This past week, Apple unveiled their new iPhone 5. Fanboys cried and rejoiced, while the rest of the industry gave a collective, ” Neat.” Even Apple friendly rags like The Verge called it, “a little boring.”
For me, the most amazing thing at the Apple unveil was that they were producing their own KIRFed (Keeping It Real Fake) or knockoff iPods. Looking at this thing reminds me of KIRFs in Asia with their iphone nanos and Polystation 3s that Engadget and Kotaku would report on from time to time. Except, this “KIRF” is really polished. So polished, in fact, that it’s the real thing.
The new iPod Nano is essentially a neutered iPod Touch. Reports have determined that it has a proprietary OS that doesn’t support apps, so Spotify, Rdio and Pandora are out. It does support video and pictures but the screen is a tiny 2.5″ widescreen and there’s no camera to speak of. It does have FM Radio!
It’s hard to recommend something like this to anyone when for an extra $50 you can get the most out of the Apple ecosystem and get a 4th Generation iPod Touch. Seriously, the only thing this iPod Nano has going for it is the FM Radio and it’s small size.
Given that Apple has been sue happy lately and at times rightly so, it kind of struck me that the new iPod Touch looks like a scaled down version of the Nokia N9. Granted, the icons are actually circular instead of heavily rounded squares, but the similarities are there in the design. Recently in the Apple vs. Samsung case, an Apple lawyer held up the N9’s twin, Nokia Lumia 900 with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 interface, to show the court that companies can innovate and not copy Apple’s copyrighted IP. Which is funny because knee jerk reaction makes me believe that’s pretty much what Apple is doing here.
I really wished Apple did something with the wristwatch sized iPod Nano. That could be something special with Bluetooth functionality, some water resistance and a tougher glass face. It’s one of the few Apple devices I seriously considered buying, with some improvements, to wear on my wrist. Apple has decided to shake things up with their Nano family again and gave us this underwhelming gadget. I could have had a iWristwatch as a companion piece, but I think I’ll take a look at the fascinating Pebble, instead. They say Pebble with work with Android too! Even better! Whenever it comes out.