And then there's the utility of an iPod touch. While it may have iPod in its name, it's far more than just a media player. Apple's secure enough about the popularity of the iPhone that it doesn't worry that the iPod touch will significantly eat into sales of Apple's phone. And that means that Apple isn't intentionally hobbling the iPod touch to drive customers to the iPhone--Messages and FaceTime are good examples of features that Apple could have reserved for the iPhone but chose not to.
And syncing. iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads can sync media and apps wirelessly. The old way required by the iPod classic--connecting a cable whenever you want to change its contents--seems archaic in comparison.
Despite all this, unlike the ingrate Brutus, I come to praise the iPod classic as well as bury it. The hard-drive based iPod had a great run. It was revolutionary when it was first released and helped change the way we acquire and listen to music. It spawned a renewed interest in music for those who'd long-ago given up on listening to more than the handful of CDs piled beside a dusty collection of VHS tapes.
So yes, it was a great idea at the time. But, given Apple's current interests and the many alternatives to this lovable one-tricky pony, its time has passed. There ain't nothin' for it.
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