Apple screws early iPhone adopters

    Now, I’ve said some mean things about the iPhone – in private perhaps I’ve dismissed its users as Apple-fanboy-hipsters (to be fair being in San Francisco there are a fair mount of those around). You might think that I would gloat about the 8GB iPhone being dropped a whole two bills, from $599 to $399. But – no. Early adopters get screwed for their bravery (or enthusiasm), and it’s only with years of that hard-earned wisdom that I currently sit out the most ridiculous format war in history, Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD. So iPhone users, just console yourself with some amusing YouTube video and nevermind the bandwagon hoppers that will get the same phone for $200 cheaper.
    Oh, and Apple released some new iPods as well. A bunch, in fact.
    The most interesting is the i. That’s the iPhone without the phone, also known as the iPod Touch. If you’ve always though, I wish my iPod had a web browser, you’re in luck. With a few other applets the new iPod makes for a mild PDA and taps out at a maximum of 16GB for $399. That’s a lot of scratch, considering the iPod Classic has been refreshed, with an 80GB model for $250 and a 160GB (which could hold a lot of episodes of Heroes – though you’d have to illegally rip them due to NBC’s idiocy) for $349. The biggest problem with the iPod Touch is that people might grow a brain about this early adoption thing and think perhaps in a few months the price will just drop again. Or, if there’s a 16GB iPod Touch, surely a 16GB super-iPhone is just around the corner!
    The iPod Classic adds Cover Flow, which with the click wheel is almost as good as swiping your thumb on the screen, right? Apple also went the curious direction of making their Nano fatter, all the better to watch movies with (8GB for $199) and added a few Shuffle colors. The red is nice, the purple needs to be darker.
    Other thoughts gleaned from the Steve Jobs-a-thon:

    • Apple partners with StarBucks so you can look up what song is playing at the cafe with your wireless iPods. There are places that this would be a great feature. Starbucks is not one of those places.
    • Buying songs over wireless is a nice addition to the mix, but with no song sharing or integration with music recommendation engines, Apple continues their baby steps into the wireless world.
    • Would you like to pay 99 cents for a ringtone of a song you just bought? Thanks Steve. I almost forgot why I love to hate Apple.