It seemed to me that there was a possibility of market fatigue with all of the iPods already out there, as well as a bit of a backlash by consumers who discovered that the 60GB iPod that they had just purchased to watch episodes of Battlestar Galactica on a cross-country flight wasn’t the “true” video iPod.
However, there are fresh reports of even longer delays, and we may look back at these delays as the tipping point where the iPod stopped being the center of the universe and started being just another cool gadget.
According to a variety of reports Wednesday, including those from Bloomberg and AP, [analyst Shaw] Wu is predicting that the widescreen video iPod, expected out this fall, might come out until the first half of 2007. The next iPod nano might not make it to store shelves until December, rather than September.
The first half of 2007. To put it into perspective, that can be as far away as a fracking year from now! Think about how different the portable video landscape is today from June 30, 2005. It’s only going to grow faster, and continue to branch off into totally unexpected directions, some of which might end up leaving Apple behind.
Which is why, in a weird way, it’s all about the Christmas shopping season, which I think starts in September these days. If they can get it out for Christmas, no problem. People are still so locked into the iPod right now that their new “true” video widescreen version would be a no-brainer.
If not, though, I think that all bets are off. For one thing, it’s entirely possible that somebody else could get a cool-looking portable audio/video player out there, strike up a couple of deals with major content providers, and wham! Apple’s market share takes a hit.
You have to remember that a lot of content providers aren’t all that in love with Apple anyways, and would love to have a market-based reason to not rely as much on iTunes.
And of course, the report could be dead wrong, and we’ll all be watching Lost on our new Video iPods by Halloween.