With Macworld 2009 now a distant memory, we pondered over one of the most persistent rumours of the last few weeks, a supersized Apple iPod Touch which, in theory sounded like a great idea.
However, the more we think about it, the more we think that not only a giant iPod Touch is a really bad idea (and Apple won't subscribe to it), but also large portable media players are not going to succeed for a foreseeable future.
Amongst the wealth of reasons, here are five very pertinent ones:
The current iPod touch starts at around £160; a substantially larger iPod touch with a screen of at least 7-inch will probably cost twice as much and may be more. The market for a £350 to £400 Portable media player, regardless of their screen size, is substantially less than a sub £200 one.
Portable media players like the iPod have to be ... portable. An iPod touch with a big (7-inch) screen will be all but that. You won't be able to squeeze it in your shirt or jacket pocket and you won't be able to hold it confidently with one hand.
The other associated problem will be that of weight. The Kindle, Amazon's book reader, weighs in at 292g which is more than twice the 115g of the iPod touch. Anything heavier than 1 pound or 500 grams will be a pain to handle and carry around for a long duration.
(4) Battery Life
Part of the weight problem lies not only with the screen but also with the battery size. A big screen needs a big battery and a 7-inch screen capable of displaying half a million pixels will have four times more transistors switched on than an iPod touch. This in turn will require more juice from the battery. In order to keep up with the normal 6 hours worth of video playback, a substantial battery will be needed.
Perhaps the most compelling reason why a big bad iPod touch is useless for Apple lies in the fact that it would be a total inbetweener product. Too big and too expensive to be a portable media player, not enough powerful to be a tablet PC.
Apple is more likely to have a proper, full size tablet PC by the end of the year. But I wouldn't count on it to become a mainstream device should it be launched.