Apple’s newest iPod nano is an iPod first, and a storage device, and an FM radio, and a video camera. As proof that change happens, Farhad Manjoo predicts the death of the iPod (with notable qualifications):
The new Nano signals an inevitable, though still remarkable, transition: The iPod is dead. I don’t mean the name won’t stick around or that people will stop buying Apple’s devices. Rather, the sun is setting on what the iPod once was—a device you bought to play digital music.
See, Steve Jobs dissed Amazon’s Kindle as a dedicated device and said, “I think the general-purpose devices will win the day.” Rightly so.
Nobody knows when Apple will add Internet connectivity to the Nano, but you’d be a fool to bet against it happening in the next three years. And with that, the floodgates: Once the Nano gets the Internet, why not the App Store? And why not GPS, a compass, and a touch screen?
Uh, that device is already here. It’s called an iPhone. Oh, and it’s a general purpose device these days. Still, Manjoo struggles to reach his minimum word quota for Slate with a flourishing finish:
The video camera is just the start—it won’t be long before the Nano, like the iPod Touch and the iPhone, turns into what Jobs calls a “general-purpose device.” The rest of us have another name for such a machine: a computer.
Slate writers love to be cute, chic, sassy and clever with their headlines, convoluted logic, and the all important flourishing finis.
So, an iPod nano, once a dedicated device that fit in our pockets, is becoming a more utilitarian general-purpose device, that still fits in our pockets? Cool. But then there’s the iPod touch and iPhone which are general-purpose devices that fit in our pockets, and Manjoo dismisses them with the general-purpose personal computer which does not fit in our pockets.
Thanks, Slate. Farhad Manjoo is keeping the faith.
With few exceptions in the digital world, change happens. New features are added to once one trick pony devices to, you know, add value, or to protect and extend market share, and to increase a product’s life cycle.
It’s always a good thing when highly paid technology writers recognize and report on the obvious.