I suspected something like this would happen when the iPod photo came out. Today I read on The Unofficial Apple Weblog that the iPod photo is not selling close to as well as its non-color cousins. This information comes from an article on AppleInsider that says:
According to a recent analysis of shipping data conducted by sources close to AppleInsider, Apple Computer’s 20GB and 40GB iPod digital music players have been met with increasing demand in recent weeks.
. . .
On the other hand, the recently introduced 40GB and 60GB iPod photo models appear to be in ample supply, indicating a lesser demand for the higher priced players. Both models are available to ship to all channels within a 24-hour time period.
From the very beginning I felt as though the iPod photo wasn’t revolutionary enough. I mean seriously, what’s the big deal? It doesn’t have a memory card slot (which would be very useful) to allow you to download your pictures off your camera. So basically you’ve got this thing that can play music and if you want you can show off your pictures on it (or use it for album art . . . big freaking deal). I expect much more out of Apple. If they had given some thought to how people use iPods (and MP3 players in general), I suspect they would have found that people throw them in their bags or pockets and play music, avoiding any interaction with them during that time (hence the overwhelming use of random for iPod users).
Knowing that, why would people really care about photo capability? Then on top of everything else Apple charges $100 extra for the color screen and photo capability. I know I would never go for that, there’s just no point. It’s a waste of money if you ask me.
On a separate note, how long is it until Apple begins doing more limited edition iPods? They’ve begun with the U2 special edition, but I expect that this could become like customized shoes. Imagine if Apple got together with very stylistic boutiques and made up 100 units of specially designed iPods which sold for $100 more. Without adding any functionality, I guarantee these units would sell and sell quick. People want limited edition stuff, they want to feel special and in the know. If Apple figures out the right partners I bet they could make a killing.