Wait a Bit Longer for Apple's Video iPod...
(... but if you're getting impatient, Archos can hook you up.)
TheStreet.com has an interesting piece by Cody Willard today headlined "Apple vPod Concept Hasn't Ripened Yet."
Willard doesn't expect Apple to unveil a video version of its iPod until 2006, at the earliest. He writes:
"...the video iPod and iShow products just aren't reality yet, and the market is probably not ready for them anyway. Part of the secret of Apple's success in the MP3 market was that it had let the market develop and get beyond the very early adopter stage before it got into the business. Being the first mover is not always advantageous, especially in the consumer market."
(iShows, I presume, is Willard's name for the future video version of the iTunes Music Store.) He continues:
"Millions of people had been freely trading MP3 files and burning CDs from MP3s and listening to those CDs in their cars and stereos before Apple made its move. While there are millions of video files being traded on piracy networks and sent via email, and hundreds of millions of videos available for download on the Internet, the mainstream user isn't exactly downloading those files, burning DVDs from those video files and watching them on a TV set. That day is coming, and Apple is certainly going to make a move into that market when the time is right. But that's not next week. And probably not anytime in the next quarter, or two or three."
Before then, I'd recommend keeping an eye on the portable video player that Archos is producing in partnership with the Dish Network. Should be out in October. There will be three versions, with LCD screens ranging in size from two inches to seven inches, and capable of storing anywhere from 80 to 160 hours of video. A Dish spokesman told me recently that they'll work not just with Dish Network DVRs, but they'll be able to pull video content from other DVRs as well - not to mention your PC.