Archive for January, 2010

It was only a matter of time before we were able to see full-length live TV shows on our hand-held devices.

After all, they could do everything else: play music, download games and applications, keep track of our calendar events and answer our calls. They could also play brief snippets of TV shows or commercials. How long did anyone really think it would take before full-length video arrived?

It’s here. The new smart phones, including the iPhone, Palm Inc.’s Pre and Nokia Corp.’s N-series, have larger screens that make video-watching a more enjoyable experience. In an ironic twist they’re now about as large as the miniscule screens enjoyed by Americans in the first days of television.

We’ve come full circle, but we’re much more mobile.

Consumers can also download their own TV shows, DVR recordings, and other media to their phones using a variety of services provided by companies including Sling Media, CBS, and Nero Inc. It’s even possible to watch live TV in some instances.

The new technology hasn’t boosted the number of mobile users or even video viewers. The numbers from when phone video was only a brief snippet to the present moment, when it can be a full-length episode of Project Runway, haven’t moved substantially.

The ability to watch TV on a smart phone isn’t necessarily enough of a draw to convince an old-time cell user to switch to a smart phone, with higher costs. However, the evidence suggests that longer-form television is worth watching on phones – which means there’s another place for networks to make up their lost ad revenue.

We’re addicted to fast-paced technology, so it’s no surprise that we’re already bored with the iPod.

ipodsAt eight years old, the iPod has become a staple for music-listeners much the way Walkman was back in the days of cassette tapes – all of 15 years ago.

When was the last time you saw anyone walking around with a Walkman?

Exactly our point.

Apple is figuring out new ways to keep the iPod relevant, as well as a few new innovations that might just replace one of its one-time most popular products.

One of the latest innovations is the iPod touch, which is an iPhone – without the phone part. It can connect to the internet, download videos and applications, browse email and the Web, and of course, it can listen to music. The touch is doing its best to bridge the gap between the iPod and the next new innovation – but Apple is already on the next innovation, too.

apple tablet Apple is working on a tablet with a touch-sensitive display much like the iPhone’s or the touch’s. The difference is that it may be as much as 10 inches across.   It’s rumored to hit the shelves in March 2010. That means that video and movie watching could be far more enjoyable a mobile experience, and it would also redefine what we’ve come to think of as “mobile.”

Our concept of the iPod was always small and pocket-sized, but then again, we used to have an idea that a pocket radio had to be the size of a paperback book. We adapt well to new technology; Apple has shown a surpassing ability to do the same.

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