Rumors New iPod Touch Won’t Be Huge For Teens, VoIP
While I admit I like the idea of a more capable Apple iPod Touch (with a built-in mic and camera), and I agree that it will be a great mobile multimedia device, I disagree with Andy Abramson’s assertion that it will be big for VoIP.
One of the use cases Andy mentions that he think will be huge is “Pre-teens who need a phone but can’t afford a contract.” First of all, the iPod Touch is quite a pricey device for most teens, whereas your typical prepaid phone is a lot cheaper. Sure, some teens will get an iPod Touch, but unless the price goes down, not as many as Andy thinks.
Once you get past the price issue, the second, more important piece of functionality is missing from the iPod Touch: SMS. This is the killer app for teens. I know, I had one staying with me for 10 days. I know there are probably services that make that happen, and with Apple’s Push Notification Sevices, realtime SMS on an iPod Touch is doable.
Even if such a service exists, how will the teens find out? Word of mouth, I suppose. Even so, most of these services require credit cards for payments, making them non-starters again for teens.
Now, I do agree that an iPod Touch with an integrated microphone would make a compelling VoIP device. The reason I don’t think it will be big? The lack of background applications. In order to make and receive calls, you have to leave an application running in the foreground. That might work for making calls–which I could see some business travelers using–but for receiving calls? A non-starter from my point of view.