In enumerating his latest ideal features for a podcast player, Dave Winer illustrates a dilemma that convergence poses. Dave wants Blackberry-like synchronization, which I agree would be a nice feature, but one that would probably translate into carrier support and distribution. It would be a tough sell to get carriers to offer such a product as it would be deemed too niche. This is partly why cheaper. more accessible wireless broadband, via WiMax or some other source, can’t come soon enough to reinvigorate the consumer electronics market.
Dave also wants the product to be a platform of sorts. I’d support plug-in functionality, but would oppose making the thing completely open as Mike Elgan has argued the Zune should be. As Michael Gartenberg notes before tempting me to buy niche coffee-making products, there are already several multifunction products that could easily meet Dave’s requirements, yet they are not considered for the task because of their loosely defined functionality.