I generally agree with my friend Andy Abramsom and greatly respect his opinion. He posted today on why he thinks the upcoming rumored iPod touch will be huge for VoIP and multimedia, but I don't think it will have as big of an impact with the teen crowd as he indicates. This new device is rumored to have an integrated microphone, digital camera, and 64GB of memory. I agree that the savvy traveler may desire to use this new device to connect via WiFi and place and receive inexpensive VoIP calls. However, this same traveler can do this now with the iPhone and SIM card removed so I don't think there will be a huge impact in iPod touch sales due to the microphone.
Andy sees disruptive uptake in the pre-teen who needs a phone, but cannot afford a contract. As a father of a couple of teen daughters, who have cell phones and an iPod touch, I honestly cannot see an iPod touch serving as a phone replacement for a couple of reasons. My girls text 90% of the time they use their phone and the only time they really place calls is to me and my wife. Also, in order to use the iPod touch as a phone they would have to be connected to a WiFi hotspot and the only place they really have that access is at home where they can just connect to their IM client and chat today. I would like to hear more about the basis behind Andy's belief that pre-teens will use the iPod touch via VoIP. Another issue is the training and education needed to enable VoIP, but I suppose this can be a simple experience through applications like Truphone and Skype.
Given how much fun my daughters have with the Nintendo DSi's rather limited camera, I do think that the addition of the camera can have a huge impact on iPod touch sales for those younger consumers. I imagine Apple or third party developers will also come out with software similar to what we see on the DSi so that people can have a lot of fun manipulating photos and video footage. We may soon see some crazy videos on YouTube, but I think it is also important for parents to keep an eye on what is being posted for the world to see from their kids. It looks like the iPod touch could add another item to a parent's list of things to closely monitor as they seek to keep their children safe.