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An iPod with a radio?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named chicken.gifTomorrow Apple is going to announce something new, people say it's an iPod of some sort, and there are rumors that its big innovation is that it supports digital radio, with a tie-in to the Apple site that sells music. Permalink to this paragraph

Okay, that's all speculation, let's get that objection out of the way. But in case it's true, let me be the first to say: Apple is chickenshit! Permalink to this paragraph

I feel that way about the iPhone, it's a chickenshit device, from a company that used to be a daring hell-raiser. Apple, after all, was the first mainstream PC manufacturer to build networking into every box, starting in 1985. I'm not even sure that every Dell sold today comes with networking, no matter, Apple was way ahead of its time, and helped make it inevitable that a new network with storage and computing power at the terminals would exist. The world desperately needed that at the time.  Permalink to this paragraph

Apple was also the company to break through on wireless networking for PCs. It was eight years ago that the first Airport was released, it was a completely new idea, a long-term bet, and because they had the guts to break through there, we now have widespread wifi as a worldwide standard. I can't use my cellphone everywhere in Europe, but I can use my MacBook.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named gecko.jpgSo what if...  Permalink to this paragraph

What if the iPhone didn't come ready to talk to AT&T over the cellular phone network, rather it came ready to work over an EVDO network? What if, like all Macs, it could then make its wifi capability available to all computers in range, wirelessly of course (Windows machines too). And what if there was already a wifi signal, that the iPhone would magically "just work?" And then just leave out the EVDO. Yeah sales would be slow at first, because wifi isn't available everywhere, but then when Apple shipped the Airport there weren't many computers that could use it either. And there were cheaper ways to connect Macs to Laserwriters, but full networking created a powerful platform.  Permalink to this paragraph

Such a product would, in the next eight years, force the same kind of upgrade to the technological infrastructure of the world that the Airport set in motion eight year ago.  Permalink to this paragraph

Okay they didn't do it. The iPhone is a nice device. On Entourage last night, Johnny Drama is showing pictures on an old non-iPhone phone. It looked dated. Stylistically the iPhone is a milestone, but technologically it's just a brick. Permalink to this paragraph

Now on to the iPod, and Chance #2 to blow us away with their gutiness or gutlessness.  Permalink to this paragraph

Dear Apple: Let it support wifi, let it connect directly to the Internet to get music and podcasts, and let's at least start to get rid of syncing as a way of life.  Permalink to this paragraph

But radio? OMG that's so 20th Century. Fugghedaboudit. Permalink to this paragraph

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