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Will Cell Phones Render iPods Obselete?

Posted by billday on January 6, 2004 at 1:50 PM PST

I've been reading the buzz for the last couple of weeks that Apple would launch a smaller version of their iPod music player at MacWorld. Enter the iPod mini, announced in today's Jobs keynote.

Thinking about my blog from a couple of weeks ago on the emergence of cellcams, I had to wonder: Is the iPod mini too little too late?

Phones are already shipping with add-on support for MP3 playback, and many new models (such as the 6230 I mentioned in my previous blog) have MP3 players built-in. If you don't need every MP3 on your PC with you at all times and instead are happy to take along a reasonable subset of your favorite tunes, say 256MB worth (MMC and SD cards aren't available in the 4GB range that iPod mini debuts at), then cell phones with built in music support (cellpods?) may just do the trick. And if you already have your cell phone with you all the time anyway, why not have your favorite tunes on it too?

Will cellpods drive the iPod mini and other dedicated digital music players increasingly up market the same way they are putting pressure on dedicated digital cameras? Or will Apple deliver on rumors that have been floating around for months that they might be working on an iPhone, one upping the cellpod makers at their own game? Time, and consumer acceptance, will tell.

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