Thursday, 6 September 2007

The phoneless iPhone

There have, of course, been acres of media coverage today - particularly in the blogosphere - about Apple's revamped ipod range. The pretty massive reduction in the price of the iPhone also created fears that sales were not going as well as expected. Although Apple's share price fell from $144 to $135 as a result, that only put them back to the price on the day before the announcement! Apple stock is still up over 60% YTD (Indeed, the best performing stock in the 'Holway' portfolio this year - by far!)

But, to me, the most interesting announcement was the iPod Touch. What a looker! Apple really knows how to craft devices where the word "sexy" seems at last to be appropriate. The iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone. Because it is WiFi-enabled you can surf the internet (and therefore answer your emails using your webmail account) as well as (for the first time) being able to download songs from iTunes without going via your PC. Because WiFi doesn't need a 'contract' US users are free to by pass AT&T and the device will therefore be made available worldwide within weeks. I cannot but think that many potential iPhone buyers will opt for the ipod Touch instead.

In many ways, I actually prefer this to the iPhone. I have a mobile phone AND a Blackberry and I like it that way. I do not think my Blackberry is very good at voice. It is the wrong shape for a start. The same applies to the iPhone. But for photos, video, iTunes and web surfing, the new iPod Touch is just "THE BUSINESS". As WiFi becomes much more widely available, I can see me really getting into this device. SouthWest Trains is WiFi-enabling my line to London soon. So, with the iPod Touch, I could not only do my emails (by passing my Blackberry) but also listen to the Archers via the BBC website. Possibly even use iPlayer on the train. The ships and planes we tend to go on are WiFi-enabled too. If Apple added GPRS (or 3G) too as a backup when WiFi was not available, then it would be my ultimate device.

So shall I ask for the iPhone or the iPod Touch for Christmas? Difficult one!

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