What’s Next for the iPod?

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Six years ago Apple introduced the iPod, a breakthrough device that arguably saved the company—at least along with the Bondi Blue iMac it had released three years earlier.

But what comes next for the iPod, especially in the wake of the iPhone? That’s the question CNET News is asking, saying in effect that the iPod is undergoing a bit of a revolution: it’s morphing from a simple music player to a full-fledged computer.

The iPod Touch is therefore one indicator. But it can’t be the whole story since not everyone wants a device that can do everything the iPod Touch does. Instead, the article said the company could try a different tack:

“Apple could bridge the gap between today and the future by bundling regular iPods with services, adding wireless as fast as possible, and bringing OS X down into a new generation of iPods as soon as Moore’s Law lets it happen.”

The article said that as chips continue to get smaller, more powerful, and cheaper, it stands to reason that Apple could beef up the other versions of the iPod, the Shuffle and the Nano, with additional capabilities and features. We’re not a huge fan of subscription services, but it stands to reason that as more cell phones become capable MP3 players, and as the iPhone drops in price over time, Apple will have to do something compelling to keep the iPod brand alive.