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Come Together

Yesterday afternoon, Apple announced several new products, including the iPod Nano (the replacement for the Mini), iTunes 5 with improved search functionality, and the ROKR — this last item being the one to watch. Made in conjunction with Motorola, it’s essentially an iPod Shuffle-smartphone combo.

As an owner of both a Shuffle and a cell phone, I’d love to replace the two devices with one. Companies have been shouting that convergence is the future for years, but finally things are coming together naturally, rather than via forced matings that yield unwieldy spawn (such as Nokia’s N-Gage, the smartphone/portable game player). The ROKR is essentially a cell phone with music storage — not a huge PDA — giving it more mass-market appeal. Businesses should design products that have greater abilities or that mix several products, but retains the charm and simplicity of the original.

What do you think about the ROKR? And where can convergence go from here?

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