I first saw the Chocolate commercials a week or so ago. They’re slick, classy, attractive, cute, and enticing. Is Chocolate an iPod killer?
Whether Chocolate can dent the iPod train has yet to be determined.
For sure, Verizon wants Chocolate to be more tasty than an iPod.
From what I can tell, Chocolate is everything we want an iPod to be. Except for what it’s not. It’s not Apple.
If you haven’t caught the TV commercials, seen it on TV news, or read about it, Chocolate is the newest cell phone from Verizon.
More specifically, Chocolate is from the huge Korean technology company, LG, sold exclusively (for now) by Verizon Wireless.
What does Chocolate do? It’s a diminutive cell phone. It’s Bluetooth. It plays music and video. It also displays photos and there’s a video camera built it.
Isn’t that what many iPod users are clammoring for Apple to make—an iPod that does all that and more?
At first glance, Chocolate looks like a chocolate styled iPod. It’s a dark chocolate look, features a large color screen, and a click wheel that’s ominously similar to the iPod’s patented click wheel.
At second glance, and when you slide the cell phone keypad down to ready status, it’s obvious that Chocolate is more than a portable music player knockoff of Apple’s ubiquitous iPod.
Chocolate is not an iPod but may have one thing that the previous line of iPod killers lacked—chic cool.
Cute, sassy, and familiar name. Familar look. Familiar feel. Attractive price. Far more features than an iPod of any color.
Chocolate is a cell phone that brings together all the latest technobuzzwords. Cell phone, MP3 music player, Bluetooth stereo, picture camera, video camera, expandable memory.
Did I mention that Chocolate is a cool name stuck on a slick looking product?
Verizon wants to control your pocket the way Apple controls your mind and Microsoft controls corporate computing.
There’s Verizon’s V CAST Music. Over 1-million songs can be downloaded from Verizon to you and your phone (compare the price with iTunes Music Store, then stop the chuckling if you can).
Chocolate plays music in Windows proprietary WMA format, as well as MP3. Memory can be expanded to 2 gigabytes, or up to 1,000 songs (the “quality” of the music sound is in the very, very, very fine print).
Better than an iPod is the huge list of features for Chocolate. Not only is there music within the cell phone, there’s games, too.
Listen to music and play Tetris®, too. Ooooh, the innovation.
Verizon and Chocolate believe that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Though they don’t mention the iPod, the flattery is everywhere.
Not only does the sleek form look and feel like an iPod, the click wheel navigator on the front smacks of an iPod’s click wheel. Look for Apple lawyers to star in the next legal smack down.
Bluetooth stereo is built in so adding a set of Bluetooth wireless headsets gets you music without cables. You may need a hand crank to keep the music playing. Battery life will take on a life of its’ own.
The video camera is 1.3 megapixels, so Canon and Nikon have nothing to worry about, but I’ve seen worse footage on Fox News.
Other than being stuck to only one wireless carrier in the US, Chocolate may be the best iPod killer to date. With rebates and 2 years of activation, Chocolate can be in your pocket for about $150.
That’s less than a loaded iPod nano which doesn’t do anything else except play music, and far less than a standard iPod with video that only does music and video.
Of course, we’re still not comparing Apples to Chocolate, right?
Chocolate does NOT have iTunes, and V CAST is definitely NOT the iTunes Music Store. The cool appeal of the iPod trinity is well known to over 50-million satisifed customers.
The cool chic of Chocolate is well known to, uh, well, I don’t know anyone with a Chocolate. Yet.
There should be no doubt that Chocolate is the direction of cell phones of the future. Maybe that future is not so far away.
Regarding the music player, cell phone space, an Apple CFO recently said, “We’re not sitting around doing nothing.” Of that, we can be sure.
We can also be sure that Apple is not a wireless carrier. That’s Apple’s future iPod competitor. Chocolate may not be an iPod killer but it’s glimpse of future killers.
Would LG develop and manufacture an iPod (featuring cell phone, camera, interface, synchronization capability, all designed by Apple)?
In a heartbeat. The problem, of course, is that cell phone companies subsidize the cost of the cell phone with revenue from network usage. Apple doesn’t own a wireless network like Verizon.
Is Chocolate in your future? Will Apple develop a Chocolate killer? What’s next for iPod?