Look at the total system
Posted by aogThursday, 30 March 2006 at 09:43
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Instapundit is gushing about the iPod Nano. I received one myself for Christmas and I think it’s quite nice as well. I read elsewhere (sorry, lost the link) someone writing that the iPod is succeeding despite the fact that it has less features than its competitors. I think this misses two key points:
- Features that you don’t use aren’t missed. I don’t use all the features on the Nano as is, so it is effectively as featured as its competitors from my point of view. Given that, the form factor is what led me to pick the Nano. It’s small and light without being too small and light.
- The perceived feature set it not just what is on the hardware but the supporting software as well. A few years ago, it was important to have features on the hardware because that was the only place to put them reliably. With the rise of broadband, USB 2.0 and other technologies, a mass item like the Nano can depend far more on a host system for features. I basically don’t use any controls on the Nano except “Play” and “Stop”, doing all other activities in iTunes.
The key thing is the overall design of the system, including not only the hardware but the supporting infrastructure as well. That is one of the best aspects of Apple’s corporate culture and the iPod is dominating because of that.