Wendland: Bill Gates is right, iPod will be replaced by smartphones – by Apple

“You’ve got to hand it to the iPod competitors: They’re a determined lot. This week, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates weighed in on the still-growing popularity of Apple’s multiversioned line of personal music players, telling European media folks that the iPod is but a flash in the pan, soon to be replaced by mobile phones as the player of choice,” Mike Wendland writes for The Detroit Free Press. “To be sure, Gates is engaging in some wishful thinking. And his bravado was no doubt emboldened by this week’s unveiling of yet another Microsoft operating system, this one aimed at mobile phones and called Windows Mobile 5.0.”

“‘If you were to ask me which mobile device will take top place for listening to music, I’d bet on the mobile phone for sure,’ he said in the interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily. Across the globe, Mac loyalists and iPod addicts pretty much scoffed in unison,” Wendland writes. “But I happen to think that Gates is probably going to be proven right in the long run.”

“Putting music players in a smartphone is a given. They’re available now, of course, with limited storage capacity and audio quality that is way short of what the iPod offers. But with the ability to download songs via wireless broadband coming to most parts of the country by year’s end, why would anyone want to carry both a standalone music player and a wireless phone? Memory storage issues have to be worked out better before such a phone will become a reality. But mark my words: It will be here sooner rather than later,” Wendland writes. “Anyone want to bet which company will introduce it? My money is on Apple.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wendland’s correct. Why carry two devices when a single unit will do?

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  1. I don’t see Cellphones over taking iPod any time soon, even if the phone supports iTunes. Here is why, a cellphone is something you replace every 1-2 years when you renew your contract and Smartphones are way too expensive at the moment to be purchased with same momentum as an iPod. For example, the best Smartphone on the market is probably the Treo 650 that will cost you about $500 with a two year contract.

    On the other hand I can get a 20GB iPod for $299 and then take a decent cellphone for under $50 with contract.

    Maybe when the Smartphone technology becomes cheaper and somthing like a Treo 650 will cost less than $200 then they can over take the iPod.

  2. Good points from Ray. Also, all indications are that the wireless companies will price song downloads at $2 per song (or more). The functionality and ease of use of the software to transfer the songs to a PC remains to be seen — if that feature is even allowed at all, which I have a feeling it won’t be. While I’m sure many people will subscribe to the service, I think that the sheer doubling of the price over iTunes (or Yahoo, or Real, or Napster) will dissuade a lot of people as well. It would certainly dissaude me.

  3. I was speaking above about the non-iTunes phones. Since there are still persistent rumors that wireless carriers don’t want to support iTunes because there’s no profit in it for them, I’m going to wait and see if the RAZR, ROKR and all the others actually do ever come out. It may turn out that Motorola brings them out just after they perfect the 3 GHz G5.

  4. Thinking of starting a petition for an iPhone. Any thoughts on this?

    Personally, I would like to see better PIM functionality as well. Can’t stand my HP PocketPC and ditched Palm a few years back.

    That’s it! A Newtonish iPhone!

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  5. As to the issue of the ‘wireless carriers’ not wanting to support an iTunes enabled phone because they don’t get to wet their beaks, the Newtonish iPhone would of course hop onto WWAN and such for IP telephony (fall back to their service when needed). So that pretty much takes care of those greedy legacy f#@ks!


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  6. I think the barrier is battery life. There’s too much risk in draining battery power from music. Using a treo’s organizing function too much eats away at battery life let alone playing media. For those without a land line, battery life it too important. Fix that first.

  7. Bill is maybe correct.


    The ONLY company that can do this properly is APPLE.


  8. Mobile phones are so 90s, people need to grow up and realise it is nice to get your life back and leave the dam thing at home or the office, remember the good old days when folks left messages and you called them back when it was convenient to you? – that is what I do and take my iPod with me.

  9. this is all wishful thinking, but here goes.

    Music on celphones will be a given sooner or later. And with iTunes enabled phones from Motorola proving to be the best of the lot, other phone makers will want to cut a deal with apple as well.

    Then Apple invests more money into making iTunes on celphones work better, that they actually realize, hey, what if we make cel phone OS’s and sell it to these phone makers.

    Phonemakers bite, and Apple turns out to be the Microsoft of celphones. And who knows where else Apple can go from there

  10. JadisOne is right. Bill isn’t considering the more well done studies that have so far been delayed from being published on cell phone’s biological effects but they’re inevitable. The biological stress of cell tech is troubling. Cell phones suck anyway – can’t even do what they’re supposed ot do very well. Even when you’re not talkin on them, and they’re just on, they still emit bursts of biologically stressful frequencies. At least an iPod doesn’t do that.

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