Apple’s on a roll despite production setbacks with IBM’s new G5 chip making process. iTunes and iTunes Music Store is the industry leader. The iPod, now in its 4th generation, remains so hot that few people talk about anything else when it comes to conversations about portable music players.
Now Apple has an agreement with cell phone giant Motorola to plug iTunes into their next generation cell phones. You’ll be able to upload music and playlists to the cell phone via USB or Bluetooth.
What’s next for Apple, the diminutive iPod, and wireless capability?
Many expect the iPod to mature into a video capable device that can wirelessly broadcast video and audio QuickTime movies, iMovies, and iTunes music to the next generation of Airport Express. That prediction is both logical and plausible and within the bounds of present day technology.
Some Mac watchers expect a more “tablet-like” iPod with a larger color screen, capability to sync Home directories with a desktop or laptop Macintosh, and have wireless built in. The wireless standard 802.11g is considered sufficiently powerful to provide streaming audio and video to an upgraded Airport Express which can also handle video and audio outputs to a TV or VCR.
Next generation iPod users, as some industry watchers say, would be able to stream iPhoto images, iMovie movies, and video from the video capable iPod directly to a TV screen via a new generation of Airport Express.
While this scenario remains speculative, and Apple has been known to pull surprise rabbits out of the proverbial hat, the notion for a video capable iPod, including wireless built in, is plausible.
Indeed, many tech observers and the Mac faithful look forward to a combination Apple iPod-tablet-wireless device as the successor to the failed Newton PDA.
A timeline of 2005 appears logical as well.
Apple and IBM are now pushing the new G5 chips into faster PowerMacs and the soon-to-be-released next generation iMac.
2005 may see the first G5s installed in PowerBacks, although heat issues from the powerful G5 chips may not be overcome by the next Macworld Expo in January 2005.
What could Apple announce at Macworld? Not new PowerMacs. G5 laptops are a long shot. New displays are just now hitting the streets. Tiger will be a feature of the Expo with a firm launch date.
Look for the next generation iPod to handle wireless and video and be sold alongside the current generation iPod. Toshiba has already announced 60 gigabyte miniature hard drives which would be sufficient in capacity and speed to handle streaming video via wireless technology.
Putting iTunes into Motorola’s new cell phones is just another step to expand Apple’s presence into new consumer areas.
A video wireless iPod would be a great announcement in January’s Macworld Expo.