Sunday, August 10, 2008

Upgrade/Update Ponderings.

It's the time of year when old products get updated, and new products start appearing just in time for the Christmas buying season. I'm particularly interested in what new media players may appear from Apple in September and from Samsung this month. I'd also love to see some major manufacturer come out with a touchscreen challenger. Microsoft? Dell? Sony? Sandisk? Anyone?

There are strong indications the iPod Touch may get re-engineered. More memory perhaps. Perhaps changing to a plastic back that would come in more than one color. I'd love to see Apple add stereo bluetooth to it, despite many Apple fanboy protestations. There are lossless bluetooth compression protocals available now, leaving no reason to believe that listening to your iPod's music via bluetooth would diminish it's quality.
The Samsung YP-P2 will be redesigned, and at minimum be getting haptic touch response. The P2 could stand utilization of the multitouch potential of it's screen, more memory, and maybe even wifi/web access. Samsung has expressed a desire to double it's U.S. sales this year, and although pocket MP3 players aren't their prime money maker, a better P2 would help a little. There are downloadable games for the P2 in Korea. Samsung should bring the 16gb model (or even a 32gb model) to the U.S., and let us also have access to more games and other apps. If you haven't been following the P2's Bluewave Upgrade saga, you need to check THIS SITE out. The latest update allows P2 owners to create their own home page graphics and share them with others.

Microsoft is rumored to be considering a Phone with the Zune interface. Most popular phones these days are touchscreens, so imagine a new Zune player with a full touchscreen UI. Keep the 80gb model as-is, but add 8gb and 16gb flash models with wifi web access, 480x272 touchscreens, and direct access to the Zune store. Less likely than a new Touch or P2, but wouldn't it be sweet?Then there is Dell. They've announced they'll be re-entering the portable player market. No one has seen any prototypes. If they only produce one model and it's not a touchscreen, they haven't got a chance.
I suspect Sony has a Touchscreen player waiting in the wings. I believe they've been patiently checking out the competition, and won't release a new player with touchscreen until they are sure it will be amazing. Sony used to own the portable media player market, and I believe they want to own it again. It will take an amazing touchscreen player to get the world's attention away from Apple.
So bring on the Updates/Upgrades! I'm on the search for the best pocket media player out there, and I haven't found it yet.


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