Thursday, August 26, 2010

4th Gen iPod Touch - no GPS again :(

When Apple was about to introduce the 2nd gen iPod Touch, I was sure it will have GPS. I was even more sure just before they unveiled the 3rd gen.

Now, I am convinced they will not do it for the 4th gen either.


Two words: Performance and Battery Life.

The iPod touch, while featuring similar music and video playback times as the iPhone of the same generation, actually has a battery with less than half the capacity. It's battery is only 600 mAh vs the iPhone's 1400 mAh.

Stand alone card GPS devices are big and don't last long without external power.

There is one device out there that has the biggest battery charge per cubic centimeter of electronics ever. Ok, that's just speculation but the fact is that the iPad has one bad ass huge battery and boy does it last.

Yet the WiFi version has no GPS, why?Why is Apple willing to include GPS as part of the WiFi+3G model but not the WiFi only one? It's not the battery this time.

Apple uses what is called A-GPS or assisted GPS. Instead of relying entirely on GPS lock on to triangulate the device position, the iPhone 3G used the WiFi/Cell tower triangulation first.

The result: The iPhone could achieve location lock within few seconds, while a dedicated GPS could take up to a minute.

Apple being religiously zealous about efficiency of design and operation will likely never put a GPS module into a device without a data connection. A-GPS performance is hat good.

With the iPod Touch being WiFi only device, GPS will not be among it's new features.

It will have retina display, gyroscope, front/rear cameras for Facetime, but it will not have GPS unless...

...unless Apple decides to really go for an iPod Touch attack and introduce a Wifi+3G model as well. To revitalize the iPod growth and fend off emerging similar Android devices.

Unfortunately I don't see that happening either for one simple reason. No internal space. The iPod is packed to the gills. Its 7 mm thin. You can't just find a space for a 3G athena, and all the new circuitry.

When iFixit made the iPad teardown, it was truly remarkable how much internal free space there was inside the iPad. That's even if you did not consider the space they left for 3G components.

So the iPod Touch does not have the internal volume and battery capacity to operate a 3G circuit to justify the addition of a GPS unless ....

....unless the iPod also gets a redesign.
Well with the all the recent leaks about iPod Touch with camera casing, it seas Apple will stick with the ergonomic design one more generation.

The reason to keep the iPod Touch design unchanged for a third generation is simple. 3rd Party Accessory and case makers. They would just love to be able to sell their products with with no or minor modifications to an ever expanding pool of customers.

New design requiring more time to mature will also appear spurred by the fact that the iPod Touch is not just a sotware platform with its iOS but very much a hardware one, with its clean design and compatible outline spanning across generations. Did you see the iPod touch case
with GSM athena and slot for SIM card? If it works as advertised, the combination of that case + the new iPod Touch will rule the third world countries. It's the one product Apple refuses to make.

In this world of consumer technology companies like Nokia though us for years that a new phone with a slightly different design every few months is something normal. Now Apple is about to keep the design of its most profitable iPod ever for a 3rd year in a row, likely blasting
in to new highs of sales records and revenue.

Oh the irony!

Sent from my iPhone

1 comment:

IPhone Battery said...

I think Apple is trying to avoid GPS because of the battery life. As their battery needs more improvement.

or all Apple users had to buy iphone battery extenders to backup their ipods, itouch and iphones