About 5 years ago I picked up an Apple iPod Mini at Best Buy for $150. The box was a cube, it held the player, an assortment of cables, software, charger, and ear-bud headphones with foam covers.
Today I finally got my top of the line 80gb iPod Video at Best Buy for $350. The box was about the size of 3 CD cases stacked, had only a USB cable, no charger, no software, and the ear buds came without foam.
Now with the success of the iPhone I’m not surprised that Apple has been able to cut corners to a round of applause from the lemmings that sop up their technology blindly but this is stupid. Where I got the charger for free before, I now have to drop $30 for the accessory… mind you that’s after I’ve already dropped $30 for a protective case. I don’t even get the foam bits for the ear-buds – my ears are a little bigger than average and if I break a sweat these things are gonna fall out.
Also, I didn’t need a protective case for my $150 iPod mini. This iPod video has a paint-job about as fragile as a Bentley in the auto-wash. I wanted an arm-band, but apparently all the arm-bands end up scratching the crap out of the pretty black paint.
What Apple should do, is make a friggin iPod as tough as the Mini, screw this glossy shiny crap, with the same amount of space and capability as the top of the line video. I dropped my Mini at least a dozen times and it just kept on running – I’ll scream if I ever drop this thing. Sure it can do more, but it seems the frailty has increased in tandem with the capability.
I personally don’t give a shit about the image value of being seen with an iPod or an iPhone, I need function over form and IMHO the iPod is still the best on the market. That said, when generation 6 comes out I’m really hoping that Apple takes the lead again and releases something a little tougher than the fragile piece of art I now own.