Apple Event: iPod Nano

The Nano is an interesting product. They’ve really gone to town in creating something vastly new and revolutionary for a device of that size. It’s unlikely that anyone else has ever made a better touch screen at that size. It really is impressive to look at.

The issue for me is that, despite adding a touch screen and making the control more accurate than a click wheel, they’ve also lost a lot from this device. It no longer plays video, has a video camera or a mic. Whether or not Apple’s customer surveys showed that hardly anyone used those features, it still impacts the value for money for me and probably many other people when you do a direct comparison between the two devices.

If you go on Amazon now, you can find the 16gb version of last year’s nano for the same price as the new 8gb version. To me, I think I’d rather have the 16 gb one with the click wheel. Double the space, video recording, a mic and video playback is worth more than a touch screen to me, but it’s an individual decision. I also feel that the navigation on the new version with multi-touch is not as simple as it could be, or as simple as the previous click wheel models.

I also feel that they’re not being smart by labelling this as a perfect exercise tool. I think having a touch screen makes it fiddly and difficult to control while running for example, especially if you’re perspiring heavily. I think adding a clip wasn’t a great idea as I think it could fall and break for some people. The arm band or simply a pocket is still the best option from what I’ve seen so far.

For some people, they’ll see the touch screen and instantly want one. Other people will see what they’re missing from previous versions and the value to be had on the excess stock of the last gen model. On the other hand, you can make the argument that no one would really want to watch video on such a small device anyway, and that voice memos weren’t needed. I agree, but it’s still nice to have that functionality if possible, but it’s more the recording (both video and audio) aspect that I would personally miss.

I think in conclusion, that Apple have smartly reverted and simplified the nano back to being principally a music and other audio player, and that is what iPods and iTunes were originally about, so I agree with that sentiment. I just wonder if people will be able to set aside what they’re not getting, and focus on what they are. I would guess that they mostly will. It was a big gamble by Apple and I think, like most other things they do, it’ll pay off nicely for them.