“By all accounts, Apple’s new iPhone 5 is a fine product, a line drive down the middle. It will easily sell millions and likely even break some records — the massive iPhone ecosystem alone will guarantee that,” Nilay Patel writes for The Verge. “It’s also a little boring, which has led to serious questions about Apple’s willingness or ability to innovate.”

“But the iPhone 5 isn’t the place to look for those answers. It’s been deliberately engineered to be an iterative update to the iPhone 4S with a larger screen and faster networking, and that’s what it is,” Patel writes. “People will love it, because people already love the iPhone. It might be boring, but Apple isn’t going to take any risks with its biggest and fastest-growing business.”

Patel writes, “The biggest danger sign for Apple is the iPod nano… There was a glimmer of hope a year ago, when Apple updated the previous watch-sized iPod nano with new clock displays and even began selling nano watch bands in its retail stores. The nano wasn’t a very good watch, but the potential was blindingly obvious — it was Bluetooth and a connectivity protocol away from being the ultimate iPhone accessory. It felt like a brewing revolution in wearable computing that guaranteed an extra $149 in revenue from every iPhone owner.”

“Apple could have blown the smartwatch market wide open with the first truly must-have phone accessory in years,” Patel writes. “It’s no secret that Apple’s iPod team was virtually disbanded after the success of the iPhone; many people left Apple, and the remaining high-level talent was reassigned to other projects. There’s no clear focus or investment on the iPod and what it can become next — just what appear to be committee-driven decisions on how to maintain the revenue engine of the past. It is a dangerous sign for Apple’s new leadership; Jobs was insistent that past success not forestall future innovation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re looking at a TIKTOK with the iPod nano stuck in it sitting on the desk. Here’s the thing: We don’t wear watches. Here’s another thing: We don’t know anyone under 50 who wears a watch. Wristwatches are uncomfortable and redundant. They beg to die out, not to be reinvented. (In fact, wristwatches are dying out and have been for some time now. Wristwatch salesmen, have at it below.) If we want to know the time, we press the Home button on our iPhones or the button on our Nike+ FuelBands. Two clocks, right there. We don’t need an anachronistic third digging into and impinging our wrists all day.

We tried – so hard – to use the TIKTOK+iPod nano conglomeration as a runner’s watch. It’s absolutely great for music and absolutely horrible as a pace watch. The screen is just too small to see when you’re bouncing around and when you lift it to your face and stop naturally swinging your arm to look at it, the pace goes wonky. Sure it tracks the time and distance semi-acurately, but there are plenty of far better solutions for that sort of thing. It’s a wonderful iPod, a needless watch, and an absolutely horrid runner’s watch – which is probably why Apple made the smart move and turned it back into an iPod with a screen that’s big enough to actually use for something more than displaying 20 watch faces at the press of a button. The 6th generation iPod nano was too much of a “Super iPod shuffle” and not enough of an iPod nano. (We were kind of hoping the iPod nano was going to become the new iPod shuffle, but the economics – that damn touchscreen! – probably didn’t work for Apple).

The new 7th generation iPod nano looks to be much better for working out, now with Bluetooth 4.0, and you can still use it to show photos to grandma, but now she can actually see them! With a larger screen and the ability to play TV shows and movies, it’s a great thing for kids and less expensive than even last year’s iPod touch which Apple has kept as the entry-level touch ($149 vs. $199). Plus, it’s really, really, really thin at just 5.4mm!

Hey, who knows? Maybe right now Apple’s hard at work reinventing the wristwatch into something we’d actually want to strap to our wrists: FaceTime, Dick Tracy, etc. If so, bring it on, but it should be its own thing, “iWatch” or whatever, not an iPod nano stuck into a third-party strap sitting on the desk, not on our wrists.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]