Surprised By Jobs

So today was the day of the greatly anticipated “And the beat goes on” event put on by Apple Inc. The rumor mills were pretty much right on the money. As they (and I) expected Apple announced the new iPod with multi-touch interface (a la iPhone). This new iPod Touch is basically the iPhone without the phone. The new iPod Touch can play music and widescreen videos, surf the internet via Wi-Fi and browse the iTunes music store over Wi-Fi. Steve Jobs also introduced the rumored 3rd generation iPod Nano (a.k.a the “ipod stubby”), thus bringing video playback capability to the Nano line of iPods.

I was not surprised by the introduction of either of these products. With the success of the iPhone, only an iPod with multi-touch capability would satisfy consumers, geeks, and Apple fanboys. What really surprised me about today’s announcement was the introduction of web surfing and iTunes store browsing over Wi-Fi. This is a function that iPod enthusiasts have been scratching their heads about for some time. It seems like a feature that Apple would have long ago incorporated into its iPods especially with the success of the iTunes Store.

There are two reasons why I had decided that Apple would never incorporate this functionality into the iPod. First, the iPhone has this capability. I was of the opinion that would eventually introduce a multi-touch, iPhone-esque iPod, but that it was reserve some key features (other than the phone capability) to the iPhone itself thus differentiating the two products. To make them too much alike could possibly cause cannibalization of the iPhone (a term meaning that the iPod would steal sales from the iPhone, thereby “devouring” one of its own). However Steve Jobs and Apple have surprised me by taking this risk.

Second, I had determined that Apple would not want to risk content piracy which its iTunes Store has helped to quell. You see when one uses the Wi-Fi capability of the new iPod to purchase music, it is downloaded to the iPod directly while the user is on the go. Then when he syncs his iPod with the iTunes on his PC, the music he bought on the go will be transferred to his iTunes library on his computer. Transferral of content from an iPod to a computer is a functionality that had thus far been prohibited by Apple though it had been made possible by a few third party apps. This was to prevent users from sharing content and therefore increasing non-paying distribution of content. But with this new capability it would not take users long or much effort to begin sharing content.

For better or for worse Wi-Fi capability has come to the iPod and despite my complete surprise over its coming, I still hope to eventually be the proud owner of an iPod Touch, by far the best iPod yet.

Josh H.


3 Responses to “Surprised By Jobs”

  1. 1 Matt
    September 6, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Yes I love technology
    But not as much as you you see

  2. September 6, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Next blog title: Mac Christianity, followed by The Gates Divorce. Coming next month: That Hideous PC.

  3. September 7, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Good job, Steve. I caught the Lewis reference, but wasn’t so quick myself.

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