Apple to demote the iPod, but here’s one reason to get one…

Mark Gurman, writing for 9to5mac:

Apple is preparing to make significant changes to its stores to simplify the experience by relocating iPod stock to accessory shelves and removing iPad-based Smart Signs, according to several Apple Retail managers briefed today on the plans. Apple will begin rolling out these notable changes overnight on Tuesday of next week to stores in the United States so that customers who begin coming in on Wednesday see the refreshed look.

Makes sense. The iPod touch is no longer the sales driver it used to be. But…

From this Wired article by Joseph Cox, entitled The Most Secure Way to Communicate:

the iPod Touch is a pretty simple option for staying private. With the right software, you can message people over mobile instant-message apps or make encrypted voice calls.

All it takes is making sure that the model is Wi-Fi only, scrupulously keeping it updated, following a few vital steps to lock it down, and, finally, installing an encrypted communications app. After that, you’ll be able to exchange seriously secure messages.

Phones, by design, constantly call out to the nearest (or strongest) cell towers to tell the network where to route calls and data. This, of course, leaves a paper trail, and those location records are available to any government agency with a warrant or, in the case of more authoritarian regimes, simply for the taking.

This means phone calls or text messages are not the best option for secure communication. The iPod Touch eliminates this problem because it doesn’t use a SIM card or a baseband. There are no phone records associated with it, providing a significant privacy advantage over the iPhone and other phones, and making it less of a tracking device in your pocket.

Seems to me, Apple has a marketing opportunity here. On the other hand, that would likely lead to calls of fear mongering. But still, the iPod touch as a secure comm device is an interesting use case.