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View Full Version : Justin Blanton: "Obviously, the iPod is Dead"


Jason Dunn
09-21-2004, 08:54 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://justinblanton.com/archives/2004/09/21/obviously_the_ipod_is_dead/' target='_blank'>http://justinblanton.com/archives/2004/09/21/obviously_the_ipod_is_dead/</a><br /><br /></div><i>"So, heres the deal Apple, if youd like to keep your competition down and sales of the iPod up, add a GSM or CDMA antenna to the music player and let it ride. I would be the first in line for such a device (shocking, I know) and I imagine that there would be a lot of people behind me. As soon as smartphones start adding 1 and .85 drive bays, its not going to take long for end-users to realize that their two or three devices can be made into one, and there is no turning back when that happens. As good as the iPod interface is, and as pretty as the design can get, its not going to be able to compete with mass storage on a mobile phone..."</i><br /><br />Here's an article that will generate some controversy, although I tend to think it's an obvious conclusion. Convergence is coming (it's always coming though) and in the same way that PDAs without any wireless are on their way out, I tend to think that one-trick units such as the iPod will eventually fade away. Once you get a 5 GB hard drive in your phone, will that be enough? Or do you see single-use devices getting better and better, always keeping ahead of the compromises inherent in multi-function devices?

Macguy59
09-22-2004, 01:44 AM
Maybe I'm an idiot but my smartphone is used as a phone first and foremost. In fact since I cut my landline it's my only phone. As such battery life is a huge concern for me and doing things like watching movie clips, games, music etc do nothing but shorten it. Adding large drives will do even more damage to battery life. Give me at least 3 times the current battery life and I MIGHT think about it. I just don't see phones as we know them to be the end all.

Mike Temporale
09-22-2004, 02:01 AM
Give me at least 3 times the current battery life and I MIGHT think about it.

Keep you eye on the C500. That thing has some wicked battery life. :D

I tend to agree with Jason. Convergence will kill the one-trick-pony. It's not a bad thing. But is the iPod really a must have once Personal Media Centers hit the streets in full force. Why not have a device that plays music, and movies all in one. Once you have that, why not drop in a phone and PDA functions. It would make for a pretty cool device.

lewdvig
09-22-2004, 04:38 AM
Had a 30gb. Now my SPV E100 does what my Nokia 6200, Tungsten T and iPod did. Pretty easy equation and it costs less too.

lewdvig
09-22-2004, 04:40 AM
Give me at least 3 times the current battery life and I MIGHT think about it.

Keep you eye on the C500. That thing has some wicked battery life. :D

I tend to agree with Jason. Convergence will kill the one-trick-pony. It's not a bad thing. But is the iPod really a must have once Personal Media Centers hit the streets in full force. Why not have a device that plays music, and movies all in one. Once you have that, why not drop in a phone and PDA functions. It would make for a pretty cool device.

I think PMCs will fail. Too big. Add a HD to a SDA and you have a decent PMC in a great form factor.

lewdvig
09-22-2004, 04:42 AM
Apple's deal with Moto is a sign that they are not standing still.

No one that I know at Apple is stupid.

Phoenix
09-22-2004, 06:37 AM
I think a convergence device, if it has 40GB, next-gen battery tech with amazing capacity, and the right components to make it produce great sound without skipping, I think it would steal away a LOT of market share from the one-trick ponies.

One-trick devices may go away some day, but not for awhile, I believe, because they're far cheaper than convergent products, and there are just too many people who can't afford the higher end items.

If I could get the things I mentioned above added to an MPx, I would ditch my Ipod, and forget about a PMP/R of any kind.

You'd end up with a device that would have everything except radio and TV. Who knows, maybe down the road, radio and TV could be added by means of streaming those signals/content to the device via WiMax when that's in place. After all, XM is talking about offering their service online for $4-$8 a month. Imagine if Comcast or DirectTV offered that (for whatever their price would be) - we'd just need a high speed wireless connection with blanketed coverage (WiMax) and there would be no need to add actual hardware components to a convergent device. You'd have satellite radio and cable/satellite TV streamed to your device in real time, anytime, for a flat rate.

We're getting closer and closer to having the ultimate converged device that will literally handle everything. And along with this progression, everything else will progress too. Camera quality will get better and better until there will be little need to carry a separate one. Video quality will match and maybe even exceed what we see in prosumer cameras. Mobile convergent devices like the MPx will have enormous memory one day very soon, and battery technology will very soon catch up to everything else. Once these devices are on the market, over time they will drop in price and many people will own them. Eventually, they will kill off "focused devices" - but not for awhile.

Mike Temporale
09-22-2004, 10:52 AM
I think PMCs will fail. Too big. Add a HD to a SDA and you have a decent PMC in a great form factor.

Currently they are rather large, but they are first generation. As with most first generation devices, the battery life isn't too good, and the size is rather large. There is no reason they can't make a PMC fit into the iPod footprint. After all, they both have 1 core feature, a hard disk.

Ben
09-22-2004, 06:25 PM
I'm not sure if I understand the appeal of a hard drive in a smartphone or other portable device. Maybe someone can explain it to me?

Battery life seems to be improving, but asymptotically rather than exponentially (like transistors on a processor). So shouldn't we avoid trying to have to resort to power-hungry hard drives? I think our efforts ought to be on getting the prices of flash memory down. As it is, you can get a 1 GB SD card for US $80. (I bought a 128 MB CF card 3 years ago for twice that amount. In another 3 years, I hope that 1 GB SD will cost $10.) I would rather have three energy efficient 1 GB SD cards (one for taking pictures, one full of music, books, and games, and one with a half dozen movies stored on it (since a single movie can fit on to a 128MB card)) than a single 5 GB hard drive. Using the .wma audio format, I can get plenty of music (more than I would ever need) into less than 1 GB of space, leaving room for a dozen great games and a few books that can be changed periodically. Then 2 more cards to swap in and out as necessary, and I'm set.

:idea:
In fact, to take that one step further, I think flash memory ought to eventually replace optical drives like CD and DVD. Those guys are power-hungry, too, and often when watching a DVD on my ultra-slim laptop on flights, the battery dies before the flight ends. Imagine if flash memory was cheap enough that you could buy all your movies already on a SD card (and new TVs had a little slot to insert the SD card and play the movie stored there)! CDs and DVDs (and eventually hard-drives?) would be as obsolete as floppies!

Kris Kumar
09-23-2004, 05:26 AM
Jack of All Trades, Master of None! That is how I describe the current craze being exhibited by the manufacturers to offer phones that have camera, MP3 player, radio, keyboard, oh yes TV, smell detector (http://engadget.com/entry/9388518973016042/), GPS and what next? Satellite radio, Taser (http://www.taser.com/) or maybe pepper spray. :lol:

I would like to see one decent phone with PIM capability, check E-Mail, little IE, must have BT and EDGE/3G. In a small form factor with excellent battery life, the kind that puts SE T68i to shame.

The moment the battery life is improved, manufacturers find ways to drain it faster - camera, flash, hard drive, more memory etc..The moment the phone's physical size drops down, the manufacturers add another set of meaningless features that bloats the size.

Anyway...enough rant. :roll:

Oh! I also want the carrier's to focus on improving the networks instead of building online music library (T-Mobile listen up).

As for iPod. It will find it tough. The convergence will hit it big time. But Apple always has survived on a niche market. And I guess it will as long as it continues to innovate and come out with gadgets that look & work cool.