Will the mobile phone kill the iPod?

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And on the day that Apple’s iTunes music download service launches in the UK comes news from Japan which could spell the beginning of the end for the iPod.

If, like us, you are fed up of lumbering round with a pocket full of gadgets, be cheered. For you’ll soon be able to jettison your PDA and your iPod and just take your mobile phone with you.

For the word on the streets of Tokyo is that mini hard disk drives less than one inch in size with storage capacities of as much as 20Gigabytes will soon be incorporated into mobile phones.

According to JP Morgan’s Japanese analyst Kazuyo Katsuma a phone capable of storing thousands of music track and images could be hitting the Tokyo market as early as spring 2005.

The hard disk devices will also store video footage as many new Japanese phones now incorporate TV tuners.

The arrival of a hard disk in a phone is what we European gadget freaks have been waiting for. Over the next few years we will have TV tuners, video recorders and three mega pixel cameras in phones. All the phones needed was a decent amount of storage and that’s where Tosh, Seagate and Hitach, who will all have sub one inch hard disks available by the end of the year, step in.

Having effectively killed off the PDA is the smartphone now going to capture the personal music market? Well, in the US they might have a slightly different take, but in Europe it seems like a dead cert.

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