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iPod, iPhone set to merge case designs?

“You know you are a nerd when you dream technology!” Exclaims Carl during one of our daily chats on Skype. You see, Carl had a dream about the Apple iPod last night. He has a habit of dreaming about Apple stuff in the days running up to a major event, like the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) for example. Carl dreamed of Steve Jobs announcing the iPod with the keypad from the old Psion. While obviously a step backwards in terms of applied technology, it got me thinking…

In the coming months, I think Apple will merge the form factors of the iPod and the iPhone into one, taking the more pocket-friendly design of the iPhone.

I say this because Apple have hit the sweet spot in terms of user interface with the touch screen technology they’ve developed.

Also, the iPod sports PIM (Personal Information Manager) tools, and what do you need most when you’re using a PIM? A keyboard, of course.

No, not the keypad from the old Psion but the ‘soft’ keyboard from the iPhone, which is essentially a bunch of graphics that are manipulated via the touch screen. So there’s no actual physical keyboard at all.

In time, the only thing separating the iPod from the iPhone will be the innards; the iPod will maybe sport the larger storage while the iPhone will boast the telephony smarts, and the embedded version of the Mac OS X operating system will tie the two together.

For those with a longer memory, they’ll recall how on his return to Apple, Steve Jobs began scything through the entire Mac product line, dispensing with almost every model.

The upshot of his efforts was a much simpler, more manageable ‘matrix’ of products. But since then, this matrix has added a few rows & columns.

So merging the iPod case design with the iPhone would trim the matrix back a little and save on the tooling and materials costs into the bargain.

And that means cheaper iPods and iPhones for thee & me!

That sounds more like the Apple I know. Music to my ears, and a good call, too…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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