FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The iPod Nano Earns Cheers AND Jeers

The ars technica blog features an exhaustive review of the new iPod nano. They even perform an "autopsy" by taking the device apart (revealing components that the reviewers at Engadget estimate cost about $90).

"The nano is nearly perfect," they write. "It is amazingly small and packs almost all of the features of the iPod photo and a few more." However, the feeling among those who have tested the nano is not universal, as Russell Beattie's less-than-enthusiastic review attests.

Russell is clearly in the camp that believes the era of single-purpose devices has passed, and that Apple ought to be focusing on an iPod that integrates phone, video and other features. However, that doesn't seem to be the point of the nano. The argument over device functionality -- should we strive for multiple best-of-breed devices or one "killer" device? -- will rage until either someone develops The Ultimate Device, or we decide that a device should do one thing well. Either way, that point remains quite a ways off.