On Wednesday you sat down with your mid-noon coffee, adrenaline pumping through your veins and expected a show. You were sure Apple was about to bring the heat and even more sure that today would be a gauntlet thrower. The day when Microsoft got it’s proverbial hat handed to them once again, and threw in the towel on Zune. Then something happened. After the event you just stood there mug forgotten, mouth gapping, and thought to yourself Apple has stopped innovating, Microsoft may actually get some respect in the marketplace! You we’re right, or were you?
Let’s be clear here, Apple’s releases today were a joke, and there’s no denying it. I can think of a lot of things that I’ve wanted on my MP3 player even when I owned an iPod but I can promise you a camera, wasn’t anywhere near that list, and you can’t say it was on yours a year ago either. That being said pricing wasn’t entirely lost on me. $199 for an 8gb iPod Touch isn’t a bad price, and a $249 16gb device or $299 32gb device isn’t bad either, and for all intensive purposes I’m not sticking my pen anywhere near a $399 64gb unit (it’s too easy to make fun of). However the new Nano really should be a laughing stock. A camera on a device with a 2.0 inch screen isn’t just laughable; it reeks of adding features for the sake of adding features.
With all those points in mind though Zune user’s shouldn’t be celebrating just yet. Why? It’s easy. Apple has shown clearly it’s not going down without a fight, and really does a half-assed updated device excite your loins? I didn’t think so. Here’s my theory, and feel free to make fun of me if it doesn’t come true:
Apple had every intention of updating the iPod touch and the Nano with cameras at the same time, however there was a manufacturing issue that prevented them from releasing reliable hardware. When Steve returned he was presented with the option of letting the device move forward into production and risking warranty battles not seen since the heyday of Xbox’s Red Ring of Death, or stopping production. Rather then tip they’re hand he made a conscious decision to keep the word out long enough for it to be a surprise when they didn’t release it at today’s keynote. Why do you ask? To put everyone off their guard. Steve Jobs didn’t get to where he is by having set schedules and only doing what was expected of him. He got to the top of the food chain by shock and awe. The original iPod with Video launched in October of 2005, and something tells me so will the new touch.
So what happens if I’m wrong, nothing really. Apple still sells boxes of these things like they’re powdered milk during World War II and Microsoft get’s some traction with the Zune. However what If I’m right. What if the whole point of this move is to get Microsoft off the scent so the folks in Cupertino can uppercut them? If I’m right it could be Apple’s chance to kill Zune by embarrassing Microsoft. Many shareholders and board members had to be sold on the Zune’s existence to begin with. They won’t have a problem getting rid of it. Don’t worry though. If your right we’ll get some new forum members come Tuesday, and if I’m right Microsoft may drop the hardware platform, but why worry? It’s only a media player, right?