Even with the consumer product frenzy peaking at CES in Las Vegas, the tech world is awaiting Steve Jobs' next big magic trick. Will he or won't he produce an Apple cell phone--not an iPhone because that name is taken, but perhaps something called the iPod Phone or iPod C or iPod X or whatever. More important than the name it must eliminate all the well known problems and complexities of the current breed of cellular devices that numbers more than a billion.
The iPod Phone maintains its origins as a digital music player, and morphs into a multi-function device that has the most essential phone capabilities and nothing more, no overreaching with the feature set, just the right set of features, form and function to win over the iPod crowd--a touch screen, the trademark wheel for accessing menus, contacts,etc., a soft keypad and even a handy stylus and a few more buttons for standard phone functions. Of course, it integrates seamlessly with the Mac, with a new iPod Phone application, similar to iTunes, and spawns an ecosystem that creates phone add-ons, such as keyboards. Steve has dealt with the music industry, so why not the phone companies or at least one for starters.
Jason O'Grady tends to think an Apple phone is a red herring. Steve Jobs loves perfection, control and simplicity. The multi-function technology is too messy and premature at this juncture for an iPod/phone to pass the Jobs aesthetic and usability quality test. Maybe later this year. In less than 24 hours the mystery will be solved.