price points it’s never been able to hit before, which in turn could make it more viable in markets like India.”

Reports have also said Apple is poised to introduce a new iPad tailored for use by businesses.

Talking encryption
The media event takes place a day before a federal judge in Southern California hears arguments in the encryption case.

“I do expect to hear a little bit from them because it is so central, not just to Apple,” Current Analysis research director Avi Greengart told AFP.

“Encryption is pretty much the entire digital economy. There is an argument to be made that Apple is out in front and taking the heat for a crucial, industry-wide issue.”

The new iPad may have keyboard and Apple Pencil stylus features that make it more attractive for getting work done. Apple has been trying to ignite sales of its tablets, which declined in the final quarter or last year.

Focusing exclusively on Apple hardware can be deceiving, since the company has won legions of devotees by weaving software, applications and devices together to provide people with experiences they enjoy, according to analysts.

“What you are really paying for is software and user experience,” Greengart said of buying into Apple’s world.

“That has been Apple’s business model for many years.”

Apple has built privacy protection into its ecosystem and its valuable brand.

Apple has repeatedly argued that the FBI was overstepping legal bounds by using the 1789 All Writs Act – a broad law which allows the courts to help law enforcement — to compel the company to help break an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the December attack in San Bernardino, California.

Apple, which is backed by a broad coalition of powerful rival technology firms and activists, argues that the FBI is seeking a “back door” into all iPhones as part of the probe.

The government brief, in sharp contrast, argued it is a single case of technical assistance in an important national security investigation.

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Tags: Apple, Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone 5se, iPhone SE, iPhone SE Price, iPhone SE Specifications, iPhones, Mobiles,WatchOS