Is the iPod Shuffle really an iPod?

Previous (and my favorite) version of the iPod Shuffle

With my talk yesterday of the refurbished iPod Shuffle’s price, folks over at Macenstein wondered whether or not the lowly Shuffle even counted as a true “iPod.” Is it, but in name only?

Dr. Macenstein says:

Granted, at $49, the shuffle might be the most affordable “iPod” Apple makes, but it delivers a fraction of the features and costs nearly 3 times less than the closest “real” iPod Apple makes – the iPod nano. The shuffle is not the iPod students put on their Christmas lists, the kind of iPod you see commercials for, the kind of iPod that accessory manufacturers cater to, or the kind muggers kill over.

He then goes on to list the many differences between “screened,” full multimedia iPods and the clip-on version. “Sit 10 random people down ask them to draw an iPod,” the Doctor says, “and I would wager not one would draw a shuffle.”

True enough. But it is a classy, snazzy-looking little flash player, isn’t it? And it sure delivers enough music-playing power to its audience – namely, on-the-goers and runners and such.

Good breakdown, and a heckuv an argument.

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