Ross Rubin (@rossrubin) contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
In a New York Times interview of Steve Jobs conducted by Engadget columnist aspirant David Pogue, Apple's CEO suggested that the company did not include a camera on the iPod touch because the company was now marketing the iPod touch as a game machine and that a camera was not germane to such a device. "We don't need to add new stuff," said Jobs.
But why is adding a digital camera any less germane to the portable game device of the iPod touch than it is to adding it to the media player of the iPod nano? Or, if price is an issue, why not exclude it only on the entry-level model? The iPod touch market will soon be large enough to support such diversity. And if the iPod touch is indeed being marketed as a gaming console and a low-cost point of entry to the app store, excluding a camera disrupts the continuity of the touch/iPhone platform, while the iPod imaging message is now more muddled: If you're buying the iPhone 3G, you can capture stills but not video, while the "lower-end" iPod nano offers video capture but not stills, the iPod touch offers neither, and only the iPhone 3GS offers both.