Thursday, September 02, 2010

Philips is Going To Do What Apple Should Have

Philips is bringing out a new GoGear.  Don't get your hopes up, Philips does not have a track record of mobile media blockbusters, but they are doing something quite cool: making a kind of Android version of the iPod touch.

The iPod touch has long be a lot like the iPhone, but without the phone.  Apple has always crippled the iPod touch - leaving out key features that would make it unusable as a everything but GSM iPhone.  Partly because this might damped demand for the iPhone itself, but mostly because it might also reveal just how much margin is in the iPhone.

Philips has no such attachment and they can put most of the Android phone content into such a device.  I'm interested in seeing where it goes.  Handheld computing is now truly everywhere, but the cost of yet another GSM subscription is more than most people want to see.  The New Philips GoGear has most of the stuff in an Android phone, except the phone.

One key challenge Philips will face: Android is much weaker than Apple when it comes to handling media so it make take several iterations to make this work as a viable alternative, but as Android gains ground more and more people will want a subscription-free version of the device.

Engadget update.

Photo from Philips

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