September 9 2009

Apple Keeps Getting The iPod Touch Wrong

iPod Touch 09For a company that gets so many thing right, Apple sure doesn’t seem to know what to do with the iPod Touch.

The iPod Touch was introduced in September 2007 as an alternative to the iPhone for those that wanted the bonus features of the phone.  It was a great idea, people who avoided the iPhone for various reasons snapped it up, and the device has now taken on a life of its own as a handy PDA, and quite often as an “add-on” to BlackBerry users, such as myself.

In 2008 the iPod Touch received an update along with all of the other iPods.  The only additions were an external speaker, some physical volume controls and an upping of the devices memory capacity.  There was nothing quite compelling enough to get owners of the first generation Touches to update, so everyone looked forward to this year to bring a lot of updates to the device.

Well, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has returned from his medical leave, and as his first public duty since his liver transplant, he introduced this year’s new iPod line-up.  And, once again, the iPod Touch got the shaft.

While rumors had been mounting of the iPod Touch getting a camera and an external microphone, instead what we got was a faster processor and another increase in memory.

… really?  That’s it?

One of the cornerstones of the iPod sales success all these years is doing enough changes to them each year to make people want to constantly keep upgrading.  Well, seeing as the run down of upgrade since generaiton 1 iPod Touches is as follows

Where is the motivation for anyone to upgrade?  Sure, all of those things would be nice to have, but none of them are a “killer upgrade” that just makes me go crazy without it.  The most exciting thing to happen to the iPod Touch today is that you can now manage your applications inside of iTunes instead of dragging your finger all over the screen.  Whee.  And guess what, it works in my first generation iPod Touch, so it still isn’t a reason to upgrade.

Don’t get me wrong, if my iPod Touch was to die, I would immediately buy another one, they are great devices.  All this means is that I think Steve Jobs has forgotten how he created that early success in this product line: repeat customers.  In all honesty, Apple did me a favor today, they actually saved me from spending any money, so perhaps I should thank them for constantly doing silly upgrades no one really needs to the iPod Touch.  Thanks,Apple!

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