If you don't have Apple's iPhone, fret not. A nearly identical device called the iPod Touch will be available here by end of the month. It can't make mobile phone calls but it can play music, photos and videos as well as surf the Web.
With all the hallmarks of an Apple product, the iPod Touch, to be unveiled at a media launch tomorrow morning, features a sleek design with a black casing. In the hand it feels comfy and warm. Plus you can see all the photos and video clips on a brilliant 3.5-inch wide screen which sports a higher resolution than any current iPod.
The coupe de grace is the touch screen interface. Use your finger to start the music player or drag and drop photos from one folder to another.
It is the first iPod that comes with built-in wi-fi and a Safari browser. In Singapore, which will soon have more than 5,000 hot spots by end September, anyone with it can surf the Web almost anywhere on the island.
For some users, the ability to surf may outweigh the only 16GB of storage on the iPod Touch. With such a capacity, there?s not very many songs to carry around.
Another setback: Apple?s agreement with Starbucks to sell music using wi-fi will not be available here since the deal is only with the coffee joint?s outlets in the US.
The iPod Touch was announced here yesterday with the refreshed iPod line-up comprising the iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle. Most of the products are available now except for the iPod Touch, which is priced from $498. The Nano is retailed from $298 and the Shuffle from $138.