27 September 2005

Screw the iPod Nano

Posted by Jameson Penn
I'm with this guy 110%. Sure, the flash memory is cool. But at what cost? The smaller nano is more fragile, has a shorter battery, fewer options/abilities, and none of the user suggestions apple has compiled.

I've been assuming apple was smart and was merely delaying the flash mini for a later date, but only recently realized that was me thinking they had a better business model. Stupid, stupid, stupid company! Rather, they kill the mini as it's fastest selling iPod, and instead opt to redirect consumer demands they way they have unsuccesfully done in the past.
The most requested features I heard among the Mac web and the AppleXnet audience concerning the iPod mini included higher storage capacities, a color screen, a removable battery, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and more battery life. No one was suggesting they wanted a flash-based player over a hard drive one, and no one was complaining about the iPod mini being too wide or too heavy.

In comparison to the iPod mini, the iPod nano made the battery even harder to get at, lowered its battery life, removed the "remote connector," ditched FireWire support, weakened the device making it much more fragile, and features a scrollwheel inconsistent with that rest of the iPod lineup. I've spent the past several weeks scratching my head trying to figure out why Apple did all this, and after pondering long and hard I still can't think of a reasonable answer. The iPod nano is beyond reason from a user standpoint. Apple seems to be riding purely on hype, cool, and the "iPod" brand, because the iPod nano does not offer a single user-requested feature, in fact Apple removed features and lowered capacities.

Would a black iPod mini with an 8GB or 10GB 1-inch hard drive, 20+ hours of battery life, 3rd party device capability, a user-removable battery (similar to what's found on every mobile phone ever made), and a color screen really have been too much to ask for?
My prediction: a smart company takes advantage of this foolishness, copies the mini and improves it in all the ways described above, and unseats apple as the mp3 player king. Once again, Apple proves it may know how to design and present a pretty toy to the public, but it sure as hell doesn't know what to do beyond that.

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