Originally Posted by DaveF
* Is map-in-the-cloud sufficient, given the chronic complaints of AT&T service in metro areas? The idea of driving along a busy street and running out of map data doesn't sound far-fetched to me in this scenario. I'm still more comfortable with locally-stored map data (that can be updated). For now
* There's no need for dedicated MP3 player; every phone out there does it, and has for years, yet iPods still sell like gangbusters. "Free" does not always win if it's not substantially better. Is this GPS solution better in enough right ways?
Just to address those two points -- map in the cloud
-- from what I understand all maps needed for you entire trip will be pre-loaded, so it should only come into play if you change your destination or take an unplanned detour.
iPods still being sold
-- Classics are still being sold because of the larger HD capacity. As soon as flash catches up -- say hits 256GB (if not just 128GB) -- the Classic is gone. Nano & Shuffle -- lower price and smaller form factor. Neither one of these apply in your GPS parallel as Google is both cheaper (free) and smaller than dedicated GPS units.
But what about the price of the iPhone or GPS equipped iPod Touch or other brand equivalent? Everyone has a cell phone now. In 2 to 5 years everyone will have a GPS equipped networked handled computer (aka iPhone, etc.) instead of a regular phone. Even in lower income situations, where the handheld computer will be used for all computing needs.
What makes the iPhone hard to afford right now isn't the price ($99 is marginally more than a shuffle), but the difference between a voice plan & a voice + data plan. When all phones become smartphones that difference will disappear, likely in the other direction -- everyone will have a data plan only with voice being recognized for just one type of data.
Dedicated devices, other than ones that require large space for high quality (think pro cameras) will die. The only question is how few
years down the line. In the case of GPS, Google just shortened their lifespan considerably.
Edit: If anyone thinks dedicated devices have a future, please find me a word processor or typewriter. Calculators and tape recorders are all but dead. CD players are basically dead. Stand alone DVD/BD players mostly exist due DRM making their computer app versions cumbersome.