AppleInsider is reporting that Investment bank Piper Jaffray expects Apple to release new Wi-Fi enabled, touchscreen iPods in the sub-$200 range by September.
Yowza! Talk about mainstream, entry-level price point.
The PJ analyst goes further, noting, “In fact, we believe the concept of the iPod will change in the next 12-18 months from a standalone music player to a mobile Internet device that fits in your pocket."
Two quick comments to this story. One is that beyond the obvious top line objectives to keep growing the iPod business, this is as much about converting the 100M iPod base into the iPhone SDK-powered platform.
Apple can generate serious coin by wooing developers to build apps if the reach of the platform is 100M devices. They can secure a big time halo effect for their Mac business by increasing the integration and leverage between these devices and the Mac. And they can extend their reach into other segments and device form factors if they pull this off.
Two is that beyond the potential market segmenting confusion as price and functionality lines blur between iPhone and iPod touch, they already have branding and messaging challenges.
The platform is called iPhone SDK but if they execute, there will be as many if not more of these devices running on iPod touch (as iPhones).
It is a mouthful to have to write every reference as 'runs on iPhone and iPod touch devices' and it is certainly less crisp, which limits the effectiveness of marketing messages that leverage viral, word of mouth strategies.
Here is a link to the full article.