Just what do you do when you have produced the best selling range of MP3 players? Like with cars,TVs, cameras etc etc you just add in more features in order to keep sales going.
I was mulling over this fact with Andrew who came to stay with his parents last week. We were talking about mobile phones which at one time were just for making calls to people – how quaint. Now, they come with a camera which also records movies, a diary, an MP3 player, a voice recorder, games, a radio, an Internet connection, a calculator and a GPS satnav. Please forgive me if I have missed out some of the features on your Nokeo DXV 3S Mk2.
Apple jumped on this feature rich bandwagon with their MP3 players. My original iPod was just an MP3 player – a dammed good one but just that – it played music full stop. My iPod touch does a whole lot more including surf the Internet via a wireless connection.
Of course, adding more features makes the device grow larger and larger (and more expensive). For one thing, you need a larger colour screen to watch all those movies that your iPod now holds. My iPod touch might be a lot slimmer than my 4G iPod but it is longer and wider.
To return to ultra portability you have to look to the iPod shuffle or the more versatile iPod Nano. Sacrifice the features and you get something you can slip easily into the pocket. A device that doesn’t make you look like some geek as you travel to work on the train.
Not content with having produced something utterly discreet, Apple, have now had to go one step further. They knew that, as good as the Nano was, it would not continue to sell well unless they gave it a little boost. So now the company have added a video camera, an FM radio built-in, a voice recorder and a pedometer to the Nano. Joggers can choose between their collection of tunes or be irritated by Terry Wogan or his replacement - Chris Evans; they can stop to make a video of the ducks in the pond and record how many pavement thumping steps they have taken.
Apple are clearly determined to stay ahead of the market. I reckon pretty soon they will produce a gizmo that covers all the bases and more. When that age of utopia arrives, we will have one device that does everything we want in our busy lives except make coffee. We won’t need to carry a pocketful of gadgets anymore, there will be just the one - the Apple Ultimo. Then our only problem will be that the manual will rival Tolstoy's "War and Peace".