Apple readying 4th-generation iPod

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by PowerMacMan, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502

    PowerMacMan

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    "Apple Computer is preparing to unveil the 4th-generation of its flagship iPod music player, reliable sources told AppleInsider last week.

    Excluding the introduction of the iPod-mini in January, over half a year has passed since the company last update the iPod product-line on September 8th.

    While sources could not pin-point a specific day or month of introduction, they said the soon to be released player would boast a 50GB hard disk capable of holding 12,500 songs and carry an approximate cost of $499.

    Unlike the recent capacity-centric revisions to the iPod line, the 4th-generation iPod will host a number of architectural advancements and new features. Most apparent, sources say, is the presence of a 2-inch color screen for displaying photos stored on the pod, from the palm of your hand.

    The player will reportedly also adopt a video output jack that will allow users to connect their iPods to television sets, sources said. Meanwhile, no mention was made in regards to an output jack capable of relaying audio to a home entertainment center.

    Sticking true to its form and identity, sources said the 4th-generation player reflects very few external changes, but will sport a revised set of navigation controls most similar to those found on the iPod-mini.

    In order to accommodate the new color screen, a revised version of the iPod's embedded OS will most likely be required, sources said. The company is also rapidly developing a major update to its iTunes jukebox software, also due this year.

    Apple will celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the iTunes Music Store next month, with April 28 acting as a potential candidate for music related announcements."

    This looks awesome, would you rather have the mini or this?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    Given the fact that battery life on current iPods is erratic at best, and that apple can't even get the mini working or shipped in quantity, this does not seem likely, nor necessary.
     
  3. mvc
    macrumors 6502a

    mvc

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Outer-Roa
    #3
    Bring it on!

    I think it is both likely and necessary, they didn't call the things iPod so they could just play music, clearly they have always intended them to grow in features and purpose.

    I for one am eagerly awaiting an iPod that can easily download images from a digital camera (without a clunky add on peripheral). Ask any travelling photographer if 50gb of image storage without lugging a laptop would be good.

    And if it was a phone and a "pda" as well, all the better.

    Battery life is the only real issue here, and there are other devices out there managing a decent battery life and runiing a harddrive and colour screen.

    Have some vision people!

    This general lack of imagination reminds me of when the iPod mini came out - it was all useless and overpriced and pointless etc etc. Seems the general public didn't agree with the geeks inhabiting this board.

    :rolleyes:
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Pssh, i've ordered a mini and i also happen to think this would be a bad idea.

    When was the last time you remember any of these mystery devices that you mention which can do all of this and still get decent battery life, being as great as the iPod?

    I don't want an iPod that is also a PDA, a cell phone, can show and store movies and pictures etc... All-in-One's do a lot of things in a mediocre fashion, and no one thing very well.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #5
    Well, traditionally mp3 players sucked too, but Apple did it right with the iPod. I don't think that Steve would change such a major product without knowing that the revision was not even more Insanely Great.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    Eventually, they either have to add features or cut the price, which obviously they wouldn't want to do. What other features could they add instead?

    voice recording, longer battery life, radio, other output or input jacks...

    all things being equal, these all add size, which would eliminate one of the iPod's advantages against competitors.
     
  7. mvc
    macrumors 6502a

    mvc

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Outer-Roa
    #7
    That's exactly what PC's were like until Apple released the All-In-One original Mac.

    And lots of visionless people said that was a useless toy too!


    HAVE SOME VISION!!!!!!!! I should make it my sig. :mad:
     
  8. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #8
    If they build this and couple it with "ipod at home" then I would be more interested than the other ipods. I am ok with some slight increases in size (fatter maybe) to get good battery performance and screen size.

    I wish though that this was also going to be touch screen so we could use it as a pda...which would necessitate a cover etc...
     
  9. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #9
    I think you mean "Home on iPod". I hope if they do that, it would only be a software update, because I wouldn't be able to afford a new iPod probably :(

    Just Say No™ to it being more like a PDA! Or a phone even! I could only imagine how clunky it would end up being, no matter how good Mr. Ives is...
     
  10. mvc
    macrumors 6502a

    mvc

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Outer-Roa
    #10
    I disagree, and here's why.

    The s700 by sonyericsson shows that these sort of devices ARE converging, and there is nothing clunky about it.

    It's true that in the past convergence produced a clunky result, but the market for truly portable computing/media/communications devices is going to explode over the next 5 years as all the necessary technology is coming on stream, with the battery issue being the most problematic.
    These aspects are a natural fit, as Media and communications both become much more useful with the addition of a real processor and harddrive.

    PDA's are just an immature form of these future portable devices, as was the Newton. Traditional PDA type functionality is rapidly becoming a side issue, as seen by how the phones are assuming that role so easily, almost as a me too feature.

    Phones can just as quickly become mp3 players too, with the addition of a decent harddrive.

    The phone, you see, is the key, as everyone NEEDS to have a cellphone, but all the other features are to most people just options, including the mp3 playback.

    Consider this; if in the next 3 years cellphones sprout 20gb harddrives to hold all the images you have taken with your built-in camera (a 2 mega pixel camera will be the norm by then), then what is to stop adding a little mp3 playback feature. 20gb of music on your phone, suddenly there is much less reason to own or carry yet another digital device to rattle around in your pocket; that silly old iPod.

    Cellphones killed the PDA, and they will kill the iPod if it stays JUST an mp3 player.

    Don't be sidetracked by what was said and done in the past, Apple will want a share of this, even if it means effectively building an iPod or some other device which includes a phone. Its one of the few things they can still do better than commodity PC makers, because making sophisticated but well designed products within a limited physical space requires real finesse.

    That's the real future of the iPod.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #11
    It should be a software upgrade.

    Strange that you think Apple would do something clunky...I think they are well positioned to reinvent the PDA within the iPod
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    davecuse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    I think part of the beauty of the iPod is in it's simplicity, by bundling a Phone, PDA and MP3 player into one box you start to clutter things. Don't get me wrong, I think that a Phone/PDA combo from Apple would be great, but I don't think that it should be wrapped into the iPod. Maybe even a PDA/Cell/VoIP Phone would be great, I'd buy it in a heartbeat and cancel my home phone service.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #13
    I'm sure this is your nightmare coming true, isn't it funny how everybody elses products that have a few problems, (there is a huge list) seem to be ignored, and the one company who happens to be showing people the way forward, gets a real good kicking for every lil wrinkle in product progress.

    All you wingers are running scared.

    run away! :eek:
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #14
    iPod Goodness

    I think davecuse is right, the iPod is a success, because Ive whittled down the fiddly mp3 player, to a sleek, simple and most importantly desirable device. I very well think the iPod may live on in its current form, but not to such a wide market as it currently enjoys.

    some people will always want a device that does only one thing, but does it very well. But others will want to be able to take calls in-between listening to their music, organizing their lunch appointments and watching the latest movie in the palm of their hands. mobile phones are crap for all of those things (apart from the voice call part) and as long as they remain as small as they are, they wont serve the full function of a PDA, and dont have the individuality to play mp3s and the like - cell phones arnt the answer, in my mind. BUT... i dont know what is..merging technologies into a single device has always diluted the functionality of the thing its merging with.

    The problem i (and others) see, is that to add more features to the iPod destroys this elegance (in its current form). If apple go down the road of merging devices, they have to be VERY careful in how they go about it. maybe offer the original iPod (in the shape of the mini) and slowly and elegantly expand the functionality of its big brother.

    but who knows?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #15
    hpPod!

    oh yeah... i'm also wondering about how apple will deal with having a "rival" Hp branded iPod, directly competing with their own iPod.... i cant seriously see how Apple would allow HP to sell their hpPod and Apple STILL market the same iPod? Surely they must release a new iPod, either in simple capacity, or new design/functionality (the 4th gen as PowerMacMac says) at the time of HPs release? Also means that they can continue to produce the cheaper, older iPod for HP, and still make a fair buck out of it ;) while touting their newer brethren.

    A kind of... sloppy seconds for HP :p
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    dongmin

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #16
    sure simplicity is great, but so are choices. the ipod already has the capability (with an add-on of course) to record voice and store photos. but the implementation of these add-ons have been less than steller. it would be nice if apple brought out a souped up version of the ipod with some of these features better integrated, for people who want it.

    my guess is that the regular ipod sales have slowed with the introduction of the mini. adding more features might be a good way of differentiating the product lines. and i don't think being able to extract photos from a camera and displaying them on a TV would compromise the simplicity of the iPod.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Garden State
    #17
    2 questions

    1) When is the ITMS anniversary?

    2) When is the HP iPod coming out?

    I ask as these may have some bearing on the release of the new iPods.

    And if they don't ship for a couple months- I will go insane!!
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #18
    More features would be nice, but I hope they address the issue of battery life. They need 10 hours at the least, but 16 or more would definitely be better.
     
  19. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #19
    If they are really adding all those features, I'd bet the way they handle the battery life problem is by offering replaceable batteries. But I suspect they won't be standard double-As, they will be proprietary batteries at $50-ish a pop. Complete speculation, of course. I have no inside information.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    #20
    Excellent post, it mirrors some of my thoughts on the matter. The iPod will have to change in the next 3 years or else get killed by cell phones with mini-HDs. Apple would be wise to license out their iTunes UI, Fairplay, and iTunes connectivity to Sony or Nokia or else those companies will kill off the iPod.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #21
    If these future phones can add the photo and music/harddrive functionality and be as usable as the iPod, yes, they probably will kill it, eventually. I don't see the really good execution of this convergence being truly widespread enough for at least a couple of years, though. We'll see. Even then, there will still be people who want separate devices.

    I for one would welcome the release of a 4th gen iPod if it had the mini's Click Wheel instead of those touch-only buttons....
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    I agree. :)
     
  23. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
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    #23
    I think the concept is such that, with current drive sizes and such, any device trying to combine those three device has to be clunky.

    I think a better alternative would be to add Bluetooth to the iPod, and have it connect to a phone á la Salling Clicker.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #24
    Its happening right now that other people are bringing out new MP3 players with additonal features like built in radios and video, and soon (as said by others) the phone market will look at adopting microdrives to boost features on phones like 2-3 megapixel camera support, MP3 playing, better PDA memory etc

    In such a market people are unlikely to want to carry too many of these devices (Phone, PDA, MP3 player, Camera) and any convergence will reduce this and likely if done well make it more attractive to buyers. Apple shouldn't be left behind...
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    davecuse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    I would be one of the first to buy an all in one from Apple if they ever make one, but I don't think it would be a 4g iPod. Maybe something just the opposite of an iPod Mini that would compliment the line. It would be cool, but I doubt it will happen.
     

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