JupiterResearch’s Gartenberg: Apple video iPod is unlikely, but possible

“Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director of JupiterResearch of Jupitermedia Corp., said he is refraining from making any wild speculations. ‘We’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see who is correct,’ he said. He also expressed skepticism about the possibility that a video iPod will be unveiled,” Daniel Drew Turner reports for eWeek. “‘There are very few companies other than Apple that can generate so much buzz from an announcement,’ Gartenberg said. Still, he cautioned against reading too much into the announcement: ‘With Apple,’ he said, ‘the more you deviate from mainstream products, such as speculating about an Apple PDA or tablet, the less likely you are to be correct. That’s not to say a video iPod isn’t possible,’ he added, ‘it’s just less likely.'”

“Gartenberg noted that when talking about a video iPod, ‘it would be interesting to see how Apple could overcome the lack of legal content.’ He said that movies and other video content are not the same, technically, as music,” Turner reports. “‘Unless Apple has a solution to that problem, it’s unlikely for Apple to have a product to appeal to a small group of hobbyists,’ he said. He agreed that an iPod that could display videos could be used to share homemade iMovie clips, ‘but that’s not mass market,’ he said. ‘Of course,’ he added, ‘Steve Jobs is also the head of a movie studio.'”

Turner reports, “‘I fully expect that when Jobs says, ‘One more thing,’ it’s something of import,’ Gartenberg said. Though, he noted, the import may not be because the product is revolutionary. ‘The iPod Nano was a flash-based player, but it was more than just a flash-based player,’ he said. ‘Even line refreshes can be significant.'”

Full article here.

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  1. Look, we all know that Apple has the technical know-how to do a video iPod. I know for a fact that they had a prototype in the labs as long as 2 years ago (don’t ask me how I know, but it was inside information).

    The point is not whether a video iPod is possible but whether it makes sense for Apple to introduce one now.

    Personally, I don’t think the market is ready yet. It’s just not easy for consumers to acquire video content yet. I don’t care if you and a million other kids download TV episodes off of BitTorrent networks. Apple looks at the typical consumer, the ones who lack the kind of technical sophistication to go out and download videos off the Net (illegally, I might add).

    So it doesn’t make sense for Apple to release a video iPod unless they have a correspondingly robust iTMS-like video service.

    Now if Apple does release such a service, then hell yeah, a video iPod would be a killer device. It would single-handedly wipe off Netflix and Blockbuster off the map. But don’t ask me to buy the argument that being able to watch music videos is enough of a reason for Apple to take the leap.

    That being said, has everyone already forgotten about Steve Job’s MacWorld declaration that 2005 would be “The year of HD?” Frankly, we haven’t seen very much of HD from Apple.

    That, to me, would suggest that Oct 12 will unveil HD-oriented products from Apple. (And don’t tell me that someone can squeeze a 1080i HD processsor into an iPod yet, considering that you need a dual G5 PowerMac to run 1080i HD video smoothly).

    So Gartenberg is right. A video iPod is merely possible, but not necessarily likely dispite the hopes of many Apple fans. The hopes of Apple fans is a very unreliable indicator of future Apple products. Should I mention the $99 4 GB iPod mini Apple was “supposed” to introduce, the $199 flash iPod with 8 GB of flash storage Apple was “supposed” to introduce, etc.? Now we have a video iPod Apple is again “supposed” to introduce and calling everyone who says “maybe” idiots.

    NewType’s take? Wait and see Oct. 12, but whatever it is, it will probably take us all by surprise. Don’t pretend to know what Apple is supposed to do.

  2. NewType,

    I agree with your comments. The pieces are being put together for a video download “store” (iTVS, or whatever) — Would I buy my favorite movies or TV episodes from a video download service? Yeah, baby! However, I have no interest myself in music videos, etc. Until a “robust iTMS-like video service” exists (I like your use of terms!) then introduction of a “video iPod” device wouldn’t make sense for “mainstream” users.

    Waiting for October 12th…

  3. The lack of video hasn’t hurt the iPod’s fortunes so far. While other manufacturers have been cramming in more and more features (and complexity), Apple has kept it simple and elegant.

    I doubt portable video will ever take off in a big way (even with short-form video like music clips and vodcasts). Those with PDAs mainly use the video function to “impress” their friends.

  4. the point it, the new iPods won’t be “video iPods”, just smaller “normal” iPods with a bigger screen, so that you can watch videos, if you like (though there may be not enough legal content). it is still a music-player. it only has a new feature: “it can even play video!” but it’s still a HD Music-player. and so it will be advertised.

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