My husband loves his iPod Touch. He’s entirely smug about how much more advanced it is than my modest little 2nd generation Nano. And while the blogosphere is musing about whether Steve Jobs was just misdirecting us all when he said Apple had no plans to develop an e-book reader, the iPod Touch may well have been quietly prepping the market right under our noses.

In this article, BusinessWeek ponders whether the iTouch is really the vanguard in a new breed of consumer media devices that blend computing and productivity functions with entertainment – in other words, convergence.

Yet even if Apple does actually have one in the pipeline, I’d say that a reading device alone would be thinking too small. If the iPod Touch is indeed the vanguard of a new family of media devices, any larger-screened descendant would have to do much more than simply add the ability to read digital versions of the printed page.

Currently, the iPod Touch doesn’t stack up next to the Kindle in terms of screen size, but it does bring a host of features that make new versions easily adaptable. Its multitouch screen gives it a natural advantage over the Kindle in terms of manipulating documents, not just reading them. While it has wireless internet, the addition of Bluetooth (which the iPhone has but Touch currently does not) would make the use of wireless keyboards a cinch too.

The conjecture and speculation about what devices the iPod Touch may spawn will certainly be interesting to watch in the coming months. Given the signals it’s sending, Apple is just starting down what looks to be a fascinating path.

Link to article.

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