A Few Thoughts on Today’s iPod Announcements

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 @ 1:34 pm | Apple, Gadgets, iPod

Chris Turner:

anyone else starting to feel like there are too many versions of the iPod?

I was slightly disappointed to see that there are now 4 entries in the iPod family. With the iPod touch, your iPod-buying decision is no longer simply a question of size/storage trade-off. Without a doubt, the iPod touch is a very interesting piece of hardware, but from an iPod standpoint, it has the same shortfall as an iPhone — limited storage. I’ve always been an iPod classic kind of guy because I wanted the hard drive space. I also enjoyed having access to all of the iPod features that the nano and mini lacked (thought the refurbished Nano’s have been tempting, if only to use with a Nike+). Now, among the screened iPods, the Classic appears to offer the the most storage space while offering fewest features. You obviously miss out on all the Touch’es iPhone-esque features while also missing the Nano’s Nike+ support (you do gain Search functionality, though, which I forgot about until visiting the new iPod classic’s features page).

Looking at the new offerings, I get the feeling that the iPod classic is not a long term product. Much like the Mac Classic marked the beginning of the end for the original Mac styling, I suspect the iPod classic represents the beginning of the end for the original iPod design. I think it’s just a matter of Apple not wanting to cede the high-capacity market while not compromising on the design of the Touch.

In addition to paying homage to a piece of Apple history, the iPod classic name rolls off the tongue better than the originally proposed name — iPod discontinued when flash prices drop.

I didn’t read anything one way or another, but it looks like the changes to the iPod OS are more than just cosmetic — according to the iPod Games section of the iTunes Store, games need to be updated to work with the iPod nano (video) and the iPod classic. Right now, Tetris, Ms. Pac-Man, and Sudoku are in-line for updates. Does this mean that the new models have made the jump to OS X? If it were simply a matter of updating the games to recognize the new iPods, I’d imagine all the games would be updated.

(Klondike, Vortex, and iQuiz have already been upgraded and come bundled with the Nano and Classic).

Follow-up thought — will Apple offer updates to anybody who already bought these games?

Mari Silbey:

Engadget is already calling the Starbucks feature weak, but I think I disagree. (How’s that for a strong statement?) Impulse music buying is still largely untapped. Sure you can bookmark songs with some services in order to buy them later, but we haven’t really seen an effective on-the-go version of this feature before.

I agree with Silbey’s assessment that the Starbucks features isn’t weak. Although I’m not the lounge-in-a-Starbucks type, plenty of people are. Starbucks has clearly found that it can make money by selling music, both in-store and via iTunes. I have to assume that Apple has found the existing iTunes-Starbucks partnership rewarding. The infrastructure costs for supporting the new integration can’t be that high. Given the number of people you already see in Starbucks with laptops and the number of iPhones and iPod touches you can expect to see, I think it’s reasonable to expect both sides to profit from this expansion to the Apple-Starbucks relationship.

Comments are closed.