people don't get iPods to store files; they get them to use files.
I agree with that - but they use music files on them.
The stunning success of the iPod boils down to features vs benefits. Customers don't care about the features of a product; they care about what that product will do for them. That may seem like a trivial distinction, but it's huge. A feature is just a specification, whereas a benefit is how that specification matches up to a customer's particular needs, real or perceived. People buy products for what they think those products will do for them.
I think this dovetails very nicely with my main point - that the new benefits of the iPod Photo aren't anything the consumer wants their iPod to do for them. Apple has taken a product that does one thing extremely well, and bloated its functionality.
• The color screen is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and is also not the only change to the system. The photo functionality is the bigger deal. It's still a really pretty screen, too!
I agree that the color screen is evolutionary, and yes, the photo functionality is the main "feature." But is it worth $100-$200?
• The screen is intended to be a preview screen, and as such, is a perfect size. The iPod Photo outputs both NTSC and PAL for connecting to nice big TV screens so everyone doesn't have to huddle around (typically smaller) computer screens to see your digital pix.
There are tons of solutions out there to get pictures onto a TV screen - the Apple Video Adapter, an A/V cable for your camera, using WebTV and a web page, even Tivo. And... most people will want to do some editing - iPhotoing... even iMovie-ing them into more complex presentations than the iPod Photo could handle.
• What's the best price you've seen on 20GB, 40GB, or 60GB compact flash cards?...
My intent was not to argue the viability of flash as a replacement for massive amounts of storage, but as a media for transporting files from one place to another. And as you argued before - it's the functionality that counts.
(you could buy a PowerBook or two iBooks for that)
This probably summarizes my point the best: why will someone pay $100 more for what essentially boils down to two features: a color screen and a photo player?
• It's an easy mistake to assume that most people's needs are identical to your own. Many current and future iPod owners have been waiting for higher capacity iPods to accommodate large music libraries alone. Now that photos are an option, the additional space is even more important than before.
Many have? I think the arguement for a higher capacity is mainly from those who want bragging rights. In addition, transfer time is a pretty fixed (albeit high rate) function.
• I think a video-capable iPod would be cool, but the reason Steve Jobs says there won't be one is that the screen is too small for effective video viewing (ironically similar to your complaint about the effectiveness of the screen for photo viewing). I personally think the video-out capability of the iPod Photo would address that concern for video just as it already does for still photos, but I don't get to make such product decisions. ;)
If I were Steve-o, I'd have rolled out a video iPod long before (okay, well, probably concurrently with) the photo one. Why? It's all about consumption habits. People consume music differently than photos, and both of those different than video. Here's the comparison:
|How Obtained||Purchased (in some cases rented)||Self-Created||Ad-Supported, Rented, sometimes Purchased, Self-Created|
|How Consumed||Passively, Actively||Actively||Actively, Passively|
To sum up, I think the iPod is a great device and will continue to be the monster MP3 /AAC/iTMS player that it is. It'll make tons of money and continue to sell like crazy. The iPod is a great tool for experiencing music. It's just the wrong tool for pictures.
Besides, I'm waiting for these to start shipping before I order. :-)