It is cute and nifty and small, as expected (just a little larger than the face of my wristwatch). But that's not what I want to talk about in this post. Instead, I'm going to talk about the packaging.
Simply opening the packaging for the iPod shuffle was a really pleasant experience--so much so that I noticed how pleasant it was, and I'm not apt at noticing such things. It's packaged in a little acrylic coffer, such as might be used if the part of Snow White were being played by Thumbelina. Opening it felt like opening something special.
I'm having a lot of trouble articulating what was so nice about this. I claim that it wasn't just fanboy enthusiasm; I think that fanboying would trigger me to rhapsodize about the product, not the packaging.
But I think it is true that Apple puts a lot of effort into making sure that details like that are really nice. I hope that the designer of this packaging got rewarded for doing such a nice job.
(I've been told that in its last fiscal year, Apple sold over 40 million iPods. If you assume that half of those were sold in the USA, that's about one iPod for every 15 Americans in that year. Numbers like that boggle my mind.)