What's next for Apple's iconic iPod? That is a question that a lot of analysts are asking these days and according to several reports the iPod may emerge as device that goes far beyond what any current digital music player does to date by adding features and services that are radically different and cool.

Gene Munster of the firm, Piper Jarray, who has a buy rating of $250 on Apple stock, believes, based on his research, that future iPod's will be able to allow people to use the iPod's wireless capabilities to order food or drinks in restaurants - all from the comfort of their iPod's!

Imagine, if you will, having a restaurant's menu accessible from your iPod. Once you select an item, with a simple click, the iPod would then automatically and wirelessly submit your order to your favorite eating establishment, let's say in my case, Burger King, while you were still on route. Your iPod would, using your iTune's store account, then automatically pay for your purchase and issue you an electronic receipt. All you would have to do is stop by and pick up your order - no more standing in line - how convenient!

Munster is also speculating that Apple is about to introduce new ways of wirelessly streaming music and believes that the iPod Touch is nothing more than the first of a new breed of iPod's that will keep Apple in the lead and it's competitor's in the dust, according to reports from AppleInsider!

MacWorld also pointed out that Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, who, by the way, just happen to have a very close relationship with Apple and Steve Jobs, also hinted at such new iPods complete with a new music subscription based model, when he recently stated in an interview:

"Personally I expect that Apple will before too long reveal a wireless iPod that connects to an iTunes "all of the music, wherever you are" subscription service. I would like it to succeed, if the content is fairly paid for. "Access" is what people will be paying for in the future, not the "ownership" of digital copies of pieces of music......"

It is obvious that Apple, the most innovated company in the market place these days, will use their considerable design talents and massive resources to not only to remain in the lead in digital music players and legal downloads, but will do so by adding new and different kinds of functionality and services to the iPod that will amaze us just as the iPhone has done thus far. In fact, the iPhone which, as far as I am concerned, is nothing more than the ultimate iPod - an iPod with a phone thrown in!

The iPod has been, without a doubt, not only one of Apple's biggest hit products of all time, but also one of the biggest for any company period! The iPod, more than any single product to date, has lifted Apple's financial market share and, as well, mind share into the stratosphere! Before the iPod Apple was seen as just another so, so, outfit, but now thanks to the incredible success of the iPod Apple's other products, especially the Mac and OS X, it has gotten a lot more attention and recognition and also, as a result, far more market share then it would have done so otherwise.

I can only imagine what will be coming next from this power house known as Apple in the upcoming months, but I'm convinced that whatever new iPod's Apple releases, (including the iPhone) they will include new and radically different approaches that other makers of digital makers will be hard press to challenge!

I'm eagerly waiting such new, exciting and different iPod's, both in the short and long term and, in doing so, I think that I could apply the old proverbial saying:

"You ain't seen nothing yet!"