I just held a nano for the first time, and it pretty much confirmed what I was thinking before hand... My thoughts? Big whoop. No really.
Now, I admit, I've been wrong before about this stuff. Hell, my original thoughts of the iPod mini were way off - I ended up buying one, but not before lambasting it on this blog. But the nano is getting a bunch of kudos for its design, etc. but my thought was simply, "What's the big deal?" It just plays music! It's an MP3 player with a shiny finger-print trapping exterior and a really small color screen. Really small. Even for me and I'm used to looking at mobile phone displays if that tells you anything. The black 4GB one is pretty neat, but my 1GB Shuffle will do quite nicely for most uses and I won't have to handle it with kid gloves to make sure it doesn't get scratched.
In general, I'm thinking... "Meh."
Now, I just held a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone with the slot for a Memory Stick Duo, and a 2 Megapixel camera. Now *that* is something to get excited about. What a phone! It's a bit bigger than the nano, but not really, and saves me from having to worry about charging two separate devices at night. This is the key: Separate devices are bad, convergence is good. The nano is a converged device that forgot to bring along the rest of the functionality. Right away people were joking about hot-gluing the nano to a phone and a camera, does that tell you anything? People expect that sort of thing now! Where's the camera? Where's the phone? Where's the video? Where's the games? Why would I spend $250 on a device that *just* plays music?
Yeah, I'm sure there'll be luddite whiners who'll go on about form and functionality and how they just want their iPod to play music and their phone to make phone calls and their cameras to take pictures and their Gameboys to play games and their PDAs to do their PIM stuff. You can tell these people by the quantity of bags and charging cords they carry around with them. Me? I prefer one device in my pocket that does everything, and just as well. As the Sony Ericsson has shown us is possible.
Oh well. Not like Apple isn't going to sell a bazillion of those bad boys, but personally I think Apple has crossed the line from functionality to pure fashion, and it's too bad. They should have been the ones leading the way on an iTunes phone, and not farming it out to Motorola and concentrating on the bling.