iPod Touch’s Big Brother May Hit Stores in 2009
TechCrunch is reporting that several independent sources have come forward with news that Apple will release an iPod touch that will be between 2 and 3 times larger than the current 3.5 inch screen versions.
Some are expecting this to be an Apple tablet computer, capable of running OS X and serving as a fully functional touch-sensitive netbook. The device may function as a laptop, e-book reader, drawing tablet, and a portable gaming device that can take full advantage of the touch screen and accelerometer.
A 7-9 iPod touch could meld together the modern netbook with a tablet, forming a nice alternative for casual computing tasks. What would set this device apart is the thousands upon thousands of apps that would be available on launch day. The iTunes store is packed with iPod touch/iPhone apps that could transfer with ease to this larger platform. A lot of the apps (such as creative tools and games) would benefit from the larger screen. There would no doubt be concern over how some of the apps would handle the larger resolution of the device, but if Apple gives app developers some warning before the product’s launch there should be no problem tweaking the apps to scale properly.
Now these are just rumors and speculation, but in many ways this does seem like the logical next step for Apple. Many have called for an Apple netbook for years now, and this may be the answer. This could simply be a great reading and writing device. Maybe we will be able to download newspapers to read, maybe we can write or draw on paper that can be saved and printed directly from the device, maybe it will be the next step in portable gaming where the platforms are becoming increasingly multifunctional– who knows?
I know that I can’t write blog posts from my iPod touch (well I can with some severe limitations), but a larger device would take care of that and it would have a larger touch-keyboard to boot. If Apple does sell such an item, I hope the technology lands somewhere between an iPod touch and a MacBook Air. Pricing will probably be a few hundred more than current iPod touch models, but still under a grand.
Steve Jobs just better not put phone capabilities into it. I don’t think anyone can handle holding a Marble notebook sized gadget up to the side of their face for very long.