Why No Fries with the iPod touch?
After nine months of anticipation, Apple finally released an iPod based on the iPhone form factor and interface. But for reasons unknown, Apple chose to leave off one or two essential applications, and according to the latest rumor, has neutered others.
You get the feeling that if Apple bought McDonald’s they would cut the fries from the combo meals. I hope you didn’t want fries with your new iPod touch!
The iPod touch is a lovely device, and I have to out myself as being wrong. I was among those who said Apple wouldn’t release a device like it within 12 months of the iPhone.
Hindsight is a great thing, and now I can see why Apple might have done so. Certainly there’s a big market for it, but the two devices could cannibalize each other. Which, at the end of the day, matters not to Apple, as they still get a sale. And Steve said as much in a recent interview with USA Today.
However, in markets still waiting for the iPhone—such as Europe and Asia—it will be interesting to see how the iPod touch sells. Personally, I’m having a dilemma over whether to get an iPod touch or wait for the iPhone. And a young woman I spoke to at an electronics retailer said she’d be waiting.
Actually, the more more I find out about the touch, the more I lose interest in it.
I saw one reader comment on a web forum last week that the iPod touch is a PDA. I suspect, though, he’s in for a big disappointment. Apple isn’t pushing it that way, so it’s hard to know if it really is. In fact, Apple’s demo video didn’t even mention iCal or Address Book, two key apps on a PDA. And rumors have it there’ll be no ability to input calendar entries—which is upsetting a lot of people who pre-ordered specifically expecting that feature.
But the big thing missing—the fries if you will—is email. Its absence is the deciding factor in my not buying an iPod touch.
For a device that has internet access, the lack of an email client leaves one speechless. So what if you can do it online through Safari? An offline reader is essential in a portable, internet-connected device. Plus, using a browser, you have to manually check your email. Also, if you have multiple email accounts, using a browser really starts getting cumbersome.
In my part of the world, wireless hotspots are rare, so I wouldn’t be able to use the browser or email much anyway. But if hotspots were available, then I’d be eternally frustrated at having an internet device without email.
Say that again a couple of times: “an internet device without email.” Have you ever heard of anything stupider? A car without seats? A combo meal without fries? A computer without a mouse? A house without a bathroom? An internet device without email?
Possibly, someone will port the iPhone’s email client to the iPod touch, and hopefully that will force Apple to include it.
Unfortunately, this adds to the dilemma. Do I wait for the touch to get an email client? Or just get an iPod classic? And do I then forget about the iPhone?
But if the rumor of the inability to input to the calendar and address book proves true, the decision is easy. No touch. Without those PDA abilities, the difference between a touch and an iPod classic narrows too much to justify the touch.
The interesting thing is, the lack of PDA type functions, such as calendar entry and email, stops me buying an iPod touch in preference to an iPod classic. But the absence of those from the touch wouldn’t influence my decision to buy an iPhone.
I’d buy an iPhone because it’s a phone with iPod features. But I would have bought a touch if it was an iPod with email and PDA features.
With the touch having no compelling features, and already owning an iPod, albeit sans video, I expect I’ll just buy nothing.
Steve was happy to appease the angry mob over the price cut; hopefully he’ll appease the rowdy rabble over the lack of email and calendar entry.
Come on, Steve, mate, give us the fries with that iPod touch.