Hey, Apple, why no video camera for the iPod touch?

Wednesday's Apple Music Event may not have unveiled any astounding or amazing products. But if you're a fan of the iPod touch, as I am, you may have felt a bit miffed that Apple's multi-talented media player didn't get a video camera.

Wednesday's Apple Music Event may not have unveiled any astounding or amazing products. But if you're a fan of the iPod touch, as I am, you may have felt a bit miffed that Apple's multi-talented media player didn't get a video camera.

That's right: The iPod nano got a video cam, but the iPod touch didn't. If you ask me, the touch, with its built-in Wi-Fi, gaming capabilities, and larger display, would be a natural for a vid cam. And since the iPhone 3GS, the touch's mobile phone sibling, already has a camera, adding said feature to the touch wouldn't exactly be a feat of complex engineering.

Why the Snub?

On the surface, it appears as if Apple is striving to draw a clearer distinction between the 16GB iPod nano ($US179, video camera), 8GB iPod touch ($US199, no camera), and the 8GB iPhone 3GS ($US199 with 2-year AT&T contract, video camera, phone).

But if true, does this distinction truly benefit Apple? NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin says it's "strange" that Apple would add a video camera to the nano, but not to the touch. But unlike me, he doesn't see the camera-less touch as an attempt by Apple to "avoid more direct competition with the iPhone."

"Clearly Apple added Open GL capabilities to make the iPod touch a more robust platform," says Rubin. The 32GB and 64GB iPod touch models are now 50-percent faster, according to Apple, and feature support for the Open GL|ES 2.0 graphics API.

Given these capabilities, a camera-equipped touch would have benefitted Apple, particularly as it gears up to compete with inexpensive consumer camcorders like Pure Digital's Flip UltraHD. "The addition of a camera, combined with Wi-Fi would have given Apple more of an advantage in terms of uploading video versus, say, the Flip," Rubin says.

Another Theory

Another explanation for a video-cam equipped nano is that it gives Apple's venerable MP3 player a shot in the arm. A recent study by stock market day trader Andy Zaky shows that iPod sales revenues are falling as consumers upgrade to smartphones and more sophisticated media players (like the iPod touch) -- devices that do a lot more than play tracks. It's likely that a nano that also shoots video would appeal to value-focused shoppers as the holiday season approaches.

Says Rubin: "The Nano has been a very strong seller during the holidays. It's small and portable. Offering the camera on it is more of a way to differentiate it from other media playback devices that are competing in the midrange of the market."

Still, the iPod touch deserves a camera. Perhaps next year?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleipod touchiTunes

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?