iPod, iPhone, iNet?

Know what's wrong with the iPhone? Screen's too small for jobs like video conferencing. Know why Microsoft doesn't like netbooks? Disks are too small for Win7 and a $79.99 OS license for a $300 netbook doesn't make a lot of sense. So what do you get when you put these together? How about an iNet opportunity for Apple?
Written by Paul Murphy, Contributor

When the video iPod gained voice communications hardware and software it became an iPhone - a small, PPC based (ARM is a PPC licensee), netbook.

So what's wrong with it? Not much - except that the screen size makes it a poor choice for the next step up: multi-point video conferencing.

Of course, most broadcast networks aren't up to that yet either, but that's coming - along with roll out or projected screens and keyboards.

Meanwhile netbooks are gaining market share and thereby exposing a huge Wintel7 vulnerability because when you boil away the PC marketing you can see them for what they are: portable smart displays for web browsing, email, and minor note taking - i.e. iPods with keyboards or bigger iPhones without the telecom functionality.

And therein lies the wintel7 market vulnerability: Windows 7 is the first Microsoft OS since NT 4.0 Workstation replaced NT 3.51 to need fewer system resources than its predecessor (and since 4.0 was basically just a VMS port to Intel it's the first one actually produced by Microsoft). Unfortunately it's still too big - particularly in terms of disk usage - for devices featuring Intel's light weight processors and 4 to 8 gigabyte flash drives.

So what's going to happen? is Intel going to push its mobile Linux variant past Microsoft? Is Microsoft going to cut Windows7 to fit - and reduce its licensing expectations to the netbook level? What?

I've no idea - but what I do know is that Apple has to be weighing the pros and cons of issuing an iPhone in a netbook format: an iNet - something designed to build share by capturing much of today's netbook market while creating a much larger future market for fully enabled voice and video conferencing on the go.

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