Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Verge Reviews the 2012 iPods

First up is Nilay Patel with the iPod Nano. Transcribed from the video review:

[The impression of it being a small iPhone] is carried over into the OS, which is called the ‘Nano OS’. It’s not iOS. And it’s strange: you can see that instead of rounded rectangles like on the iPhone and on the iPad, Apple’s using circles on the Nano to reinforce that it’s a different OS. Even the home button has a circle on it, which is truly strange.

“Truly strange”? I’d have thought it natural that the rounded square on the home buttons of iOS devices is a clear nod to the home screen icons, and likewise for the circle on the new Nano’s.

I think the new Nano looks strange. Not bad, necessarily, but unharmonious. The proportions and complex layering of design elements are an awkward fit with the rest of Apple’s product lineup. But, incredibly, they’ve managed to change it every generation. It’s their industrial design playground.

David Pierce has reviewed the new iPod Touch, and he questions the price of it:

But it all comes at a price: the touch is now $299-$399, depending on how much storage you get. There’s a lot packed into the tiny device, but is it worth the price when most of its competition, and many full-fledged smartphones, come so much cheaper?

I’m struggling to think of a smartphone with similar specs for $300, as just about every smartphone is around $500 unsubsidized. Yes, you can buy a carrier-subsidized phone, but you are paying full price for that phone with your 2-3 year contract. A $50+ bill every month simply isn’t viable for large swathes of people.

I agree with Pierce that the $199 last-generation Touch isn’t really a good compromise. But I think there is a market for a $300 iPhone-without-the-phone.