The iPhone and iPod Touch are nearly the same device except when it comes to connectivity. The iPod Touch’s stripped down to only Wifi whereas the iPhone’s always on cell connection (depending on coverage) changes the experience a great deal. So will we ever see the two become one, removing any differentiating factors or are they destined to stay separate forever?
The iPad brought with it a no contract data plan where you are in charge of your data. For the same $25 data plan found attached to AT&T smartphone contracts, you’re given a set amount of data (2GB) for browsing the web, streaming music, and anything else your heart desires. There are plenty of VOIP services waiting in the App Store and once iOS 4 hits this fall, you’re free to use the iPad as a ridiculously oversized mobile phone. So maybe some day we’ll see such 3G connectivity join the iPod Touch and we’ll do away with the two separate products. An iPod Touch with a $25 data plan might be quite the attention grabber.
This argument isn’t really limited to Apple’s devices as we see more and more PMP’s running Android enter the market. The problem though, seems with the technologically challenged majority who would struggle with the idea that their phone number isn’t attached to their phone, but instead a service like Skype that can be installed on countless devices. Not only would you choose your data provider but you’d download your VOIP provider’s app onto any device you own.
Perhaps one day we’ll get there and we’ll likely do so with the help of Google, Skype, and even the less popular players. Until those days near, we’re left with what we’ve got. Maybe that’s not so terrible? Is this the future or are we stuck shackled to the providers we’ve come to love (or hate)? Share your insight in the comments.