Monday, October 17, 2005

More on making the iPod a Computing Platform

Carl Wolf commented: Are you saying the iPod is a "hybrid platform'? Are you saying the success of the iPod will lead Apple to develop yet another computer paradigm? Please help me understand - your blog didn't.

Good point, Carl. The blog comment on Apple's iPod tended to focus more on countering some negative points I saw in a Forbes article. You are correct, it did not state this hybrid platform idea in much detail. Sorry. Here is just a brief idea.

Right now people are counting Apple's success based on the Mac's market share --- and complaining that it is so small. (Though, in reality, Apple's maintaining market share in a growing market could be considered a positive too.)

Anyway, there is no way someone is currently going to count the 20 (?) million iPods out there as having any relevance to the Mac's market share. Sure, we all hope that the "halo" effect --- which I have witnessed in my own family and friends now looking at the Mac again ---- will add to Mac sales, but what if the iPod goes a step further.

In one case, supposing a video capability can be given to iPods (which has since been proven true), then later perhaps it can have a mini-Mac OS X version on its hard disc that enables you to at least run some "Mac" (like) applications, e.g. PIM, etc. With a few iterations, such a machine could become less and less different from a Mac mini (which is larger also because of video circuitry, CD, etc. enabling such devices to help Apple claim some more of the "computing" market share with what would otherwise simply be "MP3 player" sales.

Even if iPod does (had) not become a video player, it already has the ability to boot up my machines in OS X and run as my pocket Mac. It can already display output to a TV so enabling more video display options could be done. It already has audio in and out ability (so many third party vendors offer such things) so (with a more speech recognition driven interface) it could conceivably be useful even before a small external (like iPaq external) keyboard or a full keyboard can be connected to it via USB.

So, people could even literally carry their music AND their Mac in their jeans pocket, basically plugging it into a display and keyboard at work and do the same back at home.

Thanks for your comment and question, it forced me to think more clearly and express it in more detail.

I actually have to leave for a trip in a few hours and it is already midnight so I hope this will give a better idea of what I meant. I will add this to the blog also to better explain what I am thinking of this new hybrid platform/paradigm.



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