Originally posted by Existence
To keep the iPod on the top, Apple needs to:
1. Shave off one or two more ounces from the regular iPod and the mini
2. Increase the buffer to 64MB for better playback of audio books
3. Increase battery life to 15-20 hours
4. Reduce cost and make an entry-level $150-$200 iPod
5. Larger capacity hard drives
6. Add a mic for use as a dictaphone
7. Higher quality inner-ear headphones
8. Support Ogg Vorbis playback
9. Launch an iPod SDK
10. OLED color screen
11. MPEG4 playback, H.264, with a mini s-video out port
12. Built-in Airport extreme with Rendezvous
13. AM/FM tuner
1. The iPod, sure. The mini? That thing already feels almost insubstantial to me.
3. Would be great, but this opposes most of your other requests.
4. Steve has gone on record saying that Apple is looking for ways to make the iPod less expensive. That'll become an issue when they they find that they can
make them fast enough.
Also, note that a lot of your other suggestions require more expensive components.
5. For what? The survey's in, and most people consider 1,000 songs to be perfectly OK. 60GB of audio will appeal to a relatively small group of people, so if the HDDs are going to get bigger, new uses have to be found for them. Also, bear in mind that high-capacity hard drives tend to be thicker and heavier, like the 40GB drive in the top-end (and larger, heavier) iPod.
6. Sure. I know people who'd love that.
7. Please. I trashed my original ones and bought a pair of Sony earbuds to tide me over until I could reorder a new set of the Apple buds. That was two months ago. I've never reordered.
8. The iPod apparently can't muster the horsepower to decode Ogg Vorbis. There've been Ogg fans working on this for a while, and they haven't gotten it to go yet. So this requires newer, more powerful guts — a substantial revision. The odds that Apple will do this to support Ogg Vorbis are essentially nil, but if they do it for some other reason with more mainstream appeal, I'm sure they'll throw in support as well.
9. Meh. Not yet.
10. Meh. Just remember that they're still trying to keep those from degrading after a few thousand hours.
11. See 8. Would be nice, but you're talking about computational heavy lifting that the current iPod couldn't even hope to attempt. Also, playback through a cable (probably through the dock connector) I can see; playback on the iPod's screen is just about pointless.
12. And you want the batteries to last how
long again? You want the iPod running a networking stack and daemons while it's streaming H.264 and decoding Ogg Vorbis? It'll get there eventually (meaning: years), but that would represent a tremendous leap in the sophistication of the device.
13. Meh. The iPod replaces radio.
14. Sure, although again expect to pay a price in battery life.