If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that one topic we occasionally post about is the impending synergy between new consumer electronics devices and downloadable visual media (i.e., movies). I posted previously about Apple’s switch to the Intel processor and linked to a piece speculating that it had something to do with placing an Intel chip with digital rights management controls within a computer like the Mac mini, thereby creating a kind of Tivo-alternative. Now comes this article on the Ars Technica site which continues this thinking, claiming that what Apple is really after is getting a powerful video-ready chip inside the Ipod so that all elements of Apple’s iLife suite can be downloadable to the device.
From the article by Jon “Hannibal” Stokes:
“It’s critical to understanding the switch that you not underestimate the importance of Intel’s XScale to Apple’s decision to leave IBM. The current iPods use an ARM chip from Texas Instruments, but we can expect to see Intel inside future versions of the iPod line. So because Apple is going to become an all-Intel shop like Dell, with Intel providing the processors that power both the Mac and the iPod, Apple will get the same kinds of steep volume discounts across its entire product line that keep Dell from even glancing AMD’s way.
If you think XScale is too powerful for the iPod — it’s used in powerful color PDAs — then you’re not taking the device seriously enough as a portable media platform. The XScale is plenty powerful enough to do video playback, and I have reason to believe that Apple is currently working on a video iPod to counter the Sony PSP. (My guess is that we might even see it in time for Christmas.) When the video iPod hits the streets, Apple will have an iPod product that plays each of the media formats (music, pictures, video) represented in its iLife suite.”