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Apple Businesses

What's Next At Apple 368

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the besides-raking-in-money-hand-over-fist dept.
pinqkandi writes "Business 2.0 is running a fascinating article on what might be coming up in Apple's future. Besides speculation, some interesting statistics are included, such as how the iPod should create equal revenue to the Mac for Apple in 2006, if not surpassing it. A good read for the Apple lover or loather."
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What's Next At Apple

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  • by mirko (198274) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:32AM (#12075232) Journal
    Orange Telecom's motto is "The future is bright, the future is Orange" so, who's right ?
  • EU? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:33AM (#12075234)
    Considering Microsoft's current problems with the EU, I would expect Apple to be fully focused on expansion into the massive European market.
    • Re:EU? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:18AM (#12075556)
      Once Apple makes a significant marketshare in the European Union, Microsoft won't be a monopoly anymore. A half-hearted effort to expand in Europe will probably do more to help Microsoft than help themselves.
      • Re:EU? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Scarblac (122480) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @02:28PM (#12078333) Homepage

        Once Apple makes a significant marketshare in the European Union, Microsoft won't be a monopoly anymore.

        The cheapest PowerBook on the US site it's $1499. On the Dutch version of the same site is €1519. That's living in the past, the dollar is €0.77 or thereabouts now. As long as they don't change that, they'll never become big here (and they're practically non-existant as it is, in the last 10 years I've met exactly 1 person owning a mac, the only time I ever saw one).

        In short, fat chance.

    • Re:EU? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Considering Microsoft's current problems with the EU, I would expect Apple to be fully focused on expansion into the massive European market.

      Given that Apple themselves are currently the subject of anti-trust proceedings in the EU, I wouldn't be so sure.

      They're being investigated over allegations of price-fixing in the iTunes store: they're charging 30% more per track in continental Europe than the USA, and 50% more in Britain.

      Let's just say this is not a company I'm eager to business with. I'll consid
      • Re:EU? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Johnny Mozzarella (655181) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:09PM (#12076485)
        Maybe it's not Apple but the record companies setting the price.
        Maybe it has something to do with the UK not using the Euro like everyone else.
        Maybe it is because of the higher cost of running a different store for each country.

        If you think the price is to high the don't use it. There are plenty of M$ alternatives. Take your pick.
      • I wouldn't be too sure.

        The decision by the ECJ in Virgin v BA pegged an undertaking capable of being subject to the anti-competition laws of Articles 81 and 82 at 37% marketshare. That was in the Aerospace industry where there are about as many key players as in Tech.

        Irrespective of any (here's hoping) mass Apple success, Microsoft will still be of requisite size to be regarded as being in a dominant position at law.
  • PVR is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stecoop (759508) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:34AM (#12075243) Journal
    Apple needs to produce a PVR and start an image of being "the" media center. I know I think of graphic artist when someone talks about using an apple. Now with iPod and that little Mini Mac the circle would be complete with a media center Mac. I would think of Mac as being the elite of home entertainment.
    • Re:PVR is... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tuxq (703148)
      Actually that's not too bad of an idea.
      The Mac Mini would be perfect... They could throw in a beefy 400GB Seagate hard drive... 7200 RPM of course. Maybe 512~1024MB of RAM and it'd be set.
      • Re:PVR is... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mirko (198274)
        I'm not sure these hard disc exist in such a form factor... IIRC, the current limit for this model is 100GB. You'd better use an external FW unit.
        • Re:PVR is... (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tuxq (703148)
          Or better yet over a gigabit network. Before people think I'm exaggarating, think about it. Have a server for storage with 2 or 3 400GB hdd's, all of your movies and music stored on this. Since the Mac Mini's are very cheap, it wouldn't be too hard get a couple. It will be able to record ... encoded on mac, transferred to file server, done. The mac mini (or any pvr) is too small to accomodate multiple large hard drives. Hmm... Anyone wanna start marketing these with me? heh :)
          • Re:PVR is... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by mirko (198274)
            I am not sure the Mac mini has a Gb network interface either.
            • Re:PVR is... (Score:2, Interesting)

              by tuxq (703148)
              Maybe, maybe not ... but it would be a special edition of the Mac Mini. Wireless keyboard/mouse/remote built in, special version of OSX, Gigabit, possibly put the OS on a flash drive since it won't be needed for storage? Ahh.. just wishful thinking.
          • I agree that this is the way to do it, but I would choose to put such a machine in the basement, removing the need for a Mac Mini.

            I see a market niche for a new type of NAS, that doesn't need 100% reliability, and only needs to be fast enough to stream a movie to one device, but should have tons of storage. Could we make cheap, slow, huge hard drives for such a device?

    • by PornMaster (749461) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:57AM (#12075404) Homepage
      Apple certainly doesn't want to be seen as a bastion of piracy. A DVR which can feed into something like Final Cut Pro would be an amazingly great way to master your own show archives, but I think that Steve doesn't want to draw the ire of the TV networks or the movie studios... especially with the whole Pixar connection.
    • Re:PVR is... (Score:5, Informative)

      by emmetropia (527623) <(krewenki) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:17AM (#12075551) Homepage
      Some folks are already on top of this, using the macmini *as* the pvr. http://www.centerstageproject.com/ [centerstageproject.com]
  • Duplicate! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Matt Clare (692178) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:34AM (#12075244) Homepage
    I read this last week!

    http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/2 4/ 1638226&tid=3

    It's true, Slashdot has turned into another Apple rumour site.
    • by justforaday (560408) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:43AM (#12075307)
      They don't count as a real Apple rumor site until they either receive a C&D or have a lawsuit filed against them...
    • Re:Duplicate! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:44AM (#12075317) Homepage Journal
      In fairness, last week you couldn't actually read this (Business 2.0) article (except for the first page.) They've turned off the "subscribers only" thing. There were a number of complaints last time that you couldn't read the article [slashdot.org].
    • by Walkiry (698192)
      That's nothing, I just meta-moderated a couple of comments on a "what's next for apple?" story. For a second here I though slashdot had had broken the time barrier and allowed me to meta-moderate comments that had not been made yet!

      Not sure if the "First Post!" guys would appretiate it though...
    • Re:Duplicate! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeedleSurfer (768029) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:21AM (#12075587)
      I came to realize in life that there aren't any real Apple zealot, there are mostly people constantly feeling the need to defend themselves against anti-mac zealots, people who will say the wrongest of all thing covered in insult and assumption at the very mention of Apple or Mac. The mac basher crowd is so active one can become paranoid and start defending his choice anytime something could be said against the platform because they fear the basher and they love other consummers. Seeing that those consummers might end up with an inferior platform because they believed the anti-mac zealot claim the mac defender roam online publication in search of people like the parent of this post who probably got himself a huge rash when he read the word Apple on Slashdot, another news about Apple?? Insult immediatly followed: "It's true, Slashdot has turned into another Apple rumour site" hopping that by his comment Slashdot editors will cut back on Apple news, in fear of being labeled as Mac lovers, the communist equivalent of the web, Slashdot wouldn't want that he thinks.

      Actually my friend just got a Mac, his first, and he actually likes the mac bashers. Thanks to them he is forced to learn about his computer because they constantly want him to look like a sub-tech with his Mac by asking rethorical questions and passing comments like the one in the parent, because he wants to answer those questions, because he wants to know if what they told him is true and he actually has been had and bought the wrong machine. Each and every time he comes back and laugh at all the bullshit he is told and feels good about himself, he finally understands computers...
      • I feel just the opposite. There are not any real anti mac people just people who get fed up with the cult of mac.
      • Re:Duplicate! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rainman_bc (735332)
        Then there's those of us who really like the Mac, and are fed up with fanboys. We get it, OSX is nice, and you can do some good things with it and it is stable. Fine. The difference is that the cult of mac users seem to think that the rest of the world should use it too for some reason.

        Seriously guys, shut up already.

        Now some mac fanboy's gonna come along and mod this down anyway, in fear that other /. users will see some truth lol.
  • by Lev13than (581686) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:35AM (#12075246) Homepage
    Lev13than writes "Slashdot [slashdot.org] recently ran a fascinating article [slashdot.org] on what might be coming up in Slashdot's future. Besides speculation, some interesting statistics are included, such as how long it takes a dup to get as many comments as the original post, if not surpassing it. A good read for the /. lover or loather."
  • by DavidLeblond (267211) <me.davidleblond@com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:35AM (#12075248) Homepage
    I imagine they'll just keep doing the same thing over and over again...

    Kinda like Slashdot [slashdot.org].
  • Made up percentages? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'd like to know where they came up with these percentages..

    They seem completely overshot. For instance, they have iPhone down as 50%. Personally, I see this more as 5-10%.
    • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:08AM (#12075926) Journal
      I agree with you on the phone. No matter how nice a piece of hardware they can cook up, and no matter how well they think out the features, they're still going to have to wrestle for control with a carrier. Even ignoring the whole Jobs' ego deal, the amount of back and forth compromise will ruin a lot of it.

      Apple makes some expensive stuff, and often overcharges, but they don't try and screw customers over anywhere near as hard as the cell phone carriers do.

      Add in the fact that, in the US at least, almost all cell phone services are subscription or pay per use based. You spend a chunk of change up front for this phone with all these cool features, but then you have to pay a little extra for each one of those features you use every month. That goes totally against Apple's ease-of-use, integrated design philosophy.

      the iTMS has some DRM restrictions on how you can use the songs you purchase, but it doesn't hold a candle to the cell phone crap. $1 for a song that you can put on multiple computers/iPods/CDs vs. a $3.50 midi ringtone of the same song that expires in 90 days? Good luck finding a quality compromise there.
  • Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JackAtCepstral (870238) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:38AM (#12075273) Homepage
    I don't know about other markets, but here in Pittsburgh, I see no Apple TV spots other than for the iPod. I don't get it. They have the greatest consumer-level desktop environment in the world, but they're not pushing it at all. It's as if they're relying solely on word-of-mouth advertising. I really think there needs to be more "power of OS X" type TV commercials to push this kick-ass system.
    • ipod ads a go-go, i've never yet seen an OSX or apple mac advert at all on the TV, and very very few in print. why is this? are they not able to up production?
    • I don't get it. They have the greatest consumer-level desktop environment in the world, but they're not pushing it at all. It's as if they're relying solely on word-of-mouth advertising.

      Apple spent 20 years trying to tell people how great the Mac OS was. It's old hat. No one needs to be told anymore what Macs are like. I had a friend who recently upgraded to a new laptop. His old one was ancient. He knew all the things I did on my computer. He got another PC and constantly asks me how he can do what

      • No one needs to be told anymore what Macs are like.
        Yeah they do, because a lot of people are still holding on to their impressions formed in the Bad Old Days (before OS X).
    • To be fair they put them in all sorts of TV shows and movies...

      They are doing this to get people to see them and say "what's that?" or get others to assume that is what all computers look like.

      It's all about recognition. A newbie can pick the Mac out before a Dell or other plain PC.
  • Personally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tuxedo Jack (648130) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:39AM (#12075287) Homepage
    I wouldn't be surprised at all if they introduced a low-end G5 (as in near Mac Mini) as a grey-box substitute.

    A video iPod is completely plausible, especially if they bundle the xVid codec or some licensed variant of VLC with it - anime fanboys with money'll snap them right up to watch fansubs on the go (about 150MB an episode on average - take three or four series - at 26 episodes apiece - with you plus your tunes). The only concern might be battery life, and whether they would use a passive-matrix or active-matrix screen in addition to how the movies would get on there; presumably, iTunes would figure in, which would imply that it would eventually evolve into a video store in addition to a music venue.

    This may not concern Apple directly, but especially in regards to yesterday's "World's Smallest Linux Box" story, with a few revisions to iPodLinux, it could be possible to use the iPod as a server (plug the Firewire cable into a Cisco switch; they have Firewire expansion cards). It would be interesting to see if Apple could develop software to turn the iPod into a NAS device as well, but an iPod server would just be a cool toy.
    • Re:Personally... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Queer Boy (451309) * <dragon.76@mac.cCOLAom minus caffeine> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:01AM (#12075873)
      A video iPod is completely plausible, especially if they bundle the xVid codec or some licensed variant of VLC with it

      Dude, have you not ever heard of QuickTime? Your statement makes zero sense in the scheme of things.

      If people want to watch TV shows so bad on the go, why haven't pocket TVs been more popular?

      • pocket TVs don't store video. no one wants to be the asshole sitting on a park bench broadcasting commercials to everyone. also, they are too big. finally, mobile devices that you can use intermittently are by far the most useful. I can just slap my cellphone shut and it suspends the current java applet, which generally restores just fine unless it's a game from those hacks at popcap. (bejeweled freaks out basically every time you have to suspend or a call comes in while something is actually happening.) if
      • Re:Personally... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:55PM (#12077853)
        If people want to watch TV shows so bad on the go, why haven't pocket TVs been more popular?

        Because pocket TV's have typically been limited to over-the-air VHF reception, and anyone who's ever owned a set of tabbit-ear TV antennae can tell you how hard it is to get a good signal even from a stationary device. Nevermind zooming across town on a city bus.

        There is a nascent market for portable video players -- witness the marketing campaign for the PSP, the variety of battery-powered DVD players, toys such as VideoNow, etc.

        The market will never be as large as the one for portable audio players, but it will be significant. I fully expect an "iPod video" to follow on the heels of the iPod photo in a year or two. It's simply the logical progression. (And obviously, it will use Quicktime's implementation of MPEG-4 over XviD.)

        And like the iPod photo, Apple will not force you to buy features you don't want; audio-only iPod models will be around forever.
    • And this is why Apple doesn't listen to the average Slashdotter. Think about:

      1) Apple has serious time and money invested in H.264. Why would they bundle the XVid codec?

      2) Apple has no real interest in going after the "anime fanboys" who (illegally?) want to watch fansubs (I don't even know what that means). Apple sold 10 million+ iPods not by targeting elite niche markets with the iPod, but by making it simple and chic enough for the average person to want to use.

      Slashotters tend to hold the belief that
    • > I wouldn't be surprised at all if they introduced a low-end G5 (as in near Mac Mini) as a grey-box substitute.

      This is what apple should be seriously considering. Unlike a mini it should have a normal, not laptop, disk drive. It should have an AGP slot and PCI slots. It should have PS2 connectors and more than two USB connectors. It doesnt have to be as powerful as a G5 (hell, they could get away with a g4), but if they really want to court the PC world, they have to do better than what the mini has
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:41AM (#12075302)
    Next up iKickass. The program that makes people actually think all the schlock they make with garageband and imovie is worth listening to/watching.
    • The fact that Apple has empowered people of average talent to be able to make their own content hasn't changed the fact that these people have average talent.
  • WiPod (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bbzzdd (769894) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:43AM (#12075312)

    The Wireless iPod is a certainty. I can't wait. Looks like Apple has filed patents for wireless podjacking support; sharing playlists over WiFi.

  • A two-button mouse, perhaps?
  • by ajb2718 (842302) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:48AM (#12075347) Journal
    They will continue to take away rights. iTunes version 4.7.1 only allows streaming to 5 unique users per day, it used to support any 5 simultaniuse users.
    • with people attacking their DRM constantly (psymusique, hymm, etc), they have no choice but to tighten it more and more. yes, they could "loosen" their control, but i honestly believe they were able to find harmony between DRM and users rights with what they have in iTunes.

      the real way to stick it to them if you don't agree with DRM is not to use/buy their product. no one's forcing people to buy from iTunes or to even buy an iPod. yet, people bitch and moan about Apple's DRM. the mainstream music indus

      • by Watts Martin (3616) <layotl&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @03:12PM (#12079008) Homepage
        Yes, absolutely.

        This is an interesting paradox I'm not sure the "hack to free the music" crowd has entirely thought through. You may feel that any DRM is too much DRM, and I respect that, but I may feel that a given DRM is livable enough for my purposes--like Apple's scheme for iTunes. I do own my music (unlike, say, Napster's subscription model), and I don't consider the restrictions on burning and sharing sufficiently onerous.

        However, if you--in this case, "you" being "DVD Jon," or people with similar mindsets--decide that because you don't like that restriction, the proper response is not to simply avoid iTunes but to break iTunes' DRM, you put Apple in a position where they have to slap duct tape over the hole you've made. The chances are that the "duct tape" they're using makes their DRM scheme fractionally more restrictive. And if you keep at it, eventually Apple's countermeasures will leave me with a product which no longer meets my needs. You will at that point have forced me to either stop using the iTunes store, or to join you in the DRM arms race. Your attempts to "protect my freedom" will, from my point of view, have had the opposite effect.

        I understand the philosophical objection to DRM, and I'd prefer it if the iTMS was closer to Magnatune (in both lack of restriction and choice of downloadable music formats). But I'm not convinced that monkeywrenching is the ideal response -- or ultimately, even a very good one.
    • by HarryZink (68053) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:27AM (#12076082)
      > They will continue to take away rights. iTunes version
      > 4.7.1 only allows streaming to 5 unique users per day,
      > it used to support any 5 simultaniuse users.

      Yes, you are right - you can thank DVD Jon, and others, for that, for a) complaining about DRM (yet doing absolutely NOTHING about Windows DRM), and b) complaining that them hacking it is Apple's fault, for making it too easy. ...and then you're worried that Apple is forced to tighten their DRM (yet, still maintaining it as open for the consumer as they can)

      Please, lay blame where it belongs, and it's not at Apple's feet!
      • Yes, you are right - you can thank DVD Jon, and others, for that, for

        You are nuts. Sorry but it had to be said

        a) complaining about DRM (yet doing absolutely NOTHING about Windows DRM),

        WMV10 DRM is cracked. You need a valid license to remove the encryption but afaik it's the same with iTMS

        and b) complaining that them hacking it is Apple's fault, for making it too easy. ...and then you're worried that Apple is forced to tighten their DRM (yet, still maintaining it as open for the consumer as they can)

    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:56AM (#12076371)
      WMP is unusable, not letting you share at all!

      In fact what other players do let you share? They are all terrible!

      Ban media players now!
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:52AM (#12075368)
    As appealing as a proposed video iPod might be, I doubt it would sell in large numbers. The difference between music and video is that music can be a background activity. One can work, read /., jog, talk with friends, drive a car, etc. whilst music is playing. In contrast, video requires too much visual engagement -- some super-multitaskers might disagree, but even that small group is unlikely to watch video as much as they might listen to music.

    Whereas large numbers of people can imagine themselves using an iPod everyday and at many times of day, much fewer people can see themselves using a vPod and for much fewer hours per day.
    • and a vPod would be good for playing them back. With some good software you can have play back a video to the screen at times and at others just play the music.

      Some videos actually make the music make more sense, then again a few make your head shake in bewilderment too.

      As for when to watch the video and such... riding a stationary bike (I already read while I use one) to using a treadmill.

      You could also expand the education impact by using vidoes as well. From pay for courses off the net to having sc
    • by simpl3x (238301)
      As with the mobile devices, convergence is key. If you can simply and elegantly incorporate video, imaging, games, etc... people will follow, at least occassionally. The iPod photo requires engagement. Look at mobile games, for so many a cell phone is too little and a PSP is too much. If Apple can gaqrner a few more sales out of those who lust for all things electronic, but who only game occassionally, they will gain some significant revenue.

      I am intereszted in developing games on the platform.
  • It's a dup but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by digithead (132919) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:54AM (#12075385)
    ...at least this time you can read the full article w/o being a subscriber. If you're into RTFA that is.
  • Games? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:57AM (#12075405)
    Knowing Apple suing left and right for speculations, I must post anonymously.

    Hopefully and probably, I am not the only person contacted by Apple's HR for job "feeler" ("Do you want to work for Apple?").

    Because I only post my resume's on Gamasutra, I'm speculating that Apple is beginning to search for programmers and developers specific to games.

    Could Apple be jumping onto the bandwagon towards game softwares?
    • Re:Games? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bnenning (58349) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @02:36PM (#12078441)
      Could Apple be jumping onto the bandwagon towards game softwares?

      There were a couple of recent stories on the rumor sites about Apple looking to hire engineers to improve their OpenGL support, with speculation that this could be in response to Doom 3's relatively poor performance on OS X.
  • by Stick_Fig (740331) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:01AM (#12075433) Homepage
    To paraphrase a wise man, myself, who paraphrased a wise man, Steve Jobs [slashdot.org], Why is it that the people who keep posting repeats at Slashdot just don't get it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:03AM (#12075447)
    From the article:
    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who remains a Jobs confidant and sounding board, believes that the only reason Apple hasn't done video is "they haven't found the right product yet -- and Jobs isn't willing to make a mediocre product."
  • i'd like to see iTune support for the PSP, maybe add video download to it.
    • Re:apple and sony (Score:2, Interesting)

      by eboot (697478)
      My god that is funny... You do realise the PSP isnt really directly competing against the DS (different markets) but against the iPod. Its supposed to be the device that will make Sony hip again...Time will tell obviously, but I doubt Apple will just hand over the market to Sony. Seems unlikely. I think Apple should partner up with Nintendo and release The Fanboy AdvancePod. Man I know I'd buy it, being an Apple and Nintendo fanboy.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:18AM (#12075561)
    is to offer the iTunes Music Store in Australia (and other countries where its not offered).
    Not having the ITMS in australia is almost certainly hurting iPod sales since people are more inclined to buy an MP3 player that works with the australian music services (which as far as I am aware all use Windows Media DRM) instead of an iPod which doesnt play any music you can legally buy from an online music store in australia.
    If they can offer the ITMS to the US, the UK and all the other countries where it is offered, what is so !@#$#@!@# hard about offering it to us aussies?
  • Next... (Score:2, Funny)

    by krunchyfrog (786414)
    and iEye?
  • I think Apple will add integrated PS3 as (optional?) add-on in Mac computers for $200. It will use computer's blue-ray and display only, otherwise it will be independant from the rest of Mac. MS's only remaining stronghold (games) will be lost, which opens door for Apple to real volume desktop market. Sony will OTOH fill the planet with PS3 games (which is what metters to them). I expect thay will make a deal to have iPod support in stand-alone PS3.
    • There have been similar schemes in the past (the 3DO card comes to mind), but they usually run into economic problems -- meaning the add-on card costs more than the stand-alone game console. Simple economies of scale almost guarantee that. And the result is. . . nobody buys them.

      Now. . . If Apple were to produce something like a Mac Mini that had PS3 hardware built-in and used the PS3's GPU as its one-and-only display system, then the economics might add up. It could be manufactured cheaply.

      Problem
      • 720p ATSC? Are you kidding me? Any next generation console that can't output 1920x1080i is dead in the water.

        I guarantee that Sony won't make that mistake. What do you think BluRay is afterall?

        Bryan
        • Errr. . . . Some of us still hold the opinion that 720p is better than 1080i, and that all interlacing is the work of The Devil. It's shameful that ATSC even includes interlace formats.

          Also remember, we're talking about a computer here. So even if I were to grudgingly accept that interlace is acceptable on a TV set, surely we can all agree that you don't want it on your computer monitor. (Remember people making fun of Amiga "jitters" back in the 1980s?)
    • This idea is absolutely ridiculous. While it MIGHT address the "no games for the mac" issue, no one is going to buy it. Computer games and console games are fundamentally different. Console games are designed so you can crash on the sofa, grab a controller and go to town. Computer games, OTOH, heavily utlize a keyboard and mouse for precision control and chat functions and are often designed to keep your attention more focused. It is an entirely different mentality. Very few people want to grab a cont
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:36AM (#12075704)
    Specifically, the ability to fit your entire music collection on it. That is the basis for its dominance over other MP3 players. It's just so much more convenient to load everything once, and update every now and then, than it is to get into the capacity-management required with a player that only holds a few MB. THAT is the key to the iPod's ease of use--just load and use.

    Once you start having to delete songs to make room for other songs, you're into the realm of trying to predict what you'll want to listen to later. It's a much better user experience to just have it all with you. The interface and ID is nice, but the capacity is what really makes it convenient.

    To replicate that in video is the next frontier. Jobs would need to convince the industry to allow him to build a device that decodes CSS and allows storage of movies on a HD. Then he would need to source huge-capacity drives at very low prices. Then he would need to squeeze it all into a stereo-rack-size component with great ID and a clean interface.

    Imagine the convenience of having all your DVDs available at the touch of a button whenever you sit down on your couch. Even better, imagine having a nice clean easy-to-use interface to download DVDs (through the iTMS).

    He is in a very good position to do it. He has a good record of protecting DRM for the music industry (or at least trying hard to). He is already a movie industry player. And he runs a studio, giving him a sympathetic connection to other studio heads trying to protect their movies. They're all in it together--he's one they can trust.

    Downloading movies will be a much harder deal for several reasons. Obviously there is a bandwidth issue. But possibly worse, it is in direct competition with the on-demand services that many TV service providers are rolling out. Since cable modems outnumber DSL 2 to 1, a large portion of the delivery network would be under the control of what is essentially a competitor to the video iTMS. Plus, many DSL providers have long-running plans to offer TV over DSL. And Jobs does not have any existing or special relationships with network service providers. He would likely need to develop them to make it work.
  • by Pingsmoth (249222) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:51AM (#12075786) Homepage
    what would be nice is a video equivalent of the iTMS. Netflix has the best distribution model right now (not counting "Video on Demand" from cable companies, but DVDs are still more versatile) but as bandwidth continues to climb, the true video revolution will take place on the desktop computer. It's a lot like what's happened with music--why buy a CD if you can download it for the same price and make your own CD?

    Apple should have a QtVS (Quicktime Video Store) where you can browse through thousands of films, TV shows, recorded speeches, documentaries, and videos. You could preview them much like you can with the iTMS and its music selections. Then, for a price comparable to a DVD, you could download these videos and burn your own DVDs. And now with H.264 coming in full force during the next few months, these videos could have very high quality with rather small file sizes.

    In the next decade, the movie industry is going to find itself in the same position as the music industry was a few years ago, and it will have to change and adapt. Apple should be ready, and be able to offer a viable solution.
  • Think Secret (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JSRockit (852295)
    At least Business 2.0 didn't jack the palmtop mac running a light version of OS X rumor from www.macrumors.com ... It was a thoughtful article that did not rely on the same old rumors from maczealotville. Each products makes sense, even if it will ultamatelty become vaporware.
  • by Bodhammer (559311) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:38AM (#12076200)
    Dear Steve,

    Last week had two events of significance for me. One was the digitizer on my Palm Tungsten T died and the other was the Sony PSP was released. The problem is that I don't want either of them. There is nothing that I want to replace my TT with and I don't want a PSP.

    What I want is the Apple Newton II!

    Here is my recipe for the new Newton:

    One Tapwave Zodiac (gaming but Palm compatability)

    One PSP (screen aspect ratio and quality, build quality, 802.11/USB, and a (soon) real game library)

    one Zaurus SL-C3000 (modern CPU hardware, form factor with keyboard and touchscreen (twistable), open source OS (linux or xBSD), hard drive, CF slots), real I/O

    Add iPod mini functionality and storage >= 10Gb

    Add Newton HWR(inkwell?) and general Newton goodness

    Add replacable AA batteries that will last a FULL day so I'm never stuck

    Vendor support of an active development community
    MS Outlook sync for PDA functions (calendar and contacts) (my job requires it, what can I say....)

    Stir to make it all cool and integrated and still be work meeting/date/wife safe

    I would pay $699 tomorrow for all of this and even pay $50 a year for a software subscription for the basics.

    What do you say Steve, can I have one?
    • Bad idea (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:11PM (#12077260) Journal
      Don't even mention the Newton in Steve's presence. He'll kick you in the nuts, pour hot tar into your hair, go over to your house and kill your cat, then piss in your corn flakes, all the while muttering, "Goddamn sugar water salesman."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:04PM (#12076444)
    Um, ins't that the company that bought Apple in 1997? Or am I being redundant?
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @03:04PM (#12078861) Homepage Journal

    ...because they're too intelligent to do so, and here's why:

    As a composer, as much as I hate to admit it: for most people, music is no more than a background to their day to day lives. If you think about it, you could, feasibly, listen to music about 80% of your waking life, and still remain productive in most individual activities (most jobs, driving, walking/exercising). Most humans only need their hearing for communication, but solitary activity--which takes up most people's time--requires little to no communication, meaning the aural senses are free to do other things, like listen to music. However, most tasks, individual or cooperative, require constant usage of the visual senses, making video far less attractive as a background activity while doing other things. Think about your day to day life, how much time, do you think, you could spend, while not at home or at a computer, watching video? It requires a time in which both the visual or auditory senses are free. For a huge majority of people, that period of time is extremely small. The only market for a portable video player is for those that use mass transit, this may seem substantial in some cities, but it's still a very small percentage of the American population. Also consider that the smallest unit of video is 30 minutes, so a video player is only reasonable for a person who can find time on the go for 30 minutes or more of visual distraction. People do not have to change their day to day routines for portable audio, but they would have to "find time" for portable video.

    Apple have always seen themselves as a champion of the common people, in a similar fashion to Ford Motor Company when it first began. Their original intention was to create a computer which everyone (at least a large majority of people) could use... their only mistake (as opposed to Henry Ford's success) was that they didn't create a computer which everyone could afford. Apple have never been, and never will be, intentionally a provider of hardware products for niche markets. The iPod built on a mainstream market that was already there: portable audio, something that's been around since Sony's "Walkman" in the early 80s. There is to date, no mainstream market for portable video, and there isn't nearly enough public outcry to create one.

    The only mainstream market for portable entertainment devices other than purely auditory hardware is video games. The unit of measurement in playing a video game is one level, usually around 2-4 minutes tops for most portable games, a chunk of time that's much more manageable while on the go. Also, consider that a huge majority of school age children are either driven or take a bus to school every morning, so having a portable video game unit aimed at children has a huge market. Playing games is also, obviously, an offshoot of solitary play, something that children have always done on busses, or when they have free time. Being entertained, however, is not something that children have done on a regular basis while away from a house. Even so, don't expect Apple to get in on the portable video game market any time soon. Nintendo's Gameboy Advance SP is already the iPod of the industry, and arguably does everything that it needs to in a simplistic and portable form which seems uncannily similar to Apple's line of development. This is also the same reason why I believe, without question, that the Sony PSP will fail as a mainstream device, it does far more and is far more complicated than the average child (the bulk of the market) has use for during transit, but that's another topic.

    To sum things up, the only way Apple will ever make anything close to a portable video device is that in the next year or two they will undoubtedly add video support to the iPod Photo. Like video confrencing in iChat, it will be a gimmick, and no one will ever use it, but it won't matter anyway because that isn't the reason people buy an iPod in the first place.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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