Why the new iPod Touch will have GPS and 3G

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Stuart in Oz, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Stuart in Oz macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I think the two most likely upgrades for the iPod Touch are GPS and a 3G data chipset, in that order. Let me stick my neck out and say why.

    The Touch has always been like an iPhone 2G without the calling features. No more and no less. But now that the iPhone 3G is out and offering GPS, and the app store is offering many apps that demand location services, the Touch is suddenly locked out of almost all the newest, coolest software functionality that the app store brings.

    Without GPS the Touch will get left further and further behind the iPhone until no-one wants to buy it because it can't run 80% of the new (location-specific) apps that they want. Why would you fork out $500 for a Touch when you can't use all the cool apps? GPS is the first thing required to let the Touch keep up.

    Second, a 3G data chipset. Again, this is driven by the new app store. A lot of those apps take their data on the go. They are written to take advantage of the 3G data availability of the iPhone. Without that always-on access, they again become useless. Even if I have GPS in the Touch, I'm not always near a free wi-fi point when I need a map. If I want to use LocalPicks, without 3G I'm looking for a wi-fi network again. It's crippling.

    With 3G data the Touch is, once more, everything the iPhone is except for having the calling features. Once more it becomes a viable purchase for those of use who want an ultra-mobile computing platform but for whatever reason don't want a phone built into it.

    So who would buy a GPS/3G Touch instead of an iPhone I hear you ask? Perhaps someone whose company already issues mobile phones and won't spring for an iPhone. That person could buy a Touch and get all the new sweetness anyway while still making calls on the company phone. Also someone like me who wants their phone and mobile computing device separate. I desperately want the mobile data features of the iPhone but I like my actual handset separate because when I go surfing I can leave my valuable Touch at home and safely put my cheapo LG phone handset on the beach in my towel when I hit the water. I'd never, ever leave an iPhone on the beach unattended but I'll live if someone takes my $40 LG handset.

    There have been whispers that the new Touch is going to look more like the iPone 3G. Maybe that's because inside it is more like it as well.

    And one more thing makes sense too - the App Store prohibits apps that allow VOIP calls. Most comment on this has been that Apple doesn't want to upset the carriers who rely on voice calls for their revenue. That may be true, but what if the real reason is to stop the new 3G iPod Touch becoming a defacto iPhone? If they do add 3G to the Touch, prohibiting VOIP would be the one essential thing required to preserve the iPhone's differentiation from the Touch.

    An iPod Touch with GPS and 3G data would become a worthy partner to the iPhone 3G, allowing Apple to dominate almost every corner of the mobile computing market.

    The carriers would offer post-paid AND pre-paid stand-alone data packs and suddenly people who don't want to get into a long phone contract can get onto the iPhone/iPod bandwagon. Teenagers, older people, people who just don't want a contract.

    One brand to rule them all.
     
  2. cLin macrumors member

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    #2
    I was always under the assumption that 3G was a form of network speed for mobile phones. How would you have 3G without being able to use it as a phone? Or rather, why would they do that? I rather have bluetooth on the ipod touch then either or those. Just get an external gps receiver and you're set + it'll probably be better then the built in GPS.
     
  3. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #3
    I could plausibly see GPS, but 3G is a no-go. Who would you get mobile service through?
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #4
    so first u want a feature that you only find in standalone units, and a few phones for your music player? THEN u want to turn it into a phone? Are u willing for a pay service for your music player?:rolleyes:
     
  5. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #5
    GPS maybe, 3G hell no.

    1. 3G isn't available everywhere, making it pretty useless in most of the world.
    2. Primary function is still a multimedia player, not an internet device.
    3. If it did get GPS (which I don't think that it will), maps could still be downloaded over wifi. If you're in an area with 3G coverage, you're most likely close to wifi as well.
    4. The iPod touch is the forgotten step-sister of the iPhone. Turning it into a cellular communications device wouldn't help that cause.
    5. 3G isn't just for data, it's also for voice. That's just asking for trouble.
    6. Wi-Max better suits a device of this category than 3G does.
    7. Who wants to pay $60 a month to browse on a handheld (probably even more without a contract)? For $10 more per month, I could get an iPhone (and pay less up front for it).

    A few people on a forum wanting a new back casing does by no means imply that the iPod touch will have cellular radio. Plastic back ≠ 3G.

    They got there ages ago in this category.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #6
    GPS is a good option, and most likely to be implemented soon.



    3G, DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! why would apple put 3G in their touch when it would impede on the iphone sales?? thast just a completely stupid idea (no offense). NO!! it would push the price of the touch by sooo much its not even funny
     
  7. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    All mobile phone networks today are simply data transfer networks. The phone converts your voice into a data file and sends it out to the tower. It's VOIP technology used by the carrier for their purposes. Sending and retrieving data for apps or data for a voice call is all the same thing to the equipment in the network. It's just that carriers the world over make a lot of their money off charging different rates for 'calls' as compared to 'data' and they want to keep it that way.

    You can easily have 3G network access for all the apps without being able to make calls. It's like taking the current iPhone, leaving out the mic, speaker & phone parts of the operating system but keeping the 3G chipset and the ability to feed data to apps.

    Why would you want to do it? Read my post again.
     
  8. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The same carriers who offer service to iPhones. They'd come out with data-only packs/plans for Touch owners.
     
  9. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    1. 3G is available almost everywhere except for large parts of the US. All of Europe, most of Asia and Australia & NZ have good 3G coverage.
    2. The Touch is not primarily a multi-media device. It has always been equally an internet device. It has the same apps as the iPhone, comes pre-loaded with Email & Safari & has had wi-fi since day one.
    3. Not at all. I don't get free wi-fi in my car, or on the train or the bus. The US has a very high amount of free wi-fi compared with other parts of the world (the opposite of the 3G position really).
    4. It's only the forgotten step-sister compared to the iPhone 3G. SJ himself said when launching the Touch that it brought the great features of the iPhone to people who didn't need to make calls.
    5. 3G is only for voice when the device has a speaker, mic and phone features in the software. Lots of carriers sell 3G modems for laptop users on the go. They don't do voice but they sure are 3G.
    6. Wi-Max is in the future. 3G is here and now.
    7. Why would you pay $60 a month? I can buy data packs from my local carrier for a 3G modem for a lot less than that. It's the same basic thing.
     
  10. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    You're thinking of the iPhone as the only device for mobile computing. In due course, after all the initial sales are done, Apple will want to widen the market.

    It's like saying, back in 2003, "Why would Apple introduce an iPod mini when it would impede on the iPod classic?"

    And the cost ain't that high. The good people at iSuppli worked out the build cost of an iPhone 3G to be US$174.33. A 3G Touch would actually have less components in it - no phone parts.
     
  11. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Huh?
     
  12. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #12
    1. I was out and about during my week off traveling around central Europe. I was consistently getting switched over to EDGE service. Even if the places that you mentioned were completely covered in 3G (which they aren't), the world is still comprised of much more than the Europe and former British possessions. Not everyone lives in a city. It has to cater to people in places where the iPhone is not available; places where 3G is not available.
    2. The Wifi was put in there mainly for the use of the iTunes Wifi store. It still isn't really that great of an internet device anyway.
    3. Your point? Giving it 3G so that you can surf on the train isn't much of a reason, especially when most train routes (or highways) run through the middle of nowhere (places without 3G, or even cell service).
    4. Don't worry, they haven't forgotten it. The iPhone is just the favorite.
    5. Read the above post on how cell networks are just data networks converting to VoIP. There are microphones available already, 3G would just encourage their use even more. 3G data on a laptop can still transmit voice.
    6. That's what people said about flash last year: it's the future. Welcome to the future. It's here, the transition has to start sometime.
    7. That's the going rate for a 3G modem monthly plan in America, with a contract. That's not even unlimited data.

    Also, please use multi-quote.
     
  13. sharp65 macrumors 6502

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  14. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    1. 3G chipset would be able to fall-back to EDGE. It still achieves the purpose of giving you the same mobile usability as the iPhone has.
    2. Really? I bought it to access the internet, and later my emails, by popping into McDonalds stores to access their Wi-Fi hotspots when I'm on the road. To a lot of people it is a pretty good mobile internet access device.
    3. I was thinking of suburban trains, for commuters - not a small market globally. And for that matter, most intercity highways in my country, at least, have 3G corridors the whole way. I can drive from Sydney to Melbourne (600 miles) by the main freeway with 3G all the way.
    4. They don't have favourites - just stages in the marketing plan.
    5. Very true and something the carriers are not all that keen on promoting. But a Touch wouldn't cause them that problem because Apple prohibit VOIP applications.
    6. Maybe, but you don't want to make a device that a lot of people can use in the future. You want to make one that most people can use now.
    7. But so far all we are seeing is add-on data plans with existing phone plans. The carrier has you locked in, now they can gouge you for data. In the US you are getting bent over by AT&T. Here in Oz we have four carriers with the iPhone and, lo and behold, data plan costs have plummeted since the iPhone came out last month as they all scramble to win customers off each other. If a 3G touch came out in the US, not tied to one carrier, watch the price of data plans/packs fall likewise.

    I would if I knew how. All I see is a single quote button on each post.
     
  15. chickenlips macrumors newbie

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    #15
    It's the eyebrows to the right of the "quote" button.
     
  16. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #16
    I'd love to argue but I've got to go. To use multi-quote, press the button to the right of the quote button on each post that you want to quote. Then press the quote button as you would normally. :)
     
  17. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    #17
    Well I can see the GPS part being introduced for it sometime.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    1. no im not, im saying that apple should only have ONE mobile computing PHONE device. if they had the touch as a phone then it would pretty much be a iphone except with different CPU, storage and whatnot.

    2. thats a bad analogy, the classic and mini were completely different. its like comparing the touch to the iphone. or the mac mini to the macbook pro... or the imac to the MP.

    if apple have the macbooks, and they have the macbook pros like they do the main difference is their GPU's and CPU's. if apple decided to put an 8400/8600 into the MB's then what is the use of getting a MBP?? apple would chuck up the price and wala! difference gone!

    3. this is apple we are talking about. that comparison fails to add the 60% price hike that apple adds onto their products.

    there is NO way it will have 3G.
     
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #19
    People don't understand. The iPod Touch is really intended as the gateway product to the iPhone. Think about it.
     
  20. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I'm saying it wouldn't be a phone. It will be a mobile computing device with 3G data access. It would have no phone or calling features whatsoever but it would have access to the 3G network for data.

    Do you think so? I think it's more of a complementary product. Again, it's like saying the iPod Nano is a gateway product for the iPod Classic when it's not - it serves a different section of the same market.

    Thanks!
     
  21. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #21
    OP, there's really one simple reason Apple isn't going to put 3G into an iPod touch: those who buy the iPod touch don't want to pay for a cellular service for it and mess with a carrier, contract, etc... there's the iPhone for the people that want to do that.
     
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #22
    Umm... what the OP just described in features IS an iPhone 3G. I don't think he gets what 3G is. He/She thinks it's like WIMAX or something. 3G is a month-by-month service, provided by AT&T, T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone, etc. It's not a one-time thing. So please understand the terms you're using before you start making 99% unlikely predictions, although the GPS is a likely possibility.
     
  23. Stuart in Oz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Pre-paid data packs would fix that - just as pre-paid phone SIM's currently work.
     
  24. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #24
    my 2 cents:

    Okay, what the OP says makes sense and is valid. But, will Apple do it? No. iPod touch 3G? Sorry, not a chance.
     
  25. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #25
    What in the name of holy hemp is the OP smoking?

    What you are suggesting is selling a frickin' iPhone. There is no 3G data-only chip out there that I know about. It would still cost the same for the hardware and you'd lose the extra space that Apple uses to have double the flash.

    Some people may just want the data, but what you'll have to do is start bugging AT&T to offer a data-only plan for an iPhone without the big price cut. Don't forget that the iPhone 3G costs $600 if you were to buy it without the AT&T (in America) subsidy. Then you have to pay for phone/data service. To say it succinctly, your plan is bunk.

    I can see GPS being added to the Touch, but not at the expense of extra flash. I don't know if that would be an issue or not. Don't forget that the iPod Touch is, well, an iPod. I don't think Apple is focusing too much on all the mini-computer features of it because they're doing that with the iPhone.

    The new iPod Touch will probably have 64GB of flash max, have the curved plastic design of the iPhone, maybe in colors, and some chance of GPS. I will also throw out the possibility of the Classic getting ditched and a Touch being released with a HDD so more iPod owners can download apps ($$$$$$$$$$$).
     

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