Well, another month is almost gone and nothing from Apple on the new iPod. While Amazon is showing price reductions on Nano models making a soon-to-be-announced larger Nano capacity likely, there is nothing for the disk-based unit on the horizon.
Sites are speculating on recent patents that there is everything from voice command to neural implants coming for the iPod, but I seriously doubt that is likely. The size of the disk-based iPod seems to be a forgone conclusion in the minds of all the fan-sites, but you really have to wonder…
To date, the iPod has been a vertical device with controls on the lower half of the face and the display taking the remaining upper portion. This puts the dock connecter on the bottom, a feature which has spawned an entire industry of iWantSomeMoneyToo accessories. And face, we buy them – clock radios, speaker systems, car interfaces, you name it. In fact, Apple has so many systems hooking up to the iPod at this point a change is design would mean disaster for add-on products.
But here comes the new iPod video, most certainly to have a widescreen interface because face it – movies are widescreen, most TV is now in 16:9 and consumers are going to demand it. So… Where do we put the dock connector? Uhm. Well, if it’s on the end, how are we going to watch a movie in our iPod Hi-Fi? If it’s on the side, our iPod isn’t going to fit in the narrow width of the dock. So… Hmm… What to do?
Also, the dock connector doesn’t have any provisions for a component video output and noisy composite isn’t going to cut it. I realize that they want to sell minis with Front Row for the home viewing, but being able to hook up your player to a projecter for a presentation would be a nice feature. I don’t expect 1080p, but I would at least hope to get an s-video or component output for the video content. Maybe that’s just too much, I dunno, but what about cars with video screens? They’re going to want to watch the video too.
At this point, I think they realize they are in a tough position. They need to keep accessory vendors happy but at the same time, they need to figure out how to handle the landscape presentation format while at the same time keeping the music people happy too.
It’s no wonder it is taking so long to reach the market.