Are there TOO many iPod Choices?

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I’ve been thinking about since the Special Event last week, and I can’t seem to shake the feeling that there are just too many iPods out there to choose from.

When the line was just iPods, Nanos, and Shuffles it was easier. There was still a lot of choice, but those choices were very clear. If you wanted video on your iPod, you only had two choices…either the 30 gb or 80 gb iPod. The only real decision you had to make was based on the width of the iPod and the storage capacity.

If you just wanted music, you only had to decide if you wanted a display or not. if you did, you could pick between the two Nanos depending on price and storage. If you didn’t want a display, you bought a Shuffle.

Boom – Done.

Now, however, things are a bit different. Before the iPhone and last week’s announcement, you had a total of 5 choices maximum, and that was divided among 3 different models.

Now, however, you have 9 different choices over 5 different models of iPods (if you count the iPhone as an iPod – which Apple does), and several of them overlap in a variety of ways…and that doesn’t even count the different color options. For a company that won’t allow mutli-tiered pricing in their video store because the store needs to be “simple” that philosophy doesn’t seem to apply to product lines anymore…at least not the iPod product line.

Now you have to decide, do you want the touch features and wider screen, or do you want a ton of storage? Do you want a 3 inch screen, or is 2.5 enough? Do you want the phone features so you only have to carry around one device, or not?

If I had to choose between an iPod Classic with 80 gigs of storage or an iPod Touch with only 8 (at $50 more, no less), I’m not sure which way I would go…and God help those poor parents and grandparents who really don’t understand this stuff and “ruin” the holidays by accidentally buying the wrong one…

But maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? Are their too many iPods? I think their are…but having said that, I don’t think it’s going to hurt Apple…I think it might just be over kill.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

15 thoughts on “Are there TOO many iPod Choices?

  1. I would have loved a hdd based touch model, but that’s just me.

    I want the touch so bad, for the gui and the ability to surf the internet while in a hot spot. I keep getting hung up on the 16G though. I have had a 30G video since the day it was released and I have been spoiled by the fact that I can fit all my music on the iPod without having to pick and choose.. I was actually considering moving up to the 80G version so I could fit videos and pictures. Right now, my iPod is all music, and it’s full. So going with the Touch means that I am going to have to cherry pick my music collection in order to fit some videos/pictures too. That stinks.

    Not to mention that the 160G iPod classic is cheaper than the Touch. So cool UI, or crazy storage? I just can’t decide. If it were a 32G flash based version, then I wouldn’t be leaving this post, but I just can wait until the next rev comes out.

  2. I was a bit disapointed, as I was expecting to have an iPod Classic with solid-state (CF based) disk with 120 GB and fully portable, but it will, plus, displaced the Fatty-FrankenNano… And it will be much more expensive….

  3. I don’t think Apple’s choices are too bad. Sure, it’s a little more complex than before, but not overly so.

    Take for example Garmin’s choices for automotive GPS units:

    By last count, there are 20 different models of Nuvi currently available, alone.

    I think Apple has done a good job of diversifying it’s product line without making it too complex. Besides, unless you’re in the market for a new cell phone, I think you can pretty easily eliminate that from your choices.

  4. Worse than the complication of the present choices is the fact that it hints at possibilities for the future which will even further delay purchase by the ultra picky.

    I bought my first iPod this January. It took me that long to finally get an iPod that I really wanted. I wanted something I could fit ALL of my music on. I have almost 40 GB (all legal btw). So the 60 GB iPod video was the first that could potentially hold everything and leave room for growth. But with video, that meant needing more space for even bigger video files. So I waited and got the 80 GB.

    As I look at the product lines, I am tempted by the touch, but we are back to wanting to bring at least most of my music with me, but of course, if I buy the touch, part of the reason will be video. So just how much video can I bring with me on my little 16 GB ipod?

    What I want (need?) is a 160 GB touch. And while apple may never release it, that is what I will hold out for. And maybe I’ll be holding forever, but apple won’t be getting my upgrade dollars because they have given me a glimpse of what I want and I’ll be holding my breath.

    On the other hand, if I wasn’t so broke, I would buy a touch and a 160 GB Classic (and probably a shuffle and a nano for my wife as well). So… for the upperclass customer, Apple planned it perfectly. Instead of providing one product that meets all their needs, they have given people the ability to buy 3 or 4 iPods tripling their profit margins.

  5. i love the new choices. the nano is great. flash drives only top out at 8 gb. so apple cant make a bigger itouch or nano.

  6. I love the new designs but I too am confused. I have a Palm TX that I have a decent offer on to sell. I am thinking of replacing it with a much more advanced iPod Touch (8G). However, I will lose my ability to view Word and Excel Docs as well as view PDF files. 🙁

    I may end up with a touch, but I have an iPod 5G at the moment with 60 GB of space. It isn’t full, but at 40GB’s how do I condense that down to just 8? I watch and listen to tons of podcasts, and I just don’t know what to do!

    I would like to opt for the 16GB Touch but I just can’t afford it at this point. Maybe I should wait 60 days and buy it for $200 less. he he!

  7. I agree about the Garmin Post. I was helping a friend look for one and he got so frustrated by the number of models that he finally decided not to buy one after all.

  8. “iPod 5G at the moment with 60 GB of space. It isn’t full, but at 40GB’s how do I condense that down to just 8?”

    I also have a 5G with just over 50GB of music. I found there was some music I had never actually played on iTunes or my iPod (check Play Count). I made new Smart Playlists (from about 20 big lists I already had) that only have 100 songs in each selected by least recently played. Total size for those Playlists is just over 12GB. Each one will play 5-8 hours. When I next sync the iPod it finds the next group of songs I have least recently played.

    This allows me to not get repeats but I could also sync most of these lists (or cut down to 75 songs/list) and get the same music onto an 8GB Nano.

  9. Its been awhile since Apple released the iPod. In the beginning you only wanted 1 or 2, to help get the brand awareness out, but iPod is dominating the mp3 player market now, so Apple can expand its product line to more because everyone already knows what they are. Adding more kinds of iPods will only make them more popular, they will have one for every time of customer and have a whole family of iPods.

    Think of it like the mp3 market now, we have tons of different players all with different screens/sizes/capacities/capabilities ect. What Apple is doing is the same but within its iPod line. Its already the #1 player on the market, so by having a variety of choices they are making it more or less the one mp3 player (brand) you’ll ever need. I think in Job’s mind, he wants a world where theres all kinds of mp3 players ranging in different sizes and capabilities, and all those players are iPods.

  10. The iPod lineup is terribly cluttered, I actually thought that Apple would drop the iPod classic and the Nano would be the only traditional iPod. I’m planning on buying an iPod before Christmas and I am just torn between the Nano and the Classic.

  11. I totally agree! i hated choosing between ipod video and ipod touch. i wanted the touch, but honestly, only 8 or 16 gigs of memory? What were they thinking? what good is a widescreen if i can’t fit movies onto the ipod!

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