Let's face it, the bNet article on Apple and their recent market entry announcement for new iPods is a very accurate depiction of the result of the launch.
This is not a reflection on the products from Apple, but a result of the company being distracted and the messaging being diffused. This happens because despite the perception of Apple as a giant, their management team and managers are extremely thinly spread. The company doesn't have stacks of people like other companies who do a small amount of anything. Instead they have a few people who do things that cover large amounts of ground.
In this case the announcements, coming on the heels of distraction caused by Eric Schmidt's departure, the FCC investigation, the Google Voice fiasco and a few other issues around the app store, all leads a small group into the world of distraction. Add to that the "return of Steve Jobs" and you have a recipe for distraction.
Story, positioning and messaging are crucial to a successful product introduction, but right now Apple is holding back because anything they say has impact on the FCC actions, as well as potential litigation from shareholders. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place, these are for Apple the first wave of rough seas since Jobs returned in 1996-97. That kind of distraction leads to exactly what happened, and likely caused Apple to hold up some launches of "new" products simply because they couldn't do it really right.