If there are two things that has made Apple and the iPod into what it is today, it is daring to push boundaries and believing that design can change markets. Ever since the first iPod Apple and Steve Jobs have shown great knack for the market and intuition, understanding deep down what the consumer is looking for.
With the new iPhone 3GS pushing boundaries in the smartphone market further, leading a trail of followers trying to replicate what Apple has done, playing the catch up game just like they have done all these years with the iPod, and recently with the iPod Touch that carved itself its own successful market niche, delivering a portable internet device that a lot of people probably thought did not serve a proper purpose that was not already covered by other products. Instead it took the mp3 music player into a new stratosphere, into a multifunction device that is now attacking the position of portable gaming devices like the PSP and Nintendo, and leading other producers like Microsoft and Dell to try and play catch up in the same market.
So, what is next for the iPod? With the iPhone 3GS delivering improved camera with video functionality there is nothing stopping Apple from taking the same functionality over to the coming 3rd generation iPod Touch, that is much rumored to arrive at the normal iPod event that Apple holds every September, revealing the secrets that are being developed in the labs at Cupertino, California.
Combining the gaming functionality of the current iPod Touch, with the iTunes Application market, the good old mp3 player, internet access on the go, and perhaps good quality photo and video, all of a sudden you have a device that will make boots shake across board rooms at every tech company in the world.
But it is not only the next generation iPod Touch that might inherite some of the functionality from the iPhone 3GS. The next iPod Nano and iPod Classic is also rumored to perhaps feature digital camera for both photo and video. Thus creating a portfolio of products that serves different needs, different markets, and different personalities, but that all deliver what the consumer is looking for next from Apple.
The skeptic in me keeps thinking that Apple might take things too far, trying to create the jack-of-all trades gadget, and therefore no longer be best in delivering quality, but i am willing to burry all the doubts for now, instead it might be some of the competitors that will have to adapt and change their product portfolios in hope to not loose any more market share to Apple. For those of us that like a challenge this must be one of the most fun markets to work in at the moment.