1/ Do you have a source for that 99%? I'd probably peg it more at 60-70%
2/ No adapter currently exists. Similar to the mini-display-Port on the laptops, is that adapter available yet?
3/ "Slight additional fee". Considering we are talking about an $80 product, even $10 would be a 12.5% of the cost of the product. Since 3-rd parties will have to pay a licensing fee, it's not like we are going to be able to see things all that cheap from other companies as well.
1. Other than myself, I haven't seen anyone with an iPod who wasn't using a pair of white headphones. Might be other brands used with them, but anecdotally, I'd have to say the vast majority of users stick with the default headphones.
2. Apple says the adaptor is coming, so I would have to stick with that.
3. Again, for the vast majority of consumers, the headphone adaptor is going to be unnecessary. For the folks willing to shell out a ton for extra headphones, what's another 10-20 bux? Especially compared to the low cost of entry in getting the iPod.
Honestly, you guys are WAY over thinking this thing. It's a cheap iPod. It's not an audiophile device and was never meant to be. For most consumers, that's just fine. Don't think just because it doesn't include your pet features that the most people won't be perfectly happy with it. If you need a reminder, please remember that lots of TR readers thought the original Shuffle was dead in the water because it didn't have a screen on it. There was a hue and cry that this would never work and that people just HAD to have a screen.
And yet they sold. Lots of them apparently.
Not everything Apple does is a hit out of the park, but given the rather mild changes that you are carping about (moving the controls and requiring a dongle for using third party headphones) that will affect a very small portion of the market, I doubt that sales will suffer.