The Computer Blog

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beyond the iPhone

The most interesting thing about the iPhone isn’t necessarily the phone itself but the technologies it represents. Let’s take a brief look at what might be beyond.

When she saw the iPhone, my wife wondered why Apple didn’t include an internal iSight on the phone. That was a brilliant idea of what iPhone 2 might look like. If Apple managed to shoehorn an iSight into the iPhone, even if it made it a little bigger, then routine and mobile video conferencing, imagined in the 50’s as the way of the future, might finally become a reality. Of course, including the iSight is not all that must happen. I believe that when equivalent of today’s high-speed wireless broadband services becomes the standard wireless bandwidth, then the inclusion of an iSight and anywhere video conferencing can become real. There’s no reason to believe that couldn’t happen within the next decade.

I also believe that the iPod will reap the benefits of iPhone technology. The iPhone shows that a new video iPod using a touchscreen interface can easily become a reality. Since the iPod is also used to view photos, the accelerometer in iPhone would also have a home.

Moreover, the iPod might play back into the iPhone. As Apple gained engineering experience with the widescreen, touchscreen, hard disk combinations, it could apply that to the iPhone to make it a true mobile “convergence” device. Of course, flash memory advances might make the use of a hard disk obsolete, but you get the idea. What I’m really saying is that Apple is in a unique position to make the iPod and iPhone play off each other.

Everyone, including the company, would benefit if they made that happen.

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