Friday, September 07, 2007

iPod touch - Steve's Newton?

In the previous blog, I published RegHardware's article on why they believe the iPod touch is going to be a successful product.

I featured it because it challenged my initial reaction to the latest iPod range, which was '?'.

The iPod classic had the storage I wanted. But nothing else.

The iPod nano is not for me. Not enough storage. Not enough features. And I'm reserving judgment on the form-factor. My intial reaction is 'Fisher-Price'.

The iPod touch looks great. The storage is not huge, but flash media keeps it slim and improves battery life. And I'm used to using smart-playlists to manage capacity limitations with my existing iPod, so that's not a big problem.

The lack of Bluetooth annoyed me at first, as I would have liked to be able to listen to songs without wires. However, the current range of Bluetooth headphones are either poor in audio quality, or so bulky/power-hungry that I wouldn't use them anyway. I wonder if WiFi earphones are a possibility?

And then I start to think, is this Steve Job's Newton?

It runs OSX. It isn't shackled to a telecom carrier. It's reasonably priced. It has a great screen. A usable touch-interface. A fast processor. Good battery life. WiFi.

How long will it be before third-party developers find ways of synchronising data and broadcasting sound via WiFi?

All it lacks is an app (and a microphone) to allow it to be used as a Skype device. WiFi availability is growing fast. How long will it be until the iPod voice makes an appearance?

I believe that convergence is inevitable. One day we will carry/wear/implant tiny devices that take superb quality pictures, store (or stream) our entire music/video collections and allow us to communicate with the rest of the world via voice and data.

However, as the RegHardware article suggests, this is the device for those of us who don't believe convergence has arrived yet.

I still prefer my Fuji F30 as a camera to any phone (including the Nokia N95). My Nokia E65 is an excellent mobile that gives me access to the internet via WiFi, GPRS and 3G, but I don't enjoy browsing the web on it, I don't like the quality of the images or videos it captures and the screen is too small to enjoy watching videos on it.

The iPod touch could end up being the first successful UMPC (Ultra Portable Personal Computer), providing the average user with enough horsepower and features to keep them happy until Apple, Fuji and a Telco team up to provide the ultimate convergence PDA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bluetooth is for more than wireless headphones: it's also for browsing over the phone if there's no Wifi available. And for talking to your GPS.

So I'll be stuck with my mediocre Nokia 770 until the iPod Touch 2.0 comes out:-(