A few days ago I ranted about Palm dropping support for Macintosh and the community which helped keep the company sales going through a lean patch even as it floundered against Pocket PC from Microsoft. Today I am hearing a rumor that Apple might be working on a handheld of its own.
bq. Apple will deflect this Palm bullet because they will soon introduce a new product that will do for the handheld market what the iPod has done for MP3 players. Perhaps Palm got word of this device and decided to discontinue support for the Mac now rather than later, making it look as though it was Palm’s decision rather than being driven out of the Mac market with the apparent success of the upcoming product.
The so called handheld with have an OS-X lite type OS, will use ISync (Duh!) and will have QuickTime (duh again!) and will have a 65,000 color screen, Ink handwriting software and a clamshell design with a tiny keyboard, Bluetooth, USB and Firewire. And it will be hard drive based, possibly using the same tiny drives used in IPod. Assuming that it is not a cheap publicity stunt to boost page views, one can expect this device in July 2004.
It does make sense for Apple has one thing going for it – its brand. Look at the success it has had with IPod, not necessarily the first hard drive based MP3 player, but the best one out there. It is fairly easy for anyone to get into the hardware business these days, but the crucial difference is can you brand it, and create a user experience that is unmatched. I think Apple can. I have a sneaky suspicion that this device could also be the so-called Video IPOD which folks have been clamoring for.