… I’m wondering when the iPod will tip from cool to uncool. When everyone has something it begins to lose its luster. What can Apple do to ride the wave of coolness for as long as possible? Or is this product somehow immune because of its unique combination of coolness, usefulness, and stylishness? I wonder if the wave Apple is riding isn’t the “cool” wave afterall, but the “useful” wave masquerading as cool? Does anyone ever get tired of useful?
I see it like this: iPods are filling a gap that needed to be filled. People needed a portable way to listen to all those mp3s they downloaded from Napster, and the iPod was (and still is) the best way to do that.
However, I think the lives of all portable audio players are limited because cell phones are going to catch up soon. Why carry an iPod and a cellphone when you can plug some headphones into your phone and have all your music right there? Most new cell phones already play mp3 files, the only problem is storage, and that problem is becoming less and less every day as flash memory gets cheaper and bigger.
After that, we’ll see better digital cameras included in the phones. I’m not talking about replacing high end cameras, but have you noticed the flood of tiny cameras on the market? Nearly everyone I know has a tiny camera they carry around with them everywhere (not even including the cameras on their phones). Once these camera phones catch up to the little digital cameras, you have no reason to carry both gadgets.
Next comes the most interesting part: You start using your phone to download music directly from the iTunes store. Apple has already announced the partnership with Motorola, and I’m sure they understand that the life of the iPod is running out. Motorolapod Shuffle, anyone?
Why would I buy three different gadgets and fill up my pockets when I could combine them all into one? It’s only a matter of time before phone manufacturers add in more storage space for your mp3s, and hopefully they will stop blindly adding in mega pixels to their cameras and put some better lenses and CCD technology into the camera part of the phone.
UPDATE (02-14-2005): Sony Ericsson seems to agree with me, at least about the music part.