The iPad Mini is about Killing the iPod Touch

The iPod touch has always been Apple’s odd model out. More than an iPod yet significantly less than than an iPhone.

Three years ago, I bought an iPod touch because I wanted the iOS experience without being tied to AT&T. These days the iPhone is available on multiple carriers and the iPod touch finally has a camera.

In between times, Apple didn’t know if the iPod touch was “training wheels for the iPhone” a competitor to the Sony Playstation Portable or just a colorful camera that can play music.

Hardly compelling compared to the iPad’s positioning of transformative convenience.

Hell, this isn’t even compelling against multi-touch iPod nano that’s half the size and half the price.

Apple’s ~8″ iPad mini debuted at $30 more than the 4″ iPod touch. Twice the screen size and half the storage space for just over the $300 price point. For an additional charge, a persistent cellular broadband connection is available through AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

No such broadband option exists for the iPod touch. Making the iPod touch once again the odd model out.

Historically, Apple’s responses to competitors has always been strategic – not direct and obvious. Additionally, they’ve always been comfortable killing off popular products for the sake of an easy-to-understand product line. For all these reasons, the iPad mini isn’t about competing directly with the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 – it’s about quietly killing off the albatross of the iOS family – the iPod touch.

This time next year, the iPod nano will have a camera and the iPod touch won’t exist.