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If you want proof that we live in a cut price world you only have to look at the iPod. Not that the iPod is cheap - it’s just that when I bought my 3rd generation iPod back in 2003 in the box you got a Firewire cable, a remote control, a dock and carry case with belt clip. Slowly but surely, all of these were removed from the retail box, to the extent that eventually you were glad that there’s was even an iPod in the box.
These extras were sacrificed to the god of the ‘iPod ecosystem’, by which I mean the increasingly large accessory industry that’s built up around the world’s favourite music player. Ironically, the latest 5th generation iPod actually includes a case, but it’s actually more of a sleeve and it doesn’t have a belt clip, so for those who want such an attachment will have to look to the accessory market.
The larger of the two cases I’m looking at here is actually designed for the previous generation of iPods, namely the second, third and fourth-gen players – but there’s still plenty of people around with those, at least of the third and fourth-gen players. The new fifth-gen player will physically fit the cases but as Apple has moved the headphone socket to the corner you won’t be able to use the with headphones, which makes them a bit pointless for the video iPod. As you might imagine the smaller of the two cases is for the iPod nano but except for their dimensions both are essentially the same and each is the same price.
With the industry around the iPod so large, it’s no surprise that there are a huge number of different case designs. If one were in a cynical mood, one might even suggest that Apple has deliberately kept its iPod susceptible to scratches in order to keep the mass of case producers happy. Certainly the iPod nano and the iPod ‘video’ are more at risk than ever, when you might have thought that Apple would have taken steps to make them less so. The iPod nano is certainly in need of protection, with the number of people suffering cracked screens reported widely in the media.