Monday, May 12, 2008

What's This? iPod Air Next Month?

Suddenly there's a spurt of reports rumormongering that a 3G iPhone isn't the only bit of hardware His Steveness will drop from the sky.

There's talk of am iPod superTouch (ew), an iPlay, a MultiTouch Newton(!), and an unnamed tablet.

It's what I've been calling the iPod Air.

Look at this rumored screen spec:
The alleged device will be about 1.5 times the size of the iPhone and will sport a 720 x 480 display.

Do you know what 720 x 480 is?


Update/correction: Oops! Self-proclaimed HDTV Snob and general tech fiend Kevin Tofel points out my huge and embarrassing error. 720 x 480 is actually standard definition, not HDTV. I denounce myself for seeing just the 720 and immediately jumping to the eejit conclusion that was 720p, despite the fact right there in Big Bold Letters were the words Standard Display Resolutions! Just trust me on this one, the kind of TV I grew up with, we were lucky to get any resolution at all. At least the remainder of my argument isn't wrecked!

But wait, you object. The Asus EeePC and its cohorts came out with 800 x 480 resolution screens and some people complained about horizontal scrolling when using websites.

Yeah, that's true. But the Asus EeePC didn't have a MultiTouch screen with Safari's smart zoom capability. Safari has shown that screen resolution does not have to abide by the historical standards we have accepted. It -- Apple -- broke all those precedents.

So, in fact, it would make perfect sense for an iPod Air (an iPod Deluxe? iPod Plus?) to have a screen that is specifically tailored for high-def video standards. For iPodish entertainment functions.

But there is still an important aspect of this possibility missing.


I pointed out here that Apple might be giving us a glimpse of its future sync plans.

Sync has to be a crucial part of Apple's future strategy. It's the glue that binds everything together: desktop, notebooks, satellite devices, .Mac, and its iTunes Store and App Store.

Sync will matter greatly once the productivity apps for the iPod Touch and iPhone begin to flow out of the App Store this year. People will want to move data between their desktops, notebooks, and handheld. And their desktop and notebooks might not necessarily be OS X machines.

This makes sync even more important to Apple, because it will allow it to further encroach into Windows territory. Just as iTunes has the major share of desktop audio players on Windows machines, so too would a sync program supplant all the current strange and incompatible ways people move their data across devices.

So, an iPod Air announcement next month?


But there has to be a sync strategy to accompany it!

Another Update: To understand the importance and need for Apple to do sync, see this Gear Diary post: Playing Mediator Between iCal, Entourage, Exchange and iTunes. Nice coincidence, that showing up today.

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