Will networks kill the iPod?
By djberg on Oct 12, 2006
Today I sat through a number of account reviews as part of our sales academy training in London. One of the sessions focused on IP based media got me thinking about my iPod. First let me say I love taking my digital content (pictures, movies, music) with me on my travels and therefore love my video iPod. But the iPod for all intents and purposes is the equivalent of a bloated PC. It can only serve up content that is installed locally. Sure the basic iPod model is a cache of a larger master library. But why do I need a cache when networks are becoming more and more pervasive? Is the iPod betting against the network? If so, it is sure to die (in its current form).
I can see a time when either the iPod (and its equivalents) will be "thin" or will die. Thin in the sense that they will leverage the network to deliver digital content in real time. Video, audio, you name it. IPTV is on the rise. 3G networks are being put in place around the world. And WiFi is getting almost as pervasive as coffee bars and drinking fountains. Knowing this, will todays mobile phone become the iPod, PDA, phone, all in one device that some folks are predicting? I think so. Just as Sun has never shipped a product without networking being intrinsic to the offering, mobile phones have always assumed the network. They have to, if they didn't they won't be mobile now would they? Sure the devices will need a cache so content would still be available when, by the odd chance, a network is not available. But if you start with the assumption that the network will be there, it really does open new possibilities in taking your content everywhere. Or maybe better said, being able to leave your content anywhere and at the same time using it from everywhere.
Time will tell, but I for one will would never bet against the network...
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