The iPod Touch is Apple’s next generation iPod, right? Wrong.
During the company’s Q1 earnings conference call, Apple executives finally let the cat out of the bag and admitted publicly what they’ve known and I believed all along: the iPod Touch is potentially the “first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform, running all kinds of mobile applications”, not just music, video and casual web browsing.
Two words stick out: platform and mainstream.
We already know that Apple is releasing an official Software Developer Kit (SDK) for the iPod Touch next month, which will enable third parties to develop new software for the device. So that’s the platform part taken care of. But going mainstream with a pocket sized WiFi tablet is a much harder nut to crack and something others have tried and failed. PDAs from Palm and co. have long added WiFi, and yet the PDA is all but dead (overtaken by smart phones). More recently, companies such as Nokia have tried to sell pocket sized Internet tablets (the N810 being the company’s latest attempt) with modest success.
However, by marketing the Touch under the iPod unbrella, along with cashing in on iPhone inertia (since the two devices not only look alike but share the same multi-touch interface and underlying OS), might Apple have positioned itself as the first company capable of taking the WiFi mobile device mainstream? Let us know what you think in the comments.