Apple Large screen iPod Touch in Future Plus Skype & Apple Partnership?

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Apple Large screen iPod Touch in Future Plus Skype & Apple Partnership?

According to Techcrunch, we can soon expect to see a 7" or 9" iPod touch, which would make it more akin to a tablet PC than a portable music & video player with app support. The app support is a key point here. One of the problems with the iPod touch and similarly the iPhone is the relatively small screen. Sure, it's bigger than most portable devices, but it's still not quite large enough for optimal productivity.

By stepping up the screen size, not only will it improve productivity, you may even see users actually "work" within business apps such as Excel on the iPod touch. Try working in Excel on the iPod touch or iPhone on such a small screen is nearly impossible. In fact, I should point out that natively the iPhone and iPod touch don't support Excel. There is a workaround however.

Using a GMail account you can go to and upload the Excel file, which you can then access on the iPhone/iPod touch. Google Docs will take Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and other document formats like After uploading, you simply use Safari on your iPod Touch, go to and select the document you want to edit.

The current iPod touch generation sports a 3.5 inch screen so this is a significant screen size increase. The current 16GB iPod touch starts at $229 and the 32 GB model is $399, so the larger iPod touch would have to be significantly higher. At which point I have to wonder, who is going to pay $400-$500 for an iPod touch? Unless Apple's plans is to compete with the scorchingly hot netbooks market. I wouldn't put it past Apple. But if that is their plan, then they may run into one small problem - the iPod touch is only Wi-Fi with no 3G/4G data access. Who is going to pay $400-$500 for a device that only works within earshot of a WiFi hotspot? Could Apple allow an EVDO/WIMAX/4G/3G data card to be inserted into the iPod touch? Now that would be very intriguing indeed. It would position the iPod touch as an "economical" business class device without the recurring monthly phone bill costs that the iPhone has.

Potentially, it could run VoIP not just over WiFi, but also over this data connection. Though Apple has restricted VoIP to over WiFi only in the past, so don't hold your breath. However, perhaps in partnership with Skype, Apple could allow VoIP over a 3G/4G data connection but Apple gets a cut of all revenue generated. Apple tends to change industry paradigms and break new ground. Certainly, Apple enabling a wide-scale VoIP over 3G/4G data connection would be a huge paradigm shift. Doubt AT&T would be happy though - nor other wireless carriers for that matter.

Essentially, Apple and Skype would form their own large-scale worldwide carrier network (using VoIP with termination) without all the fuss of maintaining an expensive carrier infrastructure nor customers dealing with yearly contracts, early termination fees, etc. Apple and Skype would be very competitively priced versus the traditional wireless carriers. Although Skype has been hugely successful, it still primarily is software app that runs on computers. Sure there are plenty of Skype hardware devices, but nothing of the scale that Apple could bring to bear. Apple and Skype working together is the perfect partnership in my opinion and it would send shockwaves throughout the entire wireless industry. If it does happen, you heard it here first!

However, without the roaming Internet / data support, I just don't see a high-end, WiFi-only, expensive iPod touch succeeding. But Apple has proven me wrong in the past...

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