Apple's new iPod nano and the Motorola/Apple-developed iTunes phone (ROKR) have won over some analysts.

"It's a one-two punch that covers all for the bases for Apple," Jupiter Research analyst, Michael Gartenberg, told MacCentral.

The ROKR carries a version of iTunes on board, capable of carrying and playing back up to 100 songs drawn from a Mac or PCs iTunes library.

Analysts don't think ROKR will hurt iPod shuffle sales. Gartenberg believes the devices will appeal to different audiences.

"This is clearly something that is meant to complement the iPod, not compete with it," said Gartenberg.

"We think this is a good opportunity for people to experience the iTunes Music Store for the first time," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes.

Not everyone is impressed. "It doesn't have the emotive cachet that the Razr or the iPod has," Yankee Group analyst John Jackson told the BBC. "When you whip this out in the bar, nobody's going to say, 'That's a cool device.'"

The iPod nano

Apple's move to kill the iPod mini - which the company revealed to have emerged as the most popular iPod it sells - has also won a warm response from analysts.

"To kill the mini is a really bold step for Apple," said Gartenberg. "Other companies would have increased the capacity or added a choice of colours, but with their great designers, Apple was able to bring out a completely new, cool product."

The nano "is a dramatically different iPod," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told Bloomberg. "It's not only going to bring new people into the market, but it will start a replacement cycle among iPod owners. Everyone is going to want one."

The analyst added that he may increase his estimate for iPod sales in the December quarter to 8.5 million on the strength on the iPod nano.

Apple hopes the iPod nano will become the biggest-selling iPod the company has ever produced.

"We can't stand still. People have had their sights on the iPod mini for the holiday buying season and we just changed everything," said Stan Ng, Apple's director of iPod product marketing. "We continue to innovate; our tagline says it all - 'Impossibly Small'."

Susan Kevorkian, a research analyst with IDC said: "Apple is positioning itself to take advantage of flash memory price drops. Flash is more stable than hard drives, which are in many MP3 players, including the 60GB iPod."

Despite stiffening competition, Apple continues to lead in the MP3 player market. The iTunes song sale download rate has reached 1.8 million songs per day; the company boasts 82 per cent of legal music downloads in the US and 80 per cent in the UK; and 74 per cent market share for all MP3 players: Apple is clearly the market leader.

"Competition is important and there are formable opponents out there, but that can't run your long-term plan," said Apple's Eddy Cue.

While some Mac users may be hoping for new Mac hardware soon, Gartenberg believes the iPod nano marks a major forward step for the company.

"These announcements show the naysayers that believe Apple should release a video iPod that there is still a lot of life left in music," he said.