Monday, August 25, 2008

Apple, Archos, And Now, Cowon ( - Changing Computing

Last week, Archos did its best to show who rules the mobile tablet by comparing its new Archos 5 and Archos 7 offerings to the puny ipod Touch.  How did it do?  Aside from horrible battery issues, rather well.

Now, Engadget is reporting Cowon is doing their own version with the 4.3" or 7" touch screen, FM tuner, GPS, and TV tuner.  We're not going to be seeing this state side but it's indicative of what we're going to see going foward.

Cowon' new devices, unlike Archos' offerings which double as Internet tablets, are purely media players.  When I found out, I was a bit disappointed.  The iPod Touches, of course, run on a variant of the Mac OS X and is being offered as a new mobile platform.  However, it occur to me a new class of mobile devices with more power than smartphones and sheds any shape or manner in which traditional laptops are used is on the rise.

It'll be interest to see what else we're going to see this autumn for the Holiday Seasons and beyond with the consumer show or two and Macworld just months away.  No one knows what Apple will grace us with but it's not difficult to see more mobile players try to pry consumers away from the iPod Touches with their own media player-Internet tablet.

If anything, these mobile devices are more of a threat to netbooks because they will likely be in the same price range.  Furthermore, these new devices may usher in a new form of computing that relies exclusively on widgets and more sophisticated cloud systems like Google's online apps.

The key to the success of these devices will hinge on whether its a true mobile platform or a mistake that some device makers will certainly make:  incorporating Internet features into a media player or mashing together an Internet device with media features.

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