on second thought, don’t touch me

Apple today announced some new iPods, including the new iPod Touch, which boasts a wide, touchscreen display, like the iPhone. I’d been waiting for Apple to release a widescreen iPod for a couple of years, now. What’s more, it has wi-fi and web browsing.

I was really excited, and was ready to order one the minute it was available, even though I’d bought a new 80Gb iPod Video just earlier this year.

But then I saw that they’re only offering it in 8Gb and 16Gb models. And the 16Gb model sells for $50 more than the new 160Gb model traditional iPod (now called iPod Classic). I’m sorry. The wide display, the touchscreen, the wi-fi and the Internet connectivity are cool and sexy, and I’d absolutely be willing to pay more for those features. But my current 80Gb iPod already is nearly full, and I’m just not willing to pay more for an iPod with only one-tenth to one-fifth the capacity. The beauty of the iPod, after all, is that I can carry my entire music collection with me; I don’t have to make choices beforehand about what I might want to listen to. That’s why I use the iPod and not the CD changer when I’m in the car.

Sorry, Apple. I think you really dropped the ball on this one. I know it won’t matter to Apple that I won’t buy one–after all, even though they limited the iPhone to a single carrier, which is the major reason I didn’t buy one of those, they’ve still sold an insane number of them. But because of that business decision, and now this one (and a partnership with Starbucks… WTF?! Yeah, I like my frapuccinos, but does any company other than Microsoft and Walmart exemplify evil corporate empire more?), I’m also seriously rethinking my planned purchase of an Apple laptop or desktop this fall. I’m a former fanboy (I used to be a really annoying Apple enthusiast, in fact), and really thought you might woo me back. But you just keep taking me for granted.

I wonder if there’s a country song somewhere on iTunes that accurately captures my sense of betrayal?

5 thoughts on “on second thought, don’t touch me

  1. I wonder if there is some physical limitation to the iPhone-style device that prevents larger capacities at this time. I’m not excusing Apple – I’d be hard-pressed to justify going from a 60GB iPod down to 16 myself – but it does seem really odd that the capacities of the iTouch are literally a *tenth* of the Classic.
    It will be interesting to see if the public considers the touch and wifi capabilities to be worth the huge price premium. And I’m really curious to see how the blogosphere responds to the Starbucks partnership (though to be fair, Starbucks is not nearly as evil as Walmart, come on now 😉 )

  2. Why are you blaming Apple for what is pretty clearly a hardware limitation? They’d love to ship these things with hard drives, and in fact continue to make “classics” available for the people who need that much capacity–what exactly is behind this beef that even has you reconsidering your desktop purchase plans?
    Let’s tone down the drama. I’d like a 160GB iPhone or touch iPod too, but I’d be a little ticked off if they couldn’t offer more than a couple of hours of battery power.

  3. Okay, that was more of a dickish comment than I intended to leave–sorry. Still, isn’t this rant a little bit of an overreaction? No skin off your nose if they release a product that doesn’t meet your needs.

  4. You’re right about two things: 1) My post was a bit hyperbolic and dramatic; 2) You came off as a bit dickish in your reply. Neither of these are atypical or surprising.
    I’m not sure, however, that I believe that this really is a hardware “limitation” as much as purely a design constraint based on the concept that thinner is better. Indeed, why couldn’t they develop an iPod Touch with a hard drive instead of flash memory? There’s nothing inherently incompatible between the various technologies.
    The new 80Gb iPod Classic is thinner than the current 30Gb iPod Video; that’s more than thin enough for me. I’m comfortable with the width of my current 80Gb iPod Video, and would rather have capacity than sleekness, but clearly Apple believes that the market dictates otherwise.
    Or maybe it’s just so much cheaper and easier for them just to adopt the iPhone form factor and hardware design for the new iPod than to develop a better hybrid of the features of the two, knowing that enough people will end up buying the iPod Touch just because it’s Apple and because it’s cool.
    Yes, the “Classics” (and I hate that name, but I’ll restrain myself from ranting about it) offer that much capacity. But I’ve already got that much capacity with my current model; I’d have liked to see some new functionality offered without so significantly reducing the capacity to which we’re already accustomed.
    You’re also right that it’s no skin off my nose. I’ll happily continue to use my current iPod, since Apple’s offering nothing I see as an unmitigated improvement, and I’ll keep the half-grand or so I’d have been willing to pay Apple for an 80Gb–or, hell, even a 40Gb–widescreen, touchscreen iPod.
    My desktop purchase plans potentially are affected–and you’re not the only person I know to tell me I’m wrong-headed to link that decision to my frustration and disappointment over the latest iPod news–because I’m more and more unhappy with Apple’s marketing and business practices across their product lines. I don’t see the decisions they’ve made about the iPhone and the new iPods as existing in a vacuum. Their decision to offer the latest iMacs with only a glossy screen rather than the matte versions previously available–because that’s what they’ve decided people want–is another recent example.
    On the other hand, I really do applaud them for iTunes Plus, where they’re making at least some fraction of iTunes content available DRM-free.
    So I’m not a complete Applephobe.

  5. Actually Starbucks is a pretty cool corporation. They pay their people well, and they don’t drop their prices to undercut local shops. You can’t really blame them if people choose to pay more money at Starbucks rather than go to a local shop.

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