7” iPod touch/Tablet Discussion

  • Posted: 11 April 2011 03:39 PM

    Drew Bear - 11 April 2011 05:52 PM

    Sorry to bring this up again, but does anyone really believe that Apple is going to leave the iPod touch sub-family as a single product? I think a bigger iPod touch would re-ignite the iPod product line. It might cannibalize iPhone & iPad slightly, but Apple has shown it doesn’t worry about competition between their own products. I’ll bet the iPod team is itching to get into the double digit $billions.

    I’m not sure I understand your question, Drew Bear.

    If you’re asking whether I think the iPod Touch will get bigger, I will say no way. I think Apple extensively tested all the possible tablet sizes and settled on the 3.5 and the 9.7 inch as optimal as far back as 2005 or 2006. Steve Jobs scathing attack on the 7 inch form factor was not a ruse. He really does not believe that it is an appropriate size for a tablet - it’s a tweener neither small enough to carry around or big enough to use for work and documents.

    Personally, I think there is a place for the 7 inch form factor and that place is e-reading. But Apple is never going to narrow its focus and go after the e-reader market alone, so I think the hope of a 7 inch tablet will have to wait at least until Jobs is retired or perhaps forever.

    As for the current usefulness of the iPod Touch, I very much disagree with you if you think that the iPad has marginalized it. The iPod Touch continues to be a gateway to all things Apple and to the iPhone and Ipad in particular. It is inexpensive, it is small and it does everything the iPhone does except make phone calls. Last quarter alone it brought in almost two billion dollars in revenue.

    Not only is the iPod Touch viable in its current configuration, I think it is the perfect compliment to Apple’s tablet line. Note that with one minor exception, the Ipod Touch has no competition at all. No, I don’t foresee the iPod Touch being dramatically re-engineered. It is Apple’s stealth tablet wreaking havoc with the competition and bolstering Apple’s reach at every opportunity.

         
  • Posted: 11 April 2011 04:54 PM #1

    FalKirk - 11 April 2011 06:39 PM
    Drew Bear - 11 April 2011 05:52 PM

    Sorry to bring this up again, but does anyone really believe that Apple is going to leave the iPod touch sub-family as a single product? I think a bigger iPod touch would re-ignite the iPod product line. It might cannibalize iPhone & iPad slightly, but Apple has shown it doesn’t worry about competition between their own products. I’ll bet the iPod team is itching to get into the double digit $billions.

    I’m not sure I understand your question, Drew Bear.

    If you’re asking whether I think the iPod Touch will get bigger, I will say no way. I think Apple extensively tested all the possible table sizes and settled on the 3.5 and the 9.7 inch as optimal as far back as 2005 or 2006. Steve Jobs scathing attack on the 7 inch form factor was not a ruse. He really does not believe that it is an appropriate size for a tablet - it’s a tweener neither small enough to carry around or big enough to use for work and documents.

    Personally, I think theres a place for the 7 inch form factor and that place is e-reading. But Apple is never going narrow its focus and go after the e-reader market alone, so I think the hope of a 7 inch tablet will have to wait at least until Jobs is retired or perhaps forever.

    As for the current usefulness of the iPod Touch, I very much disagree with you if you think that the iPad has marginalized it. The iPod Touch continues to be a gateway to all things Apple and to the iPhone and Ipad in particular. It is cheap, it is small and it does everything the iPhone does except make phone calls. Last quarter alone it brought in two billion dollars in revenue.

    Not only is the iPod Touch viable in its current configuration, I think it is the perfect compliment to Apple’s tablet line. Note that with one minor exception, the Ipod Touch has no competition at all. No, I don’t foresee the iPod Touch is not going to be dramatically re-engineered. It is Apple’s stealth tablet wreaking havoc with the competition and bolstering Apple’s reach at every opportunity.

    One other place that I think a 7” form factor makes sense is the dash of the car.  iPhone’s a bit too small for at a glance navigating and the 10” is a bit too big to be visually comfortable in that size of a space unless it’s totally integrated running everything.  My unrealistic wish for the auto industry is that they pay more attention to how these devices might be used and better integrate them when doing their design work.

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  • Posted: 11 April 2011 05:13 PM #2

    BillH - 11 April 2011 07:54 PM

    One other place that I think a 7” form factor makes sense is the dash of the car.  iPhone’s a bit too small for at a glance navigating and the 10” is a bit too big to be visually comfortable in that size of a space unless it’s totally integrated running everything.  My unrealistic wish for the auto industry is that they pay more attention to how these devices might be used and better integrate them when doing their design work.

    You’re right. Another great example of how to correctly employ a 7 inch tablet.

    A complete aside, but back in 2006, I used to wish that Apple would extend it’s business model into GPS navigation. I felt that with their design prowess and their ability to make intuitive user interfaces that they would soon dominate that market.

    Of course, Apple decided to make the iPhone, instead. I guess, looking back on it, one might say that they made the right decision….

         
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    Posted: 11 April 2011 05:49 PM #3

    FalKirk - 11 April 2011 06:39 PM

    I’m not sure I understand your question, Drew Bear.

    If you’re asking whether I think the iPod Touch will get bigger, I will say no way. I think Apple extensively tested all the possible table sizes and settled on the 3.5 and the 9.7 inch as optimal as far back as 2005 or 2006. Steve Jobs scathing attack on the 7 inch form factor was not a ruse. He really does not believe that it is an appropriate size for a tablet - it’s a tweener neither small enough to carry around or big enough to use for work and documents.

    Yes, I was again speculating about a slightly larger iPod touch. Not 7”, but something nearer 5” - whatever half the iPad’s size works out to be. [*I mean shrink the dimensions from 7.76? x 5.82? to 3.88? x 2.91?. I suppose that would make the screen one quarter the size.] I agree Jobs was serious about his comments on a 7” tablet. This is significantly smaller and would be a “tablet” in the iPod touch sense.

    As for the current usefulness of the iPod Touch, I very much disagree with you if you think that the iPad has marginalized it.

    No, I was not talking about the current iPod touch or iPad. The current products are very clearly differentiated in form, function & price. I was referring to my fantasy 5” iPod touch. It’s function would edge closer to the iPad’s and could cannibalize some low-end iPad sales.

    Not only is the iPod Touch viable in its current configuration, I think it is the perfect compliment to Apple’s tablet line. Note that with one minor exception, the Ipod Touch has no competition at all. No, I don’t foresee the iPod Touch is not going to be dramatically re-engineered. It is Apple’s stealth tablet wreaking havoc with the competition and bolstering Apple’s reach at every opportunity.

    Absolutely! Except for the re-engineering part. grin We debated this back in February on this thread: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/forums/viewthread/79983/P150/

    There’s no doubt Apple will continue to cruise along with regular upgrades (A5, etc.) to the current iPod touch. But if they did choose to build a 5” iPod touch, I think it would kick the iPod product line into another gear. I happily entrust Apple to do what is best.

    My apologies for veering OT in this thread.

    *Edited to clarify screen dimensions.

    [ Edited: 11 April 2011 11:44 PM by Drew Bear ]      
  • Posted: 11 April 2011 06:07 PM #4

    Drew Bear - 11 April 2011 08:49 PM

    My apologies for veering OT in this thread.

    You’re right Drew Bear, this is not the proper forum. I’m sure we’ll find another place at another time to continue this discussion. I’ll look forward to continuing our discussion then and there.

         
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    Posted: 11 April 2011 06:21 PM #5

    DT can split it off.

         
  • Posted: 11 April 2011 09:01 PM #6

    Tetrachloride - 11 April 2011 09:21 PM

    DT can split it off.

    Done.  grin

         
  • Posted: 11 April 2011 09:29 PM #7

    Thanks for doing that DT - very interesting discussion…

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  • Posted: 12 April 2011 01:08 AM #8

    FalKirk - 11 April 2011 08:13 PM
    BillH - 11 April 2011 07:54 PM

    One other place that I think a 7” form factor makes sense is the dash of the car.  iPhone’s a bit too small for at a glance navigating and the 10” is a bit too big to be visually comfortable in that size of a space unless it’s totally integrated running everything.  My unrealistic wish for the auto industry is that they pay more attention to how these devices might be used and better integrate them when doing their design work.

    You’re right. Another great example of how to correctly employ a 7 inch tablet.

    A complete aside, but back in 2006, I used to wish that Apple would extend it’s business model into GPS navigation. I felt that with their design prowess and their ability to make intuitive user interfaces that they would soon dominate that market.

    Of course, Apple decided to make the iPhone, instead. I guess, looking back on it, one might say that they made the right decision….

    If they’d just give me the 7” one with a descent integration of voice driven google maps and solid blue tooth I’d be tickled pink.  We had Nav in our Odyssey but passed when we bought the 3 series wagon.  I don’t much care for how anyone integrates iPod functionality into their on board systems.

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    Posted: 12 April 2011 01:13 AM #9

    DawnTreader - 12 April 2011 12:01 AM
    Tetrachloride - 11 April 2011 09:21 PM

    DT can split it off.

    Done.  grin

    Magical! :-D

    There’s not much I can add to what was discussed previously. I think there is a significant difference between a smaller iPad (7”) and a bigger iPod touch (5”). Jobs has pretty much guaranteed the former will never happen. The iPad is new and the size is ideal. The iPod touch has been around a few years and I’ll bet Apple has received plenty of feedback requesting a larger screen.

    Others have already mentioned the GPS possibilities. Stand alone GPS devices have probably topped out at the 5” size. Imagine Siri in conjunction with a GPS app. “Get me to the nearest gas station”

    A 5” iPod touch would likely be just as light (if not lighter) as a Kindle. The screen dimensions of ~3.9” x 2.9” would be smaller than the Kindle’s 4.8” x 3.6” display, but a Retina display of that size would be beautiful.

    Games. Imagine the games on such a display. The iPad is just a tad too bulky for comfortable long-session gameplay, but the size of the screen is a huge plus. A larger iPod touch would be the perfect compromise. It would drain yet more billions in revenue from the portable gaming industry.

    Let’s stop here and tally the value of just these features. It would replace:
    GPS $150
    E-book reader $100
    Portable gaming device $200

    Charge $150 more than the iPod touch base price of $229 to cover the larger screen and GPS module. $379 seems reasonable. $349 even better.

         
  • Posted: 12 April 2011 01:22 AM #10

    Drew Bear - 12 April 2011 04:13 AM
    DawnTreader - 12 April 2011 12:01 AM
    Tetrachloride - 11 April 2011 09:21 PM

    DT can split it off.

    Done.  grin

    Magical! :-D

    There’s not much I can add to what was discussed previously. I think there is a significant difference between a smaller iPad (7”) and a bigger iPod touch (5”). Jobs has pretty much guaranteed the former will never happen. The iPad is new and the size is ideal. The iPod touch has been around a few years and I’ll bet Apple has received plenty of feedback requesting a larger screen.

    Others have already mentioned the GPS possibilities. Stand alone GPS devices have probably topped out at the 5” size. Imagine Siri in conjunction with a GPS app. “Get me to the nearest gas station”

    A 5” iPod touch would likely be just as light (if not lighter) as a Kindle. The screen dimensions of ~3.9” x 2.9” would be smaller than the Kindle’s 4.8” x 3.6” display, but a Retina display of that size would be beautiful.

    Games. Imagine the games on such a display. The iPad is just a tad too bulky for comfortable long-session gameplay, but the size of the screen is a huge plus. A larger iPod touch would be the perfect compromise. It would drain yet more billions in revenue from the portable gaming industry.

    Let’s stop here and tally the value of just these features. It would replace:
    GPS $150
    E-book reader $100
    Portable gaming device $200

    Charge $150 more than the iPod touch base price of $229 to cover the larger screen and GPS module. $379 seems reasonable. $349 even better.

    Steve says a lot of things won’t happen but changes his mind.  One of his best qualities really.

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    Posted: 12 April 2011 02:43 AM #11

    Adam, I’m thinking about the iPod line in this case. It’s 10 yrs. old and currently has 4 products. I don’t think a fifth iPod would mess up the product line that much. Besides, Apple seems to be pretty easygoing about changing around the iPod line.

    The iPhone is nearly 4 yrs. old and currently has 2 distinct products: 3GS & 4.

    The iPad is a year old and arguably has 2 products: WiFi-only & 3G/WiFi. But I’d just as easily see it as a single product.

    iPhone nano and iPad Retina would add a third and second product to the respective lines. Still simple. Even the most complex Apple product line (6 laptops) is still relatively simple in the world of personal computers.

         
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    Posted: 12 April 2011 01:32 PM #12

    I wonder if it isn’t likely that with further miniaturisation of an iPad’s innards (especially the batteries) that the iPad’s boarders will eventually shrink so the iPad will become much closer in size to the smaller 7 inch iPad some propose, i.e., all screen and no boarders.

    In the pictures of Steve holding up the iPad, it looks bulky. But taking away the boards and holding up an iPad the size of the display nix the boarders would probably not look so huge and would be much more comfortable to hold. Therefore, it may be that all we have to do is wait another iteration or two before the iPad shrinks on its own but with the advantage of the 9.7 inch display left intact.

    And I believe that the 7” Samsung Galaxy’s display is actually very close to half the size of the iPad’s display of 9.7”, aka 10” display.

    The aspect ratio might be another way of measuring size, or am I misunderstanding the concept. The iPad has an aspect ratio of 4:3 while the iPhone/iPod touch has an aspect ratio of 3:2 which is half the square of the iPad (6” square to 12” square aspect ratio), which is why it makes it so much easer for app developers to upgrade their apps for the iPad.

    I have trouble interpreting numbers at times, so if I am wrong, I would really appreciate correction by the more math-skilled. I have spent some time trying to understand the size relationships between the two (three) devices’ displays. It has been difficult to get exact screen sizes LxW. Hypotenuse is easy to figure out thanks to grade 5 mathematics, a level at which my math skills excel. grin

    Namaste,
    mhikl

    PS. This seems very puzzling. This discussion seems to have been posted today 12 April On TMO but everyone’s reply is from the 11th? Does this mean discussion begins somewhere else and then Jeff posts the tread the next day on the TMO?

    [ Edited: 12 April 2011 01:46 PM by mhikl ]

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    Posted: 12 April 2011 01:59 PM #13

    Maybe the posting dates are different if two people are split in East / West Hemispheres.

         
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    Posted: 12 April 2011 02:28 PM #14

    Tetrachloride - 12 April 2011 04:59 PM

    Maybe the posting dates are different if two people are split in East / West Hemispheres.

    Thanks for the quick reply, Tetrachloride. I thought about that but did a truck load of thinking on how it wouldn’t make sense. Then got out my globe to help visualising. Meh! Then checked a few members specs. Falkirk doesn’t indicated his country, BillH is from the US and a wise owl doesn’t indicated the land from which he posts.

    Still drawing a blank. Honestly, at times numbers and always directions are a real bane to my life. Thank goodness for my GPS, another of my nicknames for the wife. (However, I can park on a dime, great at pocket billiards, darts and chess so some of my manly skills are intact.) It’s a conundrum.

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    Posted: 12 April 2011 02:43 PM #15

    mhikl - 12 April 2011 04:32 PM

    I wonder if it isn’t likely that with further miniaturisation of an iPad’s innards (especially the batteries) that the iPad’s boarders will eventually shrink so the iPad will become much closer in size to the smaller 7 inch iPad some propose, i.e., all screen and no boarders.

    The bezel/border can only shrink minimally. It serves a purpose on the iPad that isn’t necessary on the iPhone or iPod touch: a place for thumbs to rest without activating the touchscreen.

    And I believe that the 7” Samsung Galaxy’s display is actually very close to half the size of the iPad’s display of 9.7”, aka 10” display.

    I think Steve said 45%.

    The aspect ratio might be another way of measuring size, or am I misunderstanding the concept.

    Screen sizing is confusing to me. My impression is that resolution (or whatever pixel by pixel number is called) is the one most critical for making life simpler for developers and making sure apps look the same across all iOS devices.

    iPhone 3GS: 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 ppi
    iPhone 4 & iPod touch 4: 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
    iPad: 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 ppi

    All the 3.5” devices have identical active (the part that actually lights up) screen dimensions of 1 15/16” x 2 15/16”. The iPad (I’m measuring the original) is roughly 5 5/8” x 7 3/4”.

    Since these sizes & resolutions are currently working for developers, I just assume any new iOS device will either be double or half these numbers. But I really don’t know. It would be great if someone could clarify in layman’s terms.

    My speculation for a 5” screen was to halve each of the iPad’s screen dimensions (which would make the screen 1/4 the iPad’s) while retaining the same resolution. That would double ppi to 264. Again, I don’t know if that’s how things actually work.