Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is The iPod Touch A Bigger Game Changer Than The iPhone?

With the lack of monthly service fees and increasing encroachments into handheld gaming, maybe so...
The iPod Touch might be hiding in the shadow of its big brother, the iPhone — both in volume, and revenue — but is it possible that the Touch is more disruptive than its cellular sibling?

...The iPod Touch is a lightweight, highly portable music and video player, communications and gaming platform and, if rumors are to be believed, its next generation will include a digital camera for stills and video — and maybe even VoIP, all over its Wi-Fi connection. That’s a lot of power from a $229 device. It’s that easy access to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection that makes the device so interesting...

The iPhone, of course, is also part of this platform, which is why Apple frequently combines the sales numbers of the two products. At last count, there were 45 million devices capable of running this “Wi-Fi platform” worldwide — also known as the sum of iPod Touch and iPhone sales. By comparison, Sony has sold 58 million PSPs, and Nintendo has sold 108 million of its DS handheld gaming device since 2004 — both gadgets have Wi-Fi, but not nearly the interactivity and multi-functionality that the Touch has.

It’s curious that the iPhone gets so much of the coverage, while the iPod Touch gets second shrift. The iPhone can make calls, but with free Wi-Fi networks popping up everywhere thanks to deals with ISPs — plus campus-wide Wi-Fi networks at most colleges across the U.S. — the iPod Touch is fast becoming the WiFi-enabled mobile device to beat.

(HT Chris Meadows)


Ali Hasanain said...

If they put a camera on the screen side, so you could do video chats, the touch would indeed be bigger. It's more likely that that happens on the Touch because AT&T wouldn't want the iPhone to have that feature.

Till then, I think the Phone is worth a good $150 premium over the Touch: $75 for the phone, and $75 for the convenience of carrying one device rather than two.

thinking said...

I think right now the iPhone still has the greater impact.

First, without the iPhone there would be no iPod Touch.

Second, WiFi is nice, but not nearly so useful as cellular 3G which you can get pretty much anywhere.

When I had the first gen iPhone, without 3G, where WiFi was a bigger deal, I can't tell you how I realized just how many places did NOT have WiFi.

Third, wait until 4G networks arrive. Verizon is already testing, and I believe ATT as well. Can you say "video phone?"

Fourth, wait until the iPhone is opened up to carriers other than ATT in the US. Rumors have that happening very soon.

A device has to be always connected to have maximum utility, and that better describes the iPhone. It's the same way with the Kindle.

The rule for modern day computing: the more connected, the better. Until the iPod Touch can equal the iPhone in that measure, it will never have quite the utility.

That being said, both are phenomenal devices, and kudos to Apple for developing the Touch out of their iPhone development.