There’s a joke widely told among tech nerds ending with a punch line that goes something like, “I loved my first gen iPod Touch when it could make calls and was called an iPhone.”
The iPod Touch may constitute 40 percent of iOS sales, but the general consensus among gadget hounds is why? Why would you shell out for a device that looks like an iPhone, operates like an iPhone, but doesn’t make calls? (It might be argued that the iPhone doesn’t really make calls either.)
For its 4th generation iPod Touch, Apple has done much to answer this question and labored hard to set the gadget apart from the iPhone. First off, it does not co-opt the iPhone 4’s aluminum and glass ice-cream sandwich design. Instead, the Touch retains a trapezoidal shape with a flat glass front and a smudge-attracting chrome back plate. It’s also extraordinarily thin at 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.28 inches, weighs just 3.6 ounces and flaunts a vibrant 960 x 640, 3.5-inch screen. When compared side-by-side, the iPhone 4 looks rather like a behemoth next to the Touch. But aside from outward appearances, the two devices do share some important similarities.
So this brings us back to the question at hand: Why get the Touch over say a new iPhone? Good question. When you look at the sum of its parts, the Touch is actually a lot of single-serving devices rolled into one. Its video camera makes it competitive with the Flip, its gaming abilities (while not on par with a Gameboy or PSP) are decent for casual users, and video playback is better than just about any dedicated device available out there. So if you want to trade all of those gadgets in for an all-in-one device, you could do a lot worse than the Touch. It may not make phone calls, but hey, we hear your iPhone doesn’t either.