Will iPhone kill a true video iPod?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by aidanpendragon, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    After many years, the point where I could use a true video iPod (long commute) is moving from abstract to actuality.

    Going by just the Buyer's Guide here - and by the initial iPhone peek from Jan. - I'd love to wait until an iPhone-form-factor, widescreen video iPod comes out "soon." And in that case, I know the standard advice from these forums: "if you can wait, wait, if not buy it now."

    But in the last day or so, I've started wondering if Apple will ever release an iPhone-style video iPod.

    1. All of the marketing materials/copy are referring to the iPhone in part as "the best iPod we've ever made." It's not an iPhone with video; it's AN iPOD. Why then would the iPod need to be updated with widescreen video? It "already" will have that video on June 29! So would go the Apple logic.

    2. Apple is generally loath to encroach on its high-end products with mid-range ones. Thus no headless prosumer iMac. You get 24" or you get a Mini.

    3. In this specific case, a video iPod anytime in the next 6 months might poach iPhone sales. "I already have a phone, and this cheaper model does almost everything else!"

    4. Practically, a music player with only visual controls (not physical buttons) would be very hard to use in your pocket, on your belt, on an armband, etc.

    So...hmm, I don't know...any thoughts? It's not just "buy now or wait"; it's "buy now or wait for something that may well never exist." The likelihood of that last part - will it ever exist? - is what I'd like comment on.

    On the plus side, there are at least two things working in favor of a video iPod:

    1. 8 whole gigs of memory for watching videos (for only $599!) is a 10-fold step back from what's already sold.

    2. What the hell else will they do with the product line to justify new revisions & new sales? 80gb of flash memory? Thumbnail-sized? Do people want an iPod that can be fitted nasally?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2007
    What i think is that they'll probably wait a while for the iPhone to be established and then release it, how well the iPhone does will probably determine when they release somthing like that.

    Also they won't make a new vid iPod that looks exactly like the iPhone because they'll want there to be a clear distinction
  3. Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I think they'll wait for the iPhone to reach the 2 generation and then come out with a wide-screen iPod.

    It would be hard for them to make an iPod that does not compete directly with the iPhone. As I see it, the iPhone is going to be the premium product. So maybe the new iPod would only have widescreen and able to play movies and all. But you won't be able to have 3rd party apps, no internet, etc.

    I really don't like much the idea of the iPhone. I prefer to have a small phone, I mean, if I go to the movies I don't want to carry a giant phone in my pocket. That's why I think that the idea of three-in-one device (phone, camera, and mp3 player) is still very far from being a viable option. The two limitations are size and battery performance. Maybe nanotechnology would help us with this in the future.:)
  4. macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    bit of a catch22 situation for apple, eat into iphone sales or fall behind other daps, they have to keep the ipod competitive at least, lot of dissapointments over the 5.5, they have to upgrade this time around (sept/oct) so in europe we will see ipods and iphone around the same time, and with leopard, gonna be busy
  5. macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    No....the iPod will most likely get the iPod part of the iPhone, but not Wi-Fi or EDGE.

    Maybe Wi-Fi one day, but even that might be kept away from the iPod for fear of eating iPod sales.
  6. macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    I agree, but by now I don't particularly care what they do, as long as some sort of new iPod comes out. They haven't had a proper update in ages!
  7. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    First of all I'm hoping Apple knows and understands that a lot of people are bound by contracts and cannot switch carriers without facing contract-breaking penalties fees.

    Second, I'm also hoping Apple realize that some people might not like AT&T/Rogers, or won't have access to them where they live. I, for one, am moving back to my hometown in about a month, and Rogers doesn't offer any service there. Yes it's a very small town, but all the other carriers work there except Rogers.

    So, given these two facts, Apple needs to release the 6th generation iPod very soon, i.e. the iPhone without the phone part. Yes, keep Wi-Fi and all the internet apps in there, you have no choice. You've shown us it can and has been done. All the R&D has been done too, all the parts are already bought and the design is done and tested. Just remove the phone circuitry and software, make a different outer casing (different color without the mic hole, etc) and they're ready to launch the 6th generation iPod.

    I'm guessing a lot of people won't be buying the 5th gen. iPod after seeing what the iPhone can do, and some people can't buy the iPhone at all. What are they supposed to upgrade to?

    This seems to be headed to the same mistake as dropping the Mac mini without offering an upgrade path. A lot of people don't want to buy an all-in-one like the iMac and can't afford or even need a Mac Pro, just like some people would rather have their phone and iPod as two devices and/or can't afford/use the iPhone.
  8. Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    But then many people won't buy the iPhone.

    Apple has to decide which is going to be the premium product, which I think will be the iPhone.

    The iPods is just a music player with video and photos. You don't need internet nor anything that complicated. I would agree it must have widescreen and maybe multi-touch, but no Wi-Fi or Safari. They need to keep it simple, that's what makes the iPod so great.
  9. macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2007
    After learning about there being no SDK as well as no Flash on the iPhone, I feel that for quite a few people, this was a huge deal-breaker and will translate in lower sales.

    For some time, I was rather confident that we wouldn't see a true video iPod in '07, but if iPhone sales are sluggish, then I can see the new iPod being introduced later this year.

    I'm giving a 75/25 in favor of us getting a new iPod this year.
  10. macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2007
    People would absolutely kill for an iPod w/iPhone features ;) (Internet via Wifi)

    I'm hoping that iPhone sales are crap for that single reason; it would force Apples hand into releasing the iPod that so many people are waiting for.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I agree that Apple pretty much has to release a 6G iPod seperate from the iPhone line, they really have no choice. The iPhone is not a mass market product, they have proven that the iPod is. Millions of iPod owners would never consider buying an iPhone but would put a touch-screen iPod on their Christmas list in a second.
  12. Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    How much does producing an iPhone should cost?

    Or, how much would producing an iPhone like iPod cost?
  13. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    So what if people don't buy the iPhone? It's not like they get money from the phone part, after all. All they have to do is offer a phone-less iPhone with 100GB of capacity and still sell it at the same price with the same profit margin. And I'm pretty sure Apple would rather get our cash for a 6th gen. iPod than zero since a lot of us won't buy an iPhone. By your logic they should kill the Mac mini because I should be looking at a Mac Pro instead. And even if Steve called me and offered me an iPhone for free, I wouldn't use the phone part.

    At the beginning the iPod only played music. Then, displayed photos. Then, played movies in 4:3. This is only the natural progression. And if the iPhone is not complicated with all these features and more, then an iPod with all the iPhone features minus the phone parts will be less complicated.

    Also, putting a real web browser and email on the iPod has the added bonus that it would help push the competition back to playing catch-up with the iPod. All the R&D is done, all the parts suppliers are in place, etc. It's a no-brainer, they have to do it. If they strip Wi-Fi and all, then 5th gen. iPod owners won't have any real reason to upgrade their iPod.

    iPhone: US$599
    6th gen. iPod, 100GB: US$599
    6th gen. iPod, 60GB: US$499
    6th gen. iPod, 40GB: US$399

    I don't see how this would lower iPhone sales. As I said in my previous post, not everyone can have an iPhone because of carriers problems.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    just a question...could you have the iPhone technology with a disk instead of flash memory?

    because if so, the solution is simple...iPhone without the phone or internet (leaving music, video, photos and maybe camera) but with a 30Gb disk
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
    Yes they have to release a true video iPod. Sure the iPhone has the iPod function it and it might be the future eventually, but we are not there yet. Not everybody has AT&T and those people want a touchscreen iPod within the next 5 years. And space is an issue. 8gb is pathetic.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2007
    Yes, it's possible but very unlikely to see the light of day via Apple.

    In my view, the iPhone would never kill a video iPod. The iPod is a music player (first and foremost) and the iPhone is a phone. These are two different markets and the customers for each are, or course, different.

    Furthermore, there's the capacity issue. 8GB is a paltry amount of storage for widescreen video. Ideally you'd be looking be looking for at least 60GB which is something the iPod can, and most probably will, offer.

    I'm also willing to bet we'll see a revamped iPod design in time for the holiday season. Maybe not with multi touch, but a significant enough change to satisfy desperate parents begging for an easy Christmas present.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    I've been thinking about this issue for quite a while. I can't get an iphone-- I'm 5 months into a 2 year verizon contract with a treo 700p (kind of a caveman's iphone :rolleyes: that I need for work-- all of our software is tied to palm OS). I have been looking for a reason to upgrade my three year old 3G ipod for a while. I don't care about video at all, but I'd take it if I had to. I need 40 gigs at least, so even a disconnected iphone is not attractive to me. I don't get the impression that Apple is in a hurry to take care of this need because they want to force iphones on everyone. So I just ordered a new battery for my 3G ipod-- maybe it'll last another three years.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    That's me. I'd love to upgrade from my old 10Gb 3G iPod, but I refuse to get a 5.5G version after seeing how awesome the iPhone is. The iPhone itself though isn't an option as I'm under contract with Verizon till next year, and don't want to switch anyway (the no extra long distance fees to Canada is a huge deal for me). And for $600 I'd want more than the paltry 8Gb space.

    So - new release (preferably with Wifi) :) or Apple gets no money from me. If my 3G ever dies I'll get a Nano somehow to tide me over, but it's still ticking away fortunately.
  19. macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    That's no reason to include Wifi. By that logic MacBooks should all have the same features as the Pros because all the R&D and parts suppliers are in place. But they don't have backlit keyboards, FW800, or dedicated graphics, partly due to price points, mostly due to keeping the lines distinct.

    I see the iPod remaining a media player only for the near future. Basically and iPhone without the phone or WiFi. Keep the Bluetooth for wirelessly syncing (something that would be nice for those of us who like to run the battery down between charging, but would like to get the latest tunes/shows/podcasts to our iPods without initiating a re-charge).

    The differentiation would be capacity and connectivity. I don't need an iPod to connect to the web since it's purpose is not communication, it's an entertainment device. The iPod is meant to be a passive entertainment device, kick off a movie/show or some tunes and go about your business. No need for web type stuff. The iPhone is about communication, with low capacity storage for some passive entertainment.

    I see the high capacity iPods with no WiFi hanging out at their current price points (with a storage upgrade). Basically a $200 price difference for the added internet/phone capabilities.
  20. macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I'm hearing that Apple wants to go with all flash-based iPods. Hence the long wait until the prices for memory goes down...
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006
    erm... from the apple website:

    «iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets you enjoy your content — including music, audiobooks, videos, TV shows, and movies — on a beautiful 3.5-inch widescreen display. It also lets you sync your content from the iTunes library on your PC or Mac.»

    I believe iPhone will be a relevant contender on the Smartphone market and that there is room for a widescreen iPod video, at least because there are workplaces where cameras cannot be used or carried. So far, I've only seen Nokia producing high-end phone models with the camera as an extra (see the smartphone E61 for an example).
    Since I'm one of many people complaining about feature-bloat on mobile phones, I'd be happy to see Apple acting as the manufacturer that "gets it" and produces good specialized devices instead of all-in-one geeky stuff.
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    erm...exactly my point. If Apple thinks/claims the iPhone "is" the video iPod, will they ever release an "actual" video iPod?

    I agree with atszyman and some others - Wifi, web, etc. are all non-starters on the iPod, probably forever. That's iPhone market-segmentation there! Still, I'm not heartened about the chances to see a just-video iPod anytime soon. Although, you'd think they'd need a line refresh by maybe Aug/Sept, for the back-to-school/off-to-college crowd?
  23. macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia

    This is the best breakdown I've seen yet. Nicely done.

    One point I'd like to add to the top part, related to #2.

    Cost. If they remove the cell phone transmitter and the wifi card, but put in a 80GB hard drive, how much does the cost change? The top ipod has been $350 for some time now, and the iphone is $600. Where would an ipod only device fit into that spectrum?
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005

    On cost: assuming no cell transmitter/wifi as you (rightly) do, what new components WOULD an iPhone-form-factor video iPod have?

    -Widescreen that takes up the whole front of the unit.
    -Multitouch. Given the widescreen, how else will you implement controls? I suppose you could put it at the crown/chin of the unit, but that would clutter up the design aesthetic in a very un-Apple way.
    -Processor? You won't be running OS X, Safari, apps, keyboard input, or voice. One would think you could get away with cheaper chips; but who knows what Multitouch requires?

    Personally, I'd figured they'd either keep the $350 price point or go no higher than $400. It's a market-tested and -proven price; any more and you'd be too close to the iPhone with fewer features; and Apple has a history (5G iPod) of putting in more while charging about the same. The components list seems to bear that out, although it's unclear how much the phone guts (which you'd ditch) cost vs. the display (which you'd keep).
  25. macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2007
    I don't think Apple is that worried about a true video widescreen iPod robbing sales from the iPhone. I believe the iPhone is designed to cater to the one device crowd who refuses to carry two devices. If I'm Apple, I want "everyone" to have one of my devices, either an iPhone or an iPod. I don't think they expect people to carry both, which means they have to continue to innovate the platform that brought them back to life (the iPod).

    The iPod has been slowly moving toward becoming a personal media player (PMP). This is the direction the industry is headed in and the iPod, not the iPhone, is Apple's bread-and-butter product. The audio side of the iPod is top-notch but the video side is lagging behind. I think this is why we will see a true widescreen video iPod this year in both a 40GB & 100GB option.

    If Apple really wants to score a home run, they’d offer a third option, 100GB widescreen video iPod with wifi and Bluetooth. Now can you see millions of people who are currently under contract with other carriers buying this premium iPod capable of accessing the internet through their existing phone via BT? I doubt I will buy an iPhone, but I would buy this premium iPod in a heartbeat.

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