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Touch-screen video iPod claimed in development

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2006
News Categories: iPod

Two separate reports today claim that a “true” video iPod with a large touch-screen display is on the way. Both Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf and Apple news site Think Secret believe that this new iPod will likely be introduced at a special event to celebrate Apple’s 30th anniversary in early April. Apple CEO Steve Jobs alluded to some sort of celebration during last month’s Macworld Expo keynote speech.

“Apple was careful to call the iPod capable of displaying video that it introduced in October just that—an iPod that played music but also featured a video viewing capability,” Wolf wrote in a research note obtained by iLounge. “According to our sources, the screen on the Video iPod will occupy the entire front of the current iPod with a touch-activated scroll wheel. Assuming the same form factor as the current iPod, this move will increase the size of the screen three-fold.”

A Think Secret report claims that the new iPod will feature a 3.5-inch diagonal display and shed its mechanical click wheel. “This video iPod, which has been in development and on the table since before Apple released the 5G iPod last year with video playback, will feature a display that will occupy the entire front face of the device,” the site reports. “Sources who have seen the device report that it features a digital click wheel, one that overlays the touch-sensitive display and appears when a finger touches it and disappears when the finger is removed.”

Wolf says the growing collection of video content on iTunes is a sign of a new iPod. “In our opinion, the rapid increase in the iTMS’s video offerings is a strong signal that an iPod with a much larger screen is on the way,” he said. Wolf also cites reports from Asia that fifth-generation iPod production has been reduced. “One hypothesis is that sales of this model have fallen below Apple’s previous expectations for the quarter,” the analyst wrote. “An equally plausible hypothesis is that Apple is draining inventories of the iPod from the distribution channel in advance of its introduction of the new model.”

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Comments

1

ok well that sounds cool but if they come out with this they need to figure out how to make the clear plastic coating stronger so it doesn’t show every single iddy biddy scratch. otherwise the public will flip out just like they have on all the previous models, excluding the shuffle and mini. because seriously…who wants to watch a short film or a video podcast with a million little hairline scrapes or a huge scar right though what your trying to watch with. the clarity of the picture is what apple was initially going for right?

Posted by ipodpirate on February 9, 2006 at 10:38 AM (PDT)

2

I can’t believe you guys called Think Secret a “news” site, especially after their horrible track record this past year…

Posted by bwa on February 9, 2006 at 10:41 AM (PDT)

3

wow, i kind of wish i didn’t get the 5g then.

and didn’t m:robe/olympia or whatever they were called, create a touch screen DAP (with a digital camera built in) as well? And a common complaint for that was that it was hard to watch videos with all the fingerprints on it? A downside of touchscreens…

Posted by blahhh on February 9, 2006 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

4

I believe this rumour to be true.  Imagine an iPod where the display occupies the entire face?  I’m glad I waited.

Posted by Tchocky in The O.C. on February 9, 2006 at 10:43 AM (PDT)

5

Man, this is (almost) everything I wished for long before I expected it ... I just hope the video iPod is able to play higher peak bitrates than 2500 and the hard disc will be as big as possible. This is exciting!

Posted by zivilars on February 9, 2006 at 10:47 AM (PDT)

6

Wonder if it will be a dedicated video player or if it will also have music capability as well?

Posted by redsoxnation on February 9, 2006 at 10:57 AM (PDT)

7

unless the screen is heat sensitive or something, I don’t think I touch screen would be realistic as it would be hard to clean (people would be paranoid by the screens “softness”) and not durable enough. Screen like that tend to keep their fingerprints too. If they could manufacture a touch screen that had a hard durable surface (like my iPods’s with the invisible shield), and used something other then touch to activate it, it MIGHT work.

Posted by Echid on February 9, 2006 at 11:08 AM (PDT)

8

WOW… i am in absolute shock.  I mean this HAS TO BE TRUE if 3 separate sources are reporting it.  Sites have been wrong before about these types of things but when the nano and the video ipod came out just about every site agreed that something “likewise” was going to be released… look at the accuracy in the reports here people!... I must say i am really confused though… the article said the screen will be 3.5 in ... but yet the clickwheel will conver the entire front of the “digital” ipod… so is the new ipod going to be a little midget pod only about the size of a little square box?... i hope these to be true because the 5th gen is god awful when it comes to converting and battery life and a new one so close would be great but apple hardly ever does what the customer predicts… go look in the “future ipods forum” and see how many mock ups of these there are!... im sure apple has something cool up their sleeves because there is no way in hell i am going to be constantly touching a screen that like an ipod screen if it scratches that easily and apple wouldnt be that irresponsible with all the lawsuits theyve been facing lately… WOO HOO!!! NEW IPODS IN UNDER 2 MONTHS!

Posted by Jonathan on February 9, 2006 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

9

This is EXACTLY what I’ve predicted Apple would do next… well almost.

I predicted that Apple would release a new video iPod that would be touch screen and the entire front of it will be covered by the screen and if there were any buttons at all; they would be on the sides.  That part is almost exact to the reports but I also had predicted (or wanted) that the new video iPod would be in wide screen format so you can watch movies on it with it’s improved battery life (another prediction).  I can already see Walt Disney and Pixar movies added to iTunes.

I also wondered (or wanted again) that if the screen would be able to rotate.  For example, being able to scroll through playlist and watch videos as we do now but when you want to watch a video in widescreen format you can just turn the ipod sideways and have the screen rotate to that orientation.  Many PDA’s have this feature.

Speaking of PDA’s I suspect that apple would use something like a pda’s screen which seems a little more durable to avoid scratches and such.  This is pretty exciting… if the rumors are true, the possibilities are limitless.

Posted by 3rdEye on February 9, 2006 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

10

Well this is not good news to kids like me who spend all there money buying the new video 5g… later finding out that newer technology is on the horizon!!! I admire the fact that they can always put out advanced and interesting products, but as a consumer I feel a little discouraged knowing that my device will lose its novelty. I know with technology these days, its unsurmountable what could be developed. But as a kid who tries to be smart about money and constantly waiting for the proper time to buy a product that will last a while, it seems disappointind knowing that it wont!

Posted by ballaonalimit on February 9, 2006 at 12:06 PM (PDT)

11

This could be a very elaborate april fools joke (apples 30th anniversary is on April 1st).  Let’s hope not though!

Posted by Joel on February 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM (PDT)

12

I was thinking that they would make the whole front touch screen too but honestly if they do debut one in April it’s way too soon. 6 months for a generation of an iPod is way too short. Hasn’t it been at least 1 year for each generation? 2001 = 1st
2002 = 2nd
2003 = 3rd
2004 = 4th Mine grin non-color
2005 = 5th
True there are 2 4Gs (non-color & color) so maybe there could be a 2nd version of 5G but I don’t think to the extent of this “true” video iPod. But hey, that’s why they’re called rumors.

Posted by b. e. z. on February 9, 2006 at 12:34 PM (PDT)

13

Please, people, get a grip. THIS IS ALL RUMOR!! Just because three different sources report this does not make it true, especially if they all got their information from one primary source.

Also, even if the reports are true, it’s not like it renders the 5G obsolete. The 5G is a music player and does its job very well. I like the video content, but it’s nothing more than a perk for me. I don’t see myself buying a portable video player of any kind any time soon. Among other reasons, there will still likely be numerous bugs to work out (the touch screen possibly being one), and I’m not convinced that portable video is in nearly high enough demand yet for a Video iPod to make much of an impact (maybe eventually, but not now). The original iPods came out at a time when mp3 players were becoming very popular. The right product hit the market at the right time to explode. If this Video iPod comes out in April, I doubt it will have the same effect on video.

Posted by Jason on February 9, 2006 at 12:35 PM (PDT)

14

I find it a bit over-optimistic to beleive that Apple would introduce a new iPod liitle more than half a year after the Nano & 5th gen. (don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed, but it just seems to good to be true).
If they do introduce a new iPod, I’m sure it will be named the iPod “Video”, and follow a similar marketeting strategy to the iPod “Photo”. They’ll keep the 5th gen around untill the end of Q3 and rename the “Video” to just iPod, along with a few new introductions.
(cripes, who am I kidding…It’s Apple, nobody will know for sure untill it happens)

Posted by Miranda on February 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM (PDT)

15

3rdEye - yeah, I was with you on that prediction. Add to it WiFi Or BlueTooth for syncing and its what I said it would have. I thought more for BT as then you could support wireless headphones grin

It will be thicker than current Ipods though.

Posted by psxp on February 9, 2006 at 12:48 PM (PDT)

16

Sounds cool… as long as you never have to reset it.
I guess they could put a little reset button somewhere on it… but not having to contort 2 or 3 fingers wouldn’t be the same.

Posted by Savante on February 9, 2006 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

17

I was figuring this was going to happen last summer.  I even went so far as to create this concept of what I thought it would look like:

http://www.bolicious.com/studio/Design/5thgen.jpg

Posted by Bo Kristensen on February 9, 2006 at 1:13 PM (PDT)

18

seeing a decent case for this ipod should be interesting.

Posted by northantarctic on February 9, 2006 at 1:14 PM (PDT)

19

What happened to no rumors on the front page…

Posted by Studogvetmed on February 9, 2006 at 1:18 PM (PDT)

20

I was thinking about this the other day! Would be a great move if Apple did it. Do it Apple!

Posted by Jack Bauer on February 9, 2006 at 1:21 PM (PDT)

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