What would Apple do if...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
What would Apple do if a cell phone company released a cell phone with an effective MP3 player integration? It seems to me that the iPod mini's internals could easily be melded with a cell phone. Heck I love the iPod, but freeing up a pocket is always a good thing.



Is this a challenge apple would answer?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by willcurrie

    What would Apple do if a cell phone company released a cell phone with an effective MP3 player integration? It seems to me that the iPod mini's internals could easily be melded with a cell phone. Heck I love the iPod, but freeing up a pocket is always a good thing.



    Is this a challenge apple would answer?




    No not necessarily. Those that think an iPod would be replaced by a phone fail to truly understand why the iPod has done so well. The iPod wasn't the first Digital Portable Player(DPP) by a long shot. Even today there remains plenty of options if listening to music is what you want. What makes the iPod special is the ease of use in navigating your music collection but things really skyrocketed when that ease of use carried over to the browsing and purchasing of digital music.



    I highly doubt that such a synergy can or will be created by a cell phone that plays digital files. The iPod has nothing to fear at this juncture.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    concordconcord Posts: 312member
    Don't forget that there are Pocket PC phones like the O2 which already can play MP3s, watch videos, etc. Price is the sticking point right now - wait a couple more years...



    I fully expect that the "convergence phones" will take over standalone MP3 players - it's just a matter of time.



    Cheers,



    C.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Concord

    Don't forget that there are Pocket PC phones like the O2 which already can play MP3s, watch videos, etc. Price is the sticking point right now - wait a couple more years...



    I fully expect that the "convergence phones" will take over standalone MP3 players - it's just a matter of time.



    Cheers,



    C.




    I'm a big proponent of smartphones. I'm eyeballing the nextgen Treo model. But some things will likely need to happen before Apple jumps in.



    1. To keep the price down and profits up. Apple will want to create their own OSX Lite to run the phone. Licensing something like Symbian OS might be easier but it's a cost.



    2. Improvements in OLED displays. OLED is vital for this type of product because the screens are bright and low power not to mention thin.



    3. 1" HD supply. Once there are more suppliers price will go down and capacity up.



    Apple doesn't need to market a PDA. They simply need a phone with good Calendering(iCal), syncing(.mac Sync)email(mail.app) and other standard goodies, with a bit of SMS and SMIL support. If AVC is good enough for 3G phones then Apple should show us.



    I'd buy an Apple solution.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    moazammoazam Posts: 136member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Apple doesn't need to market a PDA. They simply need a phone with good Calendering(iCal), syncing(.mac Sync)email(mail.app) and other standard goodies, with a bit of SMS and SMIL support.



    Sounds like a PDA to me.



    But you're right, I'd buy one.



    -M
  • Reply 5 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    No not necessarily. Those that think an iPod would be replaced by a phone fail to truly understand why the iPod has done so well.



    No, I get what has made the iPod so successful... but I find it hard to believe that it is impossible to effectively meld a cellphone with a well implemented MP3 player.



    While there were MP3 players before the iPod they were all missing in the size and space departments.



    I find it hard to believe that nokia and the like are not working on this marriage already. I wish Apple would license "iPod technology" or something like that to them.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by willcurrie

    What would Apple do if a cell phone company released a cell phone with an effective MP3 player integration? It seems to me that the iPod mini's internals could easily be melded with a cell phone. Heck I love the iPod, but freeing up a pocket is always a good thing.



    Is this a challenge apple would answer?




    No. Apple wouldn't answer it because there is no challenge in releasing passing fad products. You ever notice how many cell phones companies there are, and how many of them will have MP3 players integrated within the next year? How many do you think will keep them integrated the year after that? I doubt there will be any. Apple is much better off sticking with something that is A) working. & B) Long term. They are much better off continually perfecting the root fundamentals of the MP3 player market which is sound quality, and the player(s) (iTunes/iPod) w/ useful integration into the 3+1 major listening places. (in no particular order) 1) Home, 2) Computer, 3) Car. + Jogging, walking, Running (sporting activities)



    Apple would be foolish to go into competition with cell Phone manufacturers because it would give cell phone MP3 player integration some limited credibility because Apple tried it to begin with, but as I said it's a passing fad addition to the cell phone. Apple (unlike companies of less wisdom) tries to say away from products that will be just passing through.
  • Reply 7 of 52
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Nokia and other companies are working on it likely. But the mere fact that they are doesn't mean it will be successful. The iPod does set the bar pretty high. Looking at recent cell phone layouts I'm frankly a bit doubtful that Nokia and others are cable of traversing the needs of music playback with that of phone use. There's a happy median somewhere.



    Steve Jobs hinted that they had worked on a PDA post Newton era but stopped the project. I don't think component costs are where Apple wants it. They need a sub $500 price for a smartphone that allows for Apple like margins.



    If there is a future Apple product then the dead ringer will be either OSX lite or Quicktime 7 being able to power small devices. It might start out in a Digital Lifestyle Device first but what's important is looking for the scalability of QT7 or OSX in this case.



    Kormac made mention to QT as an OS. Some mistook that for QT as a competitor for OSX and that's not what he meant. I could see QT as being on OS for small devices. Apple is definitely working very hard on QT7 because it wasn't ready for the Tiger Preview. So they haven't shown their hand yet in this regard.



    Everything Apple is doing right now is a total natural for a smartphone. The only issue would be licensing hardware designs from a a nokia or Sony/Erickson. Apple has the expertise to pull it off and a, dare I say, growing cachet as a nifty CE provider.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    I think that in terms of form factor and ease of use, it would be very hard to mix iPod and phone features so well.

    The strength of the iPod is that it does only one thing, but does it in the most elegant way (that's exactly the same philosophy as in UNIX utilities). Mixing it with a cell phone would have it lose its sex appeal...



    However, in the lab I work in, in Japan, most people have 3MPixels/512MB MP3/Calendar/... cell phones, and they all fancy on my iPod!
  • Reply 9 of 52
    I sort of like the idea of an mp3 player phone, so long as there is a hard drive, because then they could only make the phone as small asthe hdd, thus the buttons would again be big enough for my fingers to easily press, and it wouldnt be lost in the palm of my hand.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Well phones rely on SD cards, MMC or CF and basically have the same problem as an flash based Mp3 device, they're expensive for the amount of space they offer. Yes I'll always have my phone on me but I prefer my iPod for music simply for the extra space. Add a HD to a phone and to honest it's just getting too large.



    Meanwhile I have to work out a new place to keep my phone rather than my pocket.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    ?????



    There have been integrated cell phone + MP3 playing phones out for ages - I know several people with them. You can't store 10,000 songs but you can record, download and play MP3's on them.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    I have wanted an ipod/phone for a while now.



    I have a car

    I have an ipod

    I have an ipod connected to my car stereo



    I have a phone

    I have a headset



    when the phone rings chaos ensues.



    ipod-pause

    fumble for headpiece



    hit answer.



    talk

    hangup



    fumble for ipod

    hit play



    get out of car take ipod and earbuds

    take phone



    put both in pocket

    summer- pockets are full



    marry phone and ipod



    1 device = perfect



    phone buttons on one side

    ipod wheel on other



    advert = "Marrage made in heaven"

    "Think Different"

    "Apple iphone"

    "love"

    "Shipping Feb 14th"



    Features:



    ipod mini size comes in various memory and color combos

    gsm/gprs-unlocked (use whatever service you want)

    music pauses during phonecall

    bluetooth enabled -use apple bluetooth headset accessory (can be stereo)



    simple and elegant serves both functions and isn't chock full of useless features



    sync's to ical and addressbook

    could ring to remind you of events or appointments



    Done- under $500
  • Reply 13 of 52
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 530member
    I don't agree that a combo device is a passing fad. The fact is the vast majority of iPod owners also have a cell phone. Why wouldn't they want the two devices in one? I don't take my iPod out with me as often because I have my phone, keys, wallet and loose change filling my pockets - something has to give, and it's always the 'pod.



    Think of it as an iPod with communication capabilities rather than the other way round. As mentioned, with a good size screen and all the iSync/messaging features it could be incredibly functional. Seems like the only limit to phone size these days is making it big enought to press the buttons...
  • Reply 14 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bygimis Turug VIII

    ?????



    There have been integrated cell phone + MP3 playing phones out for ages - I know several people with them. You can't store 10,000 songs but you can record, download and play MP3's on them.




    Right... but the mp3 players in these phones are flawed for lack of a HD. Memory cards are just to expensive and small to be an effective medium. Give me a 4 gig phone with an effective interface and you've got a hit product.



    I also leave my iPod at home for pocket space concerns (especially in the summer). The iPod is an accessory, whereas the phone is a necessity... why not combine the two?
  • Reply 15 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TednDi

    advert = "Marriage Made in Heaven"

    "Think Different"

    "Apple iPhone"

    "Love"

    "Shipping Feb 14th"





    OK, I'm sold. But can we add a feature that converts a recorded verbal memo to text in my To Do list (etc)? Then I can dump my PDA too.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by willcurrie

    The iPod is an accessory, whereas the phone is a necessity... why not combine the two?



    It's a question of the interface. If combining them compromises the ability of the phone to look and act like a phone; if it compromises the ability of the iPod to look and act like an iPod; then you have no sale.



    To a considerably degree, the appeal of the iPod lies in that touch-sensitive "wheel." It's incredibly comfortable and intuitive. Take that away, and all you have is Yet Another MP3 Player. Similarly, take away the familiar button layout from a phone and you have a phone that people have to think about to use — which, given the fundamental simplicity of a phone, is incredibly stupid.



    In other words, this will only happen if the two can be combined in a way that allows for a simple, elegant and intuitive interface. Any products that come out with poorly integrated features (meaning, in this case, that the interface is unintuitive, overelaborate or fidgety) will simply see those features go unused.



    It's funny; I read articles about the tremendous appeal of camera phones (because people are buying them) and then I hear people grousing about how they couldn't find a decent phone that didn't have one of those stupid cameras, so they got one anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if phones with MP3 playing capabilities ended up the same way: "I guess the thing can play music, but I've never bothered to figure out how. I just wanted a phone."



    On that note, off we go to Digital Hub.

  • Reply 17 of 52
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    It's a question of the interface. If combining them compromises the ability of the phone to look and act like a phone; if it compromises the ability of the iPod to look and act like an iPod; then you have no sale.



    To a considerably degree, the appeal of the iPod lies in that touch-sensitive "wheel." It's incredibly comfortable and intuitive. Take that away, and all you have is Yet Another MP3 Player. Similarly, take away the familiar button layout from a phone and you have a phone that people have to think about to use — which, given the fundamental simplicity of a phone, is incredibly stupid.



    In other words, this will only happen if the two can be combined in a way that allows for a simple, elegant and intuitive interface. Any products that come out with poorly integrated features (meaning, in this case, that the interface is unintuitive, overelaborate or fidgety) will simply see those features go unused.



    It's funny; I read articles about the tremendous appeal of camera phones (because people are buying them) and then I hear people grousing about how they couldn't find a decent phone that didn't have one of those stupid cameras, so they got one anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if phones with MP3 playing capabilities ended up the same way: "I guess the thing can play music, but I've never bothered to figure out how. I just wanted a phone."



    On that note, off we go to Digital Hub.






    why not use the ipod wheel as a rotary dial interface?



    where you touch the wheel would have a number then twist to dial.



    little bit retro but millions have used the interface before... it's just a little...



    well...Different!



    Cupertino.... call me! we should talk!
  • Reply 18 of 52
    winkwink Posts: 20member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TednDi

    why not use the ipod wheel as a rotary dial interface?



    where you touch the wheel would have a number then twist to dial.



    little bit retro but millions have used the interface before... it's just a little...



    well...Different!



    Cupertino.... call me! we should talk!




    try do that with only one hand. no can do.

    try dialing a number that way quickly. no can do.



    good ideia, but not usable.



    (just my two cents.)
  • Reply 19 of 52
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 530member
    I'm with Amorph on the camera phone point. I could really do without the camera in my Z600, but I got the phone because otherwise it was (almost) exactly what I was after (if it had a decent address book and the calendar synced with iSync).



    However, I could easily see the circular navigation pad on the Z600 becoming the scroll wheel with the other function keys around it. And it wouldn't have to be any bigger, feels quite comfortable scrolling to me.



    http://www.sonyericsson.com/trythephone/z600/en/



    yup, that would be my perfect iPod.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Apple would be smart not to market this hybrid product as an iPod at all. All they would need to do it say it's compatible with iTunes.



    I'm not too worried about the UI. We musn't forget that humans are highly adaptable. Even the basic cell phone is light years beyond the huge "portables" of the past. What Apple needs is two distinct "visual" modes. For instance say the cell phone has what looks like a clicker wheel but it has many more little buttons. The buttons appear to be opaque while the unit is powered off but once you power on you can now see a "mapping" of buttons. When in "music" mode you have the familar iPod controls shining through a backlight. Upon switching to phone the backlight changes(perhaps in color) and now the previous opaque buttons now contain the numbers 0-9 and other phone features.



    The key is for the end user to easily identify which mode they are in. TednDi's scenario is common for those juggling phones and other devices. Eventually they will move to the consolidated phone that offers the best balance. As the poster above says. The phone is a "necessity" the iPod is an "accessory" couldn't have said it better myself



    The Phone upgrade frenzy is going to slow down. And while people feel phone cameraa are superfluous I guarantee you there will be one day they love having that camera there. The Japanese companies are working hard to make camera phones even better so I wouldn't count them out yet. Quicktime was pretty pathetic upon its release(video the size of postage stamps) and look at it now.



    I don't see any reason why this is a bad idea other than how easily would it be for Apple to oem phone "guts" from a reputable company. I can guarantee you that in 3 years I won't be carrying around two devices. Something is getting left home and rarely will it be my phone.
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