Tuesday, June 30, 2009

iPod Touch and Dell

A number of blogs and articles have decided to take Apple to task for charging iPod Touch owners $9.99 for upgrade to 3.0. The issue is the fact that the upgrade, which came earlier for the iPhone was free for them, but us poor Touch owners have to pay through the nose, well, perhaps not through the nose, but that it seems to be an issue. Andrew Nusca wrote a blog at ZDNet.com regarding this issue. He entitled it "Are iPod touch users second class citizens? Apple says 'yes'". It does seem rather unfair, because we still pay all sorts of money for the iTunes store, in fact we paid a pretty good price for the privilege of having the iPhone sans phone. Now as I have written I do enjoy the touch I have, I listen to a lot of music and podcasts, plus I surf the web and have some nice photographs to look at. I've got a nice one of Stephanie and Jon as my wallpaper, for example.

The issue is best seen with the numbers, some 6 million copies of 3.0 have been downloaded by owners of the iPhone, but only:
However, just 1 percent of iPod touch users accessing AdMob’s network had upgraded by the same date, according to the company. Seventy-eight percent were running the latest point release of iPhone Software 2.0, released last year.

That's quite a discrepancy when you think about it, as the article states, something like 40% of iphone owners have the new software but a mere handful have done the same with the ipod touch.

I suspect two things may be the problem, one is the price, it's not paying for anything with the touch is the issue, since many of us have purchased apps and games for the touch, so that's not the issue. It is probably the fact that one group pays and the other doesn't. Some have suggested that iphone owners pay for the upgrade through the subscription, while touch owners don't. That may be true, after all the only money Apple makes on the touch happens when you buy it, there is no steady stream of income. One question is will this make the device worthless? If everything is now being geared to 3.0, will that mean an end of apps that will work on the touch? It is possible, if Apple wants to turn off a whole lot of users, a group that may not think of upgrading to the iPhone. It tends to happen.

I haven't downloaded the upgrade, I'm debating it in my mind. I'm not sure, I like what I can do with the touch right now. The upgrades don't interest me, probably because it is not my primary device for connecting to the Internet, for example. Although there are some features which do interest me, such as the landscape keyboard and the bluetooth ability, especially if it means more then just headphones. I have a bluetooth dongle which I use with my laptop and cellphone, so if I can use it the same way, it's something to consider.

It may also be a simple case that Apple is mis-reading their clientele, it does happen and nowadays, when it does, the company usually ends up getting taken to task. More then one company, in its efforts to screw the consumer finds out there is something called "Internet", that quickly gets the word out and the company ends up looking very bad.

So much for Apple, now what about Dell? It appears Dell may be re-entering the personal device market. An article in the Wall Street Journal states that: Dell is Working on a Portable Web Gadget. From the article, the new thing will be slightly larger then the touch and use Android software. It is supposed to be the first in a long line of "Mobile Internet Devices", which fill the gap between the smartphone and the laptop, actually probably the netbook. It's the small device that gives more room and probably storage as well as memory then the smartphone, read iphone but would fit in a pocket and be far easier to carry around. Hopefully the battery life will be better then the touch, which when you go to wifi tends to diminish. This is another reason to be suspicious of the upgrade, what will Bluetooth do to the battery life? I know from my cellphone, there is a faster drain when I've got bluetooth turned on. I also understand, early phones with Android ran into the same battery problems.

A "leaked" photograph of the Dell Android 'phone':

One blogger suggests it resembles the Palm Pre, but I think it more resembles the Dell Axim X50/51 series of PDA's. Likely it will not be a smartphone, or an Android phone, at least not in North America, apparently there is talk of a Dellphone coming to China in the near future.

Perhaps not being a phone is the winning combination. If you have read any of my past writings, you know I am a fan of the Dell Axim, in fact I still use my X3i daily. It contains my spreadsheets, contacts, calendar, games and music files. I also use it to connect to the Internet when I can't be bothered with the desktop or even the laptop. I replaced the standard battery with a larger one, so it has more of a charge. I'm not sure why Dell stopped making the Axim although I think it had to do with the rise of smartphones, people didn't want to carry around a whole lot of electronic devices. The Axim received good reviews when they first came out, due to the fact they put a whole lot of features and sold them at a reasonable price. They were very popular as well, in fact owners tended to be very loyal. I should know, I am one of those loyal owners.

It seems with the rise of the netbooks, people want something larger then a smartphone and if it holds true, not being a phone may not be a huge issue. So we shall have to wait. If Dell can do it, they will return to the smaller device market- I have got to find another word for 'device', and it is something which will interest a lot of people.

Stay tuned for further developments

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