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iPod inching closer to iPhone design?

What has to rank as one of the least difficult to predict Apple predictions in history, it looks like the iPod will take on the iPhone form factor sans the phone smarts…

The moment the Apple iPhone was rumoured way back when, I began to think. Then when there was talk of full screen and touch capabilities, I couldn’t see things turning out any other way, so I was sure the iPhone and iPod would merge:

“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.”

There are also huge cost savings in terms of combined production and machine tooling, which I also make mention of.

More recently, I updated my prediction as Piper Jaffray saw fit to chime in, agreeing largely with my own views, where we both I saw a future that would combine the iPhone and iPod into a unified device:

“I feel confident enough to make another prediction: I think that the iPhone form factor is just the beginning of a whole new class of consumer electronics that will make use of Apple’s impressive touch screen technology and their embedded version of Mac OS X 10.5 also known as Leopard.”

And as the current stock of iPods dwindle, there’s talk of a special Apple event on the 5th of September:

“Apple’s new line of iPods will indeed be introduced in September, in line with recent speculation and rumors … The company plans to drop the bomb on us with a major unveiling during the first week of September – specifically, September 5, according to our sources within the company.”

There’s also mention of updates to the lower order iPod products – such as the iPod Nano – which makes sense. But the big money is where the large screen video is.

And with video purchasing via iTunes Europe due by the end of the year, the new iPod would mark an important next phase in Apple’s attempt to extend its considerable lead in the evolution of music & video entertainment.

And on a more personal note…

Right now, the quality of the video Apple is selling isn’t optimal.

OK, gloves off: the video is crap. Yes, it’s gonna always work fine on any new iPod form factor as discussed previously, but that’s no good enough for the likes of me who’s either viewing from a 19 inch CRT or a 15 inch LCD.

Plus, this says nothing of the millions out there with their iMacs, most of which wouldn’t exactly be full of praise were they be aware of how Apple are offering quarter size video.

And that’s the thing, most people probably don’t know, because Apple are doing some in-hardware smoke & mirrors to hide the reduced size.

In an age of HD (High Definition) video, and a much welcome shift away from the recent DRM (Digital Rights Management) nonsense, Apple should be leading the way here, too.

Let’s face it, if you own a Mac, cost probably wasn’t your number one priority when making your purchase.

So if quality comes first for their customers, why are Apple putting quality second for their video & music?

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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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