Sigh. No Apple Tablet, but iPod Gets Refresh

Despite rampant rumors that Apple Inc. would unveil its fabled, rarely glimpsed tablet computer at this week’s iPod launch event, it was not meant to be. No unicorn-like tablet appeared. What we did get, however, is a rare appearance by Steve Jobs, updated iTunes, new iPhone/iPod Touch software, and a refresh of the iPod Nano, which now comes with voice recording, video and some other upgrades.

Jobs was on hand to walk attendees through the relatively small announcements, like OS version 3.1 (free for iPhone, $4.95 for iPod Touch), which adds “Genius” recommendations for App Store purchases. Apple’s software will analyze buying behavior and offer similar options based on it. The new OS version also enhaces security, with an over the air lock-down function.

Meanwhile, iTunes 9 offers drag-and-drop for home screens via computer, not just on-device.

But the big news is probably the new Nano, which, despite rumors, does not have built-in wireless or a Web browser. The new video camera and microphone however join a new 2.2-inch display (up from 2 inches), and an FM tuner, along with voice control.

All iPod lines but for the iPod Classic did however get price cuts. The Nano 8GB is $149, while the 16GB runs $179. The iPod Shuffle 2GB flavor now runs $59, and a new $99 option offers 4GB and a stainless steel option.

The 8GB model of the iPod Touch is now $199. The 16GB model is being retired in favor of a $299 32GB version. And, a 64GB model runs $399.

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