Second only to talks of Leopard and the iPhone are musings regarding the next big step for the iPod; admittedly, with the most anticipated operating system and cell phone launches coming hand in hand from Apple in the very near future, it would seem that Apple could not possibly be capable of managing a powerful trifecta of technology, including an iPod update. However, there are 3 reasons a forthcoming iPod release would make more sense than buttering bread, and I will expound upon them below.
Reason 1: its quite simple, actually, and it is only because we are due for such an update to the iPod. Apple has been infamous for causing much weeping and gnashing of teeth because of their almost too-frequent updates to the iPod line, and the recent drought, though not upsetting due to advances in the iPhone and Leopard arenas, has been longer than typical.
Following Apple’s long-standing production schedule for the iPod, the little toy is overdue for a facelift, and arguing that it is not because there are bigger fish for Apple to fry is truly a poor argument indeed.
Reason 2: Apple is completely capable of doing so. The most overused argument against a new iPod is that Apple’s hands are full managing the upcoming releases of Leopard and the iPhone.
This argument is also flawed based on some conceptual disagreements; you see, just because the iPhone and Leopard are anticipated as revolutionary releases does not mean that an updated iPod will also be equally revolutionary. I don’t expect to see a double-screened, touch-sensitive iPod that can cook, clean, and do laundry. Updates do not always have to be ground-breaking.
As such, it would not be impossible for Apple to update the iPod because expectations (as they have always been for iPod updates) are set too high; a single generation update could take many forms, if not simply equipping the iPod with a longer widescreen than the current taller version, increasing the capacity of the hard drive, or making the current unit sizes more compact.
Reason 3: releasing an updated iPod will not detract from iPhone sales. If you can believe that the iPod update that will come at some point will not be a phone-less version of the iPhone, it only follows you cannot compare Apples (wink) with oranges. Those that are interested in the iPhone will do whatever they must do to obtain it; similarly, those who want an updated iPod will not waste the money on the iPhone to buy a smaller-sized iPod.
Such a comparison is quite ridiculous; why on earth would a reasonable iPod lover who has no interest in a new phone downgrade from a high capacity to a low one, and take on extra features they will never use?
Again, as such it is to be expected that if an updated iPod will not be a downscaled iPhone, Apple should accordingly continue production of new iPods to maintain its veritable strangle-hold on the media market.
I daresay they have no need to fear strong competition, but to delay the forward progress of their fast-paced iPod production string would be detrimental to the high-end, upscale image they project with their product. People are willing to pay money annually to have the latest and greatest, and if anything, delaying an updated iPod will not help sales of either devices in any way.
Finally, just because Apple has been silent on the issue does not mean the iPod has dropped off the radar. If there are arguments against an iPod update to be made, let them be made in a strong, logical fashion, and let us leave the, “it won’t be updated just because!” arguments to fanboys and haters.