The new versions of the Apple Ipod Touch, Nano and Shuffle announced today were welcome (well, the fact that there is no change to the Shuffle is good). Also, the new headphones. Finally.
My review of these items is as a heavy user of the Nano (two have broken on me in the last four months) and the Shuffle (one died about 9 months ago). I've had several of the earlier generation models of both the Nano and Shuffle.
One thing Apple did was announce how many headphones they had shipped, which x2 is how many speakers. And how crappy those speakers have been really show what a disservice they have promulgated on the world. They are trying to make it up with a new version which may be of some help. The airflow and shape could be an improvement, we'll see.
No changes to price, capacity, only color. Wow Apple, real innovation here.
New Ipod Nano
Let's face it, the 7th generation Nano was horrible. Touch doesn't work at that size. The interface was clumsy and required way too many swipes and presses to get anything done. The return rate on this thing is through-the-roof. A look at Amazon (which by the way has ratings which span multiple generations of the device) can show how the star rating is actually averaging about a 2.5 (out of 5) for the 7th generation.
Now this device has built-in Nike+, and a clip, so it is meant to be used while exercising. But it can't handle a single drop of water down the earplug jack. Worse, in a high-humidity area (such as Southeast Asia), you can keep it as dry as you want, the thing will short out and become unresponsive to touch. Horrible design. Oh, and they won't fix it for you if the small white dot at the end of the earplug jack turns red (indicates moisture).
I'm impressed with the new nano. It looks like a great, thin, portable media consumption device. For someone without an Iphone (or who likes to carry the Iphone in a bag) this looks like a great product. But please, take the Nike+ out of the system. It isn't waterproof, weatherproof, or even water- or weather-resistant.
New Ipod Touch
Thinner, lighter, less expensive than the Iphone, but with most of the features. Same screen size, 5pm camera, and 32gb/64gb of storage. Not sure who the real target market is here, since the same thing is available in the Iphone, as well as the ability to connect to cellular. Maybe for the non-US market?
A refresh of the Itunes app is welcome. Hopefully it all works well. This tool has needed an update in a while.
Ipod Pricing in Thailand
This is where things get truly annoying. The Thai Baht has been doing well against the US Dollar. So why such high prices? There is a price premium of around $30 on the Ipod products. At the same time the costs to Apple for selling and maintaining products in Thailand is much less. China to Thailand shipping costs less. Stores and service centers cost less, staff costs less.
This is the part of Apple that is aggravating, the aggressive profit-seeking. That and the aggressive litigation, takes away the shine from these products. I am rooting for the day when other companies can provide equivalent experiences, for I know I will abandon Apple immediately. I am a clear-eyed, open-eared Apple product user. Be forewarned.