Will Mobile Phones Kill iPod (cont'd) (UPDATED)

Backstory for a conversation that has started:

In September, 2004, I posted an article that asked, what happens to your iPod when you can put a 40GB hard drive into your phone? Does that kill the iPod? Or can Apple then finally combine an iPod into a phone by co-branding with the phone manufacturers?

Then Reuters asked a similar question in October 2004 and Om Malik responded saying that he doubted it was a threat to the iPod.

I pointed out my earlier post to which Om responded:


I am not sure if Jobs would ever do that, but I for one would buy such a device. I believe embedding ITunes into phones is a better way to go for the company, for it would be yet another extension for Apple’s music store, and of course it would inspire people to get IPod to really enjoy the music.

 What I still think Jobs can do is make IPod more wireless enabled and part of a “wireless bubble” that we carry around with us all the time. I think the 5G and 6G of IPods would have more value added, but without taking away much from the original simplistic design. As for 40GB hard drives on the phone, well it is still about 5-to-10 years in the future, prices are still an X-factor and the battery power is a huge issue. Oh by the way did I mention, the phones still need to get used to being better phones.


(And now we resume with the next part of the conversation. PLEASE will somebody make these blog conversations easier to track, thread, follow?????)

Om, as you can see from this post, there is at least Bluetooth built into the chipset. No word on Wi-Fi. I doubt that it’s present in that current chipset or they would have also disclosed that at the same time. Not to say that they can’t or won’t add it in future revisions. Bluetooth will be too slow for doing syncing to the desktop but will be fast enough for transferring photos from a camera phone to the iPod’s if Apple will allow for direct addition of photos to the rumoured next-generation iPod that will have photo display capabilities on its colour LCD.

As for your comment on the ten year time-frame to reach 40GB drives in the phones, I would point you to this article on IBM’s new 1-inch micro-drives that hold 6GB scheduled for release soon. Also factoring in that hard drives have doubled capacity each year (for the same price) for the past five years, that means that we will have a 12GB 1-inch micro-drive in 2005, and a 24GB in 2006 and a 48GB in 2007, only three short years away. Not quite so unbelievable to embed an iPod into a phone with those trends.

Finally, you made a comment that I agree wholeheartedly with: “the phones still need to get used to being better phones”. A friend of mine recently spent a day being bombarded by “new-feature-speak” from phone sales people, and in an exasperated and comic tone yelled at me: “I have an idea for a feature they can put in their phone – how about putting a PHONE FEATURE into their phone???? One that actually STAYS CONNECTED AND DOESN’T DROP CALLS?!?!?!” 🙂

UPDATE: Russell Beattie has also been having some conversation on his site about this exact issue. He sides with me.