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Apple to Rule the Digital Home by 2013? 223

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the apple-speculation-america's-new-pastime dept.
Stony Stevenson writes to tell us that a new study from Forrester Research is taking a crack at what seems to have become a hobby for so many, predicting Apple's market strategy. Specifically, Forrester is predicting that Apple will become the 'hub of the digital home by 2013.' "Forrester predicts that Apple will offer eight key products and services to connect PCs and digital content to the TV-stereo infrastructure in consumers' homes. A 're-engineered' Apple Store will expand into in-home installation services to deliver what Forrester describes as a 'fully integrated digital experience.'"
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Apple to Rule the Digital Home by 2013?

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  • Quick summary: (Score:5, Informative)

    by kaos07 (1113443) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:26PM (#23524876)
    Maybe I'm just hungover but to me the article seems to be nothing but: "Blah blah blah Apple. Blah blah Apple Blah Apple Blah."
    • Re:Quick summary: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) * on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:31PM (#23524902) Homepage
      No, it's more like Blah Blah Blah Apple. Digital. Blah Blah Blah. Apple. Shiny. Blah Blah Blah. Apple. TV.

      Much more in depth than you made it out to be.

    • Re:Quick summary: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mrbluze (1034940) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:56PM (#23525028) Journal

      "Blah blah blah Apple. Blah blah Apple Blah Apple Blah."

      Yeah, it's total crap. Not every home even has a drier, or a microwave oven (surprise surprise) or even a TV. Heaps of people don't own anything more than a small radio and cheap TV.

      Apple is not going to rule the home because it cannot produce products that everybody can afford.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)
        Who cares about everybody? Apple only cares about people with money. Preferably, those who are easily parted from it.

        Remember those ads from the 1950s promising the easy life if you only buy their special new product, firmly targeting the (at the time) new middle class? That's Apple, today.
        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Apple only cares about people with money.
          And remember, at least here in the US, there are fewer and fewer of those as a percentage of the whole population.

          And the money we have is shrinking as I type this.

          Did you know, by the way, that the government's figures for inflation do not include the cost of energy or food?

          Here's a bet: Within 2 years there will be a "new Apple" who succeeds by using Apple's original vision.
      • by DuncanE (35734) *
        Hmmmm I agree that many people only have a small radio and cheap TV and a phone of some kind, but what if you replaced the small radio and phone with iphone connected to a cheap TV.

        All content (tv episodes, movies rentals, music of course) would be purchased from the iphone and played on the TV.
    • Re:Quick summary: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @02:16AM (#23525732) Journal
      Honestly, it's not even a new idea. Not worth writing about. I read an article (in Newsweek) back in the late 90s, shortly after Jobs came back to Apple, and Jobs himself outlined this exact same strategy: to become the center of the living room. It's not even a unique strategy. Microsoft has been trying the exact same thing, which is why they are willing to take such a huge loss on x-box. It's a market that may not even exist, and yet if it does the payout is so huge that many players are willing to spend a lot of money to try to get in there.

      If you ask me, so far Nintendo's been the most successful.
  • Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by willyhill (965620) <pr8wak@@@gmail...com> on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:27PM (#23524884) Homepage Journal
    The massive success of Apple TV sure put them on the right track.
    • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:59PM (#23525048)
      Until iTunes can be used as a media player AND a bittorrent client, I don't think it'll happen (at least not for me)

      Hell, think of the marketing! "You have two options of getting your media; via iTMS, or for free via BitTorrent" I'd buy that shit in a heartbeat
      • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

        by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:04PM (#23525066)
        "House corrupted. Please set fire to it and use itunes to restore."
      • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

        by willyhill (965620) <pr8wak@@@gmail...com> on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:07PM (#23525102) Homepage Journal
        I don't know why I got modded as funny, I wasn't going for the humour there. I had great hopes for Apple TV, because for once the same company would be doing both the hardware and the software in a single, well-supported and integrated package. And yeah, imagine if you could torrent free and licensed content off to the set top box.

        I'm not sure why people seem to think it's taboo to talk about how Apple TV didn't make the cut. So not all their products are going to be perfect - big deal. The road to success is not always paved with the detritus of your earlier home runs. Sometimes you have to work harder.

        I'm not sure if the premise of the article is valid, but I do believe that if someone can make the media center revolution happen, it's Apple.

        • I just saw it as a blog post with a bunch of buzz words.

          I don't see where it is taboo to say AppleTV isn't up to par. I think it's a fine example to keep to show that Apple doesn't always make a hit the first time around. I'd like to see some better competition, the secrets to Apple's successes aren't secret, most of the information is out there, but maybe it's constantly misinterpreted or poorly adapted to an incompatible culture or management style.

          I really don't want one company to have all the keys to
          • bit terrent (Score:3, Insightful)

            by falconwolf (725481)

            And I really doubt that any company, even Apple, would really want to or be able to serve up paid media and install BT to link into illegal distribution of copyrighted materials onto their box like that

            Bittorrent is quite capable of distributing legal media as well as illegal. I'm not a content provider however if I did make movies and or music I very well may use Bittorrent for distribution. I'd use it to distribute low quality version of whatever then allow a high quality version to be downloaded for

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          if someone can make the media center revolution happen, it's Apple.
          See, the thing about successful revolutions is that they are normally inclusive of the classes that are less than richest and most powerful. Sometimes, they even include the masses.

          Now, do you think Apple represents the masses? Do the richest and most powerful among us really need a revolution on their behalf?
        • by Arkham (10779)
          The first rendition of Apple TV left a lot of people scratching their heads. What was it good for? I sure didn't know.

          But the "Take 2" version, especially with the price cut and the hacks to enable a web browser, weather, news feeds, etc, make it a pretty compelling box.

          I bought one at the new lower price, and I am getting a lot of use from it. Even my wife thinks it's cool, and as non-technical as she is, the TiVo was the last thing I bought that got such a positive reaction, so I think Apple TV has a b
      • by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:15AM (#23526352)

        Until iTunes can be used as a media player AND a bittorrent client, I don't think it'll happen (at least not for me)

        Bittorrent? What's that? Isn't that something that pirates and terrorists use to exploit poor starving artists?

        iTunes and the iPod have been successful because of the public perception that they just work - now, you can debate how true that is if you like, but that's the line. Part of that ease of use is exactly because they force you to use iTunes (the software*) - which annoys slashdotters who want to mount their mp3 player under Debian and copy .ogg files to it, but is a matter of sheer indifference to the mass market, who like the seamlessness that comes from the monolithic approach.

        As for the AppleTV: at the moment, whereas the iTunes store is there to sell iPods, the AppleTV is there to sell iTunes video, and to "tick a box" so that people buying video for their iPods know there's an Apple-branded solution to show them on the big screen. Once the online video market has "come of age" (which will also need a bit of a revolution in broadband availability & capacity) Apple might get serious about the AppleTV.

        (*Of course, iTunes the software doesn't force you to buy your media from iTunes, the store - it will happily rip audio CDs, accept MP3s and unprotected AACs from any source - legal or otherwise - and a google for "rip DVD to iTunes" produces a heap of solutions: if you know Bittorrent you probably know Google)

    • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ilyon (1150115) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:42AM (#23525412)

      You can laugh now, but a slow introduction of an Apple product does not guarantee eventual failure.

      Estimates indicate 1-1.5 million Apple TVs were sold in their first year on the market [wikipedia.org].

      In comparison, the iPod sold 376,000 units in their first year on the market [wikipedia.org]. We're not laughing at iPod now, are we?

  • No they won't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by awitod (453754) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:33PM (#23524908)
    It'll be either one of the console vendors Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony (Probably Microsoft if they can get their heads out their asses on the matter of DRM. The XBox 360/Windows Media stuff works pretty well already and is simple to set up) or a set-top box vendor (again if they can come up with a DRM strategy).

    Apple doesn't make anything that hooks to a TV that has any critical mass.
    • Perhaps it's wishful thinking but I honestly suspect that Nintendo is the one that will pull it off, and largely because they tend to fly under Sony and Microsoft's radar.
      • by DAldredge (2353)
        Perhaps - but the Nintendo version will only work at NTSC resolutions and most of the advertisements for the product will avoid showing details of the actual product instead using cheap camera tricks to distract the viewer. But I could be wrong.
    • Re:No they won't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:42PM (#23524950) Homepage Journal

      It'll be either one of the console vendors Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony
      If Sony was capable they could have easily done it by now. They've been selling all of the components, mostly successfully, for many years. They don't seem interested in integration.

      Nintendo doesn't seem interested in providing the full experience, either. They focus heavily on each individual product.

      Microsoft definitely has the strongest ambition. But they do often shoot themselves in the foot.
      • by laffer1 (701823)
        The problem I see is that sony and apple will charge too much to get a large install base. Some people are willing to buy PS3s either for gaming or blue ray. In order to rule the home, they have to be in most homes. I just don't see anything at $500 doing that. Two years ago, one could predict Microsoft or Nintendo doing this. At the moment, most people are still dealing with sticker shock for gas prices. Now if someone delivers on HD cheaply and with downloads, perhaps. I have an Apple TV, and I don
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Telvin_3d (855514)
        Well, the one thing Apple consistently does well is taking the little things that everyone else is doing, bringing them all together and making it work. It's rare that they are the first ones with an idea. It's common that they are the first ones to make an idea workable. Now, they may or may not do it, but if in a few years they are repeating the iPor/iPhone success in a household setting and all the critics are saying 'they are not doing anything new, why does this version seem to click for everyone' I
    • Re:No they won't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate&hotmail,com> on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:45PM (#23524968) Homepage Journal
      I was thinking the same thing. The way the 360 integrates with an internal computer network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.

      Other than perhaps a less clunky interface, I can't imagine how Apple could trump that.
      • Re:No they won't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by lucas teh geek (714343) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:02AM (#23525296)

        I was thinking the same thing. The way the 360 integrates with an internal Windows network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.
        I fixed that for you. Microsoft's failure to allow the 360 to stream over widely supported protocols is pathetic. you can't even use SMB, which they developed themselves. even using the one windows pc in the house with WMP11 I've had endless troubles with getting the 360 to see the damn pc. uPNP seems pretty half baked if you ask me.

        maybe I've had my expectations set too high after using xbox media centre for so long, but after being able to watch pretty much any video format over nearly any protocol the 360's media "integration" just seems like a polished turd
      • The way the 360 integrates with an internal computer network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.

        Other than perhaps a less clunky interface, I can't imagine how Apple could trump that.

        With built in network ports, Ethernet and WiFi, Apple TV can also integrate with a computer network, and it works with Windows and OS X. It can serve up movies, music, and photos. And it works with standard as well as HDTVs.

        Falcon
        • by Lars T. (470328)
          And in case the OP still wants to see the trump - compare the noise from a 360 and an Apple TV.
    • PS3 or Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang (1023425)
      My money is on the PS3 or Wii.

      For the PS3, Sony has been helpful in getting Linux to run on it. The most important factor is the blu-ray capability. I know a lot of people who bought a PS3 just for the blu-ray. They own no games 'cept what came in the box.

      The Wii is an exceptional game machine. Nintendo hit their target right on and that fact that the Wii is outselling the PS3 and Xbox combined speaks volumes. If the Wii offered up blu-ray, it would dominate even more.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Nintendo know how to keep things simple and too the point. MS will try to shove it down your throat and tell you what movies you are ALLOWED to watch; PS3 will tell you how you ARE going to use it and that it IS the best GODDAMN thing ever. The Wii will just meekly do what you want in an entertaining way.

      Yes, I know it will be a different version of the Wii to support HDMI and 1080p. I think all of them will need at else t ONE more version change before it has the chance, including Apple.

      Of course, there al
  • by schwep (173358) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:38PM (#23524936)
    Because nobody would ever need more than 1 button on a mouse, nobody would ever need more than 1 button on a TV remote.
    • by vikstar (615372) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:32PM (#23525184) Journal
      It makes Guitar Hero much easier [eero.info].
    • The mighty mouse which arrived yesterday has 4 buttons and trakball.

      Of corse if you just look at a mighty mouse at the shops you won't notice because the designers made the mouse lokke like it has no buttons at all.

      Martin
  • by voidstin (51561) on Friday May 23, 2008 @10:54PM (#23525016)
    How they get people to pay thousands of dollars for this "research" is amazing. Can anyone ever remember someone saying "Damn! Forrester totally called it!"

    The 4 new products they predict are:

    * AppleSound universal music controller
    what, for the times when you are out of earshot of itunes, ipod or apple tv? or so you can sync them? I don't see the market here.

    * Network-enabled gadgets
    like a chumby? or an ambient orb?

    * In-home installation services
    apple geek squad? Ok, this may be true, but really... yawn...

    * Apple home server product
    This is the only one that MAY be interesting, but that's probably just because they don't say much about it. isn't this what the mini is? or mini+drobo?

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:11PM (#23525112)
      Well there may be a market for a universal controller, the problem is that they've been beaten to it. The best example would be the Logitech Harmony remotes. These things control, well, everything. You log on to the website and tell it what gear you have and how it's connected, it sends you the data to program your remote to control it (remotes hook up via USB). Gone are the days of digging through code books, you just tell it what you got, and it does the rest.

      So it isn't as though Apple can just waltz in to this arena and amaze people, the products already exist, and they are already easy to use. It also already works with Apple stuff. Put an iPod in your Yamaha receiver (many have iPod docks) and the receiver will control it remotely, and the Harmony will control the receiver.

      Sounds to me like this guy is an Apple fan who hasn't really done his homework about what is actually out there, or done any real business analysis of if a market would be good for Apple to get in to. As you noted for home installation services, that's a big yawn. To the extent people buy that, they are going to buy it from the retailer they get the hard drives from, like bigscreen TVs. This isn't the sort of thing someone is going to think "Man, I'd better call Apple and have them pick up my TV from Best Buy and install it." It's hard to sell "cool" in the mark of in home installations and it takes only a minor look at Apple's business to realise that selling cool is what they do. The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, it wasn't the cheapest, etc. What it was is the one that made MP3 players cool to have, that made them a fashion accessory.

      I really wish Slashdot wouldn't post fanboy crap like this. Just because it doesn't come from a blog, doesn't mean it isn't just a fanboy drooling over what they think would be cool. There seems to be no business case for any of this, just wild speculation.
      • Sounds to me like this guy is an Apple fan who hasn't really done his homework about what is actually out there, or done any real business analysis of if a market would be good for Apple to get in to.

        While these systems, like X10 [wikipedia.org], and services already exist Apple has a record of moving into something and putting pieces together with a polished UI and selling it, such as the iPod and iPhone. What Apple doesn't have is a record of going into homes however they can put a system together to control home aut [wikipedia.org]

      • by dangitman (862676)

        The best example would be the Logitech Harmony remotes. These things control, well, everything.

        What? They control my devices that connect via Bluetooth, with an infrared transmitter? They control my ethernet-connected devices with the same IR remote? That is pretty amazing, but somehow I don't think it's true.

      • by stang (90261)

        Well there may be a market for a universal controller, the problem is that they've been beaten to it. The best example would be the Logitech Harmony remotes. These things control, well, everything. You log on to the website and tell it what gear you have and how it's connected, it sends you the data to program your remote to control it (remotes hook up via USB). Gone are the days of digging through code books, you just tell it what you got, and it does the rest.

        Do you have one? I do. Heres the thing. Its d

    • Actually there's a pretty good market in home installations now, with media centers, automatic systems, and remote control like X10 [smarthome.com] being installed. I've seen 3 or 4 magazines that focus on these like "Smart Homeowner" [smart-homeowner.com] and "Electronic House" [electronichouse.com]. Falcon

  • If apple gave a little innovation into a gaming system and an audio system, that was half as innovative as an iPhone, half as quiet as a Mac mini, half as sexy as as any other Apple product, I bet they would.

    Now the bad : apple has no history of creating amplifiers, TVs , or game systems. Still, looking at the success of the iPhone and their laptops, I would not be surprised if they just came out with a Sony/Nintendo/MS Xbox killer multi function device.

    Hey APPLE, please do not make it dependent on damn ITU
    • by pizzach (1011925)

      Now the bad : apple has no history of creating amplifiers, TVs , or game systems. Still, looking at the success of the iPhone and their laptops, I would not be surprised if they just came out with a Sony/Nintendo/MS Xbox killer multi function device.

      My mind isn't working 100% right now from lack of caffeine, so I'm just going to give you the link for interesting reading to Apple's one and only game system, the Pippin. [wikipedia.org]

    • by geekoid (135745)
      "apple has no history of creating amplifiers,"
      the ampliefier is done. There really is no difficulty here. There well understood and everyone with 1 year of electronic interest knows how to make them. The only question is quality, and I'll give Apple that one. They have continued to improve and learn.

      "TVs"
      Apple doesn't need to create TVs, they just need HDMI. I would be surprised to see Apple try to compete with all the new 1080 stuff. It seem to me that the market for that has all the entries it needs.

      ANd i
      • Apple doesn't need to create TVs, they just need HDMI.

        Apple TV does HDMI and is compatible with many TV resolutions.

        Falcon
    • by nguy (1207026) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @02:42AM (#23525806)
      Hey APPLE, please do not make it dependent on damn ITUNES.

      That's where they make their money. And making money by locking in users matters to Apple just as much as to Microsoft.
    • I just got an iphone to get rid of that piece of shit E65 after promising everyone, that it was my last ever nokia.

      Yea, I can kick myself for buying the Nokia item I bought. A bit over 10 years ago I saw a 21" Nokia monitor and liked it, so as I was looking for a large monitor I bought one. I didn't have it a year before paying to send it into their repair facility because the display was wrong. After getting it back a week or two later it still had the same problem. It was nice while it worked but i

  • by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:06PM (#23525080)
    Now know this, you newly minted Mac users - if you use Apple equipment for any length of time, you wind up with the same hobby: predicting Apple's market strategy.

    It's fun and easy to do, and you soon learn that you can do just as good a job as Forrester or Gartner or Cringley, and do a lot better than Metcalf, Michael Dell or Dvorak (not the keyboard layout, as even a keyboard layout can provide better market analysis than that guy).

    Bold predictions! You can make bold predictions -

    "Steve Jobs will buy Adobe!"
    "Steve Wozniak will mary a famous comedienne!"
    "iPhone will be the first earth technology bough by alien visitors as it's superior to their own!"
    "Apple will shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders!"

    - Ok, I admit that it's unlikely Woz will marry a famous comedienne, but other than that, as long as it's outlandish and over-the-top, there's a one-in-a-million chance it might come true, and as Terry Pratchett readers, we know one-in-a-million chances crop up nine times out of ten.

    Articles like this are just the encouragement newly fledged Apple pundits need to start rolling their own... and it's a small step from speculation to rumor-mongering! That's where the action's really at.

    (And, you didn't hear it from me, but the next rev of iTunes will knock your socks clean off, employing bayesian fuzzy-logic heuristic inference engines to predict with 89% accuracy what you want to hear before you hear it, or so I heard from a little bird who's working on "Project BHA-II")
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      The Woz might be a candidate for a husband for maybe Rosanne Barr if she ever becomes available :^)
  • According to that Forrester article:

    The eight essential pillars on which Apple will deliver this platform, based on four existing offerings and four new product concepts, are expected to be:

    * Apple Macintosh home PC
    * Apple TV digital media extender
    * Apple Store
    * iTunes and its successors
    * Apple home server product
    * AppleSound universal
    • by lakeland (218447)
      That was a really good idea about the iphone.

      After all, it already syncs with bluetooth devices, so why not a keyboard and a mouse? A cable that provide HDMI and we're there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Their other big play between now an 2013 could be videogames. There's no reason why Apple can't release its own Xbox - I'm sure Intel would be happy to lend them a lot of engineering help in order to establish a presence in that market. Make the device function with iPhones and serve as a media hub, sell it for $300 or less and watch as it erodes the market for more expensive gaming devices from its rivals. The iPhone is already poised to become a successful portable gaming device in its own right.

      Apple cou
      • by Chrisje (471362)
        Why this post hasn't been modded +5 Insightful escapes me completely. Apple has never, ever been either cheap or particularly orthogonal, let alone both at the same time.

        I'm not seeing it happen.
  • But there are a couple of developments mentioned that I consider likely, or at least plausible.

    The first is a fancy NAS, aka. "home server" (But not called that, of course. Whoever thought up that moniker was practically begging to have their gadget ignored by the mainstream). The Time Capsule's hardware is probably already sufficient for a lot of tasks (although they'll probably sell a new souped up model with the new features instead), and more software integration with OSX and iPods/iPhones/AppleTVs se
  • Why wait until then? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:12PM (#23525116) Homepage Journal
    I have a PopcornHour Networked Digital Media Tank. I can play video files of any format including subtitles from any PC on the network on my HDTV, audio files from any PC on the network on my stereo.

    I can also use it to play any streaming video or audio from the net, browse Google Video and Youtube and many others from my couch... and it even has a built-in bittorrent client if I want to download media to the internal hard drive.

    All in a little box the size of an external drive enclosure... with a remote. USB inputs, network inputs, HDMI out, etc.

    All for a couple of hundred bucks. Which I'm sure is a fraction of what Apple will be charging when theirs comes to market in a few years.

  • by Orcspit (600792) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:12PM (#23525118)
    Does this mean I'll have to send my "digital home" off to a service center three months after I buy it to?
    • No - but whereas in your analogue home you can sit back and look at the damp patch slowly spreading on the wall and think "I must get that fixed before it starts sprouting fungus" your Digital home will stay crisp and pristine up until the day when it suddenly, without warning, dissolves into a mess of pixels.

  • by geek (5680) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:15PM (#23525130) Homepage
    Or if they do they're insane. Product tie-in is why people ran to Apple in the first place, to get away from the Microsoft lock-in. Now Apple is doing it. I recently dumped everything I had Apple and moved to FOSS for exactly this reason. It kills competition and locks you into inferior products all for the sack of compatibility.

    I like that I can have different components from different manufacturers. It means I can shop around for the best deals. As soon as one company ties it all in you can look forward to the death of standards like HDMI. Anyone remember ADC? The Apple Display Connector? Don't think for a second Apple wont start doing this to lock you in.

    It boggles the mind why people get so excited about vendor lock-in like this. Suddenly it's a good thing? Did we learn nothing from the 90's and the Microsoft/Intel/Cisco empire?
    • by sunspot42 (455706) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:37PM (#23525206)
      Actually, I think everyone wants integration, if it works well. The problem so far has been most "integrated" devices have been overcomplicated crap. Sure hardcore geeks can use Windows Media Center PCs, and a few have been willing to shell out $1500 or whatever for one, but most folks want something easier and cheaper.

      Enter Apple.

      Integration can help ensure things "just work", if done correctly (Microsoft being the poster child for how not to do it correctly). The downside is, it's either Apple's way or the highway. But that's really already the case for any existing integrated solutions from every other consumer electronics vendor, from Bose to Nokia to, well, Microsoft.

      Apple has successfully locked people into the iPod with the iPod's connector. They've leveraged their position as the #1 portable music player to build up a whole ecology of products that'll only work with their devices, a barrier to entry even Microsoft couldn't overcome. If they establish themselves as the lead integrator in the home, as I suspect is likely via the iPhone and future successors to the AppleTV, they're going to become virtually impossible to work around.

      Their products aren't perfect, but I'm frankly glad it's gonna be them and not either Microsoft or Sony. Apple is at worst annoying - Sony and MS have already proven dangerous.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        "Apple has successfully locked people into the iPod with the iPod's connector. "
        What are you talking about?

        Yes, they ahve products that only work with their devices, so what? that's not lock in. If only provided them, then that would be lock in.

        It's like saying Chevy has vendor lock in based on there Auto parts When ANYONE can make them as sell them.
        • by sunspot42 (455706)
          It's like saying Chevy has vendor lock in based on there Auto parts When ANYONE can make them as sell them.

          No, it's like saying that Chevy has customer lockin based on the fact that the majority of garages are only configured to allow Chevy's to park in them, and the vast majority of tires only fit Chevy's propriteary wheels. Buy a Ford and you can't park it most places, and don't have the same range of accessories to chose from.

          That's the situation with the iPod - from car stereos to clock radios, Apple's
    • The ADC? Sure. Apple used to have the ADC where power, usb and signal all went through the same cable. Now they don't. Now you can plug any monitor you want into a Mac. That is actually a move away from vendor lock in. If you want to make a point about vendor lock in this wasn't the example to use.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      How is Apple doing it?
      Can I ahve your old Apple hardware?
      "Don't think for a second Apple wont start doing this to lock you in."
      Of course they won't. It would be stupid, a quick glance at then Stereo market would tell you that is bad and nobody succeeded fpr very long doing that.

      And if they did? so what, as soon as it was a problem, people would abandon it in droves. In a lot of ways it's following the Stereo history.

      Most people WANT 1 unit to do it all, but nobody can make one that keeps enough people happ
    • I like that I can have different components from different manufacturers. It means I can shop around for the best deals. As soon as one company ties it all in you can look forward to the death of standards like HDMI.

      Apple TV works with HDMI and supports a bunch of resolutions. It works with many TVs.

      Anyone remember ADC? The Apple Display Connector? Don't think for a second Apple wont start doing this to lock you in.

      After switching from Windows, to both Linux and Macs, I can hook the MacBook Pro I'm

  • No, they won't.

    And I ain't gonna charge you $400 for it.

    $5 will do.

    Thank you.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:29PM (#23525170) Homepage

    Providing in-home installation services would not be forward progress. Eliminating the need for in-home installation services would be.

    Cabling for home entertainment systems needs to be simplified drastically. Current large-screen TVs have far too many connectors. The home entertainment industry has been unable to make all the boxes talk to each other and self-configure. The display vendors, the cable box vendors, the media player vendors, and the "amplifier" vendors each want to be in charge. The game console people don't worry about integration much. So we don't have idiot-resistant plug and play, even though that's technically possible. (It is getting better, though; if you're all HDMI, things do interoperate better. Aspect ratio, for example, is handled automatically.)

    Apple probably isn't in a position to make that happen, though. Apple may sell a "media center" box, but they won't be the only one.

  • by proxima (165692) on Friday May 23, 2008 @11:42PM (#23525228)
    Forrester Research [macworld.com]

    January 25, 1996: "Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It's so classic. It's so sad."

    I suppose Apple as we knew it in 1996 is dead, but how many people really miss that Apple? By January 2001 Apple was on the rebound, 3 years after introducing the iMac and about to release Mac OS X 10.0.

    I don't think that's what Forrester had in mind, though. I'll take any such company-specific predictions with a grain of salt.
  • Perhaps it should be renamed, United States of Apple.
  • blah blah blah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Carfentanil (700688)
    This article reminds me of the Astounding! articles predicting global space travel for everyone by the year 2000. It never came to pass, and neither will this Apple-related garbage.
  • Rule the home? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:13AM (#23525340) Homepage Journal
    Not as long as free alternatives exist, at least for those who know.
  • Maybe no? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by edcheevy (1160545)
    I dunno... isn't one of the major selling points of Apple products a sense of style that you are supposed to show off to other people? I know that's not their only selling point, but it sure seems like a big one. They do well by portable goodies (laptops, iPhone, iPod) that you can wave in front of someone and say "shiny", but are more average on other things. I suppose you can still show off your "digital hub" to people who come over to your house, but it doesn't feel the same.

    Quick, get a fanboi in
  • 2013? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jeffkjo1 (663413) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:53AM (#23525448) Homepage
    I'm going to get modded down for this, but as it's common knowledge that the world is set to end in 2012, it seems that claim's of Apple's universal dominance are a bit premature.

    It's kind of hard to rule the digital home if there aren't any.

    Who knew the Mayan's hated Apple fanboys?
    • by dbcad7 (771464)
      Perhaps it's just the end of the world as you know it.. and the new one will be Apple dominated. (it's a stretch, but not impossible).. Maybe Microsoft collapses and folds in the "Neo Depression" years of 09'-11'

      And on the Mayan thing.. I think it's impressive that the Mayan calendar went for as long as it did, but eternity is a long time to cover, so I am not surprised that it had a stopping point.. but that doesn't mean anything more than Staples only stocking calenders for a couple years ahead.

    • by dangitman (862676)
      Not if Steve Jobs has an unpenetrable bunker located in a parallel time-stream. Then his will be the only home left to dominate digitally.
  • by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:55AM (#23525458)
    That's what this article is lol. I think pretty much forever, Apple's customers will only be rich, showey people who don't know computers very well and douchbags (and some professional media editors for God only knows why cuz Adobe CS3 and Premiere and some Ulead products run on the PC). So unless we all become image obsessed douchebags in the future, I don't think Apple's taking over anything. Linux however is about to kick Microsoft's ass and I'll put money on that one. Get your wikipedia edits about Microsoft going bankrupt written in advance lol.
  • Hasn't this Digital Home idea been in the making since the early 90's? Bluetooth was supposed to be key step to aid in this process but has altogether failed. I can probably see Sony coming out with a solution for this since they do have many products and the expertise. Plus do we really want everything to be controlled by software? The quote "If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization" comes to mind.
    • "Hasn't this Digital Home idea been in the making since the early 90's?"

      They've certainly been trying to push the concept since then. It's become a meme like the Paperless Office was in the 1970s and 1980s.

      "Hasn't this Digital Home idea been in the making since the early 90's?"

      It failed because there's no evidence whatsoever to show that people want the sort of "digital home" that's being offered (which isn't a digital home at all, but a centralised digital entertainment system that belongs to the commercia
  • I give Forrester Research credit for finally waking up and smelling the coffee, but they're still in a groggy, early morning stupor.

    AFAIK, this is the first article from a mainstream computer industry research report that acknowledges Apple may have a very serious and viable five year product plan, beyond their existing hit products.

    But then, Forrester goes on to say Apple's "commitment to closed systems" poses a barrier to wide adoption. In the previous paragraph, Microsoft and HP are cited as tough

  • oh, really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @01:30AM (#23525586) Homepage
    What's the acronym for the opposite of FUD?

    More than likely, this is just more nonsense from the standard Apple product cycle [misterbg.org].
    • by Weedlekin (836313)
      Thanks for the link. It provided a real chuckle for someone who owns a couple of Apple products (plus lots of non-Apple ones), but has yet to experience any profound, life-changing epiphanies, and hasn't suddenly become cool, gay, or both through using them.
    • by DannyO152 (544940)
      POOP: Pie-Ocular Optimistic Punditry
  • The only way Apple could get any kind of toe-hold in the average household is if their stuff is cheaper than anyone else's. That's all it takes, just low price. Oh yes and they should've started this strategy about 5 years ago.

    I have no idea why the media is so in love with Apple and it's products - the real world just seems to ignore them. From what I've seen, no real people use Apple PCs or laptops, a some have oneiPod and a tiny fraction have an iPhone (but would they buy another?). It's only the media

    • by sunspot42 (455706)
      The only way Apple could get any kind of toe-hold in the average household is if their stuff is cheaper than anyone else's.

      Yeah, just look how successful eMachines was. Why, they blew Dell and HP away!

      When you get down under the $1000 price level, some piddling little savings isn't going to do much to differentiate you from the competition. Most customers still have plenty of anxiety when it comes to buying a PC. They aren't worried about the price (within reason) - they want something that's going to b
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      The only way Apple could get any kind of toe-hold in the average household is if their stuff is cheaper than anyone else's. That's all it takes, just low price.

      Funny, because they've been very successfully growing their market share over the last 5 years - and dominated the portable music player market - by staying out of the high volume, low-end of the market and positioning themselves as a "designer label".

      Outside the U.S. an Apple PC/lappy is about as common as a tandem bicycle - you know they exist, but see maybe one or two a year.

      That's partly historical - I'd debate whether Macs are overpriced now (if you compare like-for-like in terms of form factor) but back in the 80s & 90s Apple really did price itself out of, e.g, the UK market with the 'ol £1=$1 trick - at a time

  • Placement (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Excelcia (906188)
    To watch all the Apple product placement, you'd think they ruled the world now.
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @03:10AM (#23525908)
    ... is that we generally like to buy products we can physically handle and resell when we grow tired of it. This all-digital distribution ideology goes against the grain of our concept of "ownership". So now, when we "buy" a movie, we only get a license to view it on a proprietary piece of hardware... both of which are specifically tied to our personal identity, with no discount what-so-ever for the lack of a physical product or the ability to transfer the product to a new owner after-market. This means that, unlike DVDs or CDs, you now have zero chance of regaining at least some of the money you gave up in the initial purchase. The money simply goes away... never to be seen again.

    This factor can have a huge influence on a person's hard value based upon their ability to put their possessions up as collateral. For example, let's say two people spend an equal amount of money on the same titles of music/movies/games/etc, but one of them buys only the digitally distributed, while the other buys everything on CDs/DVDs/etc. Now, let's say both of these guys suddenly end up in debt and need to make a quick buck. Our first guy probably has to resort to turning tricks in some alley, while our second guy can simply go to ebay with his collection and wait for the money to roll in.

    Unfortunately, the second guy is quickly becoming a dying breed, due to demand for instant gratification and personal convenience. Digital distribution screws up the concept of trade we've used for thousands of years. We're handing over our physically-backed valuables in exchange for something that has no actual value outside our own hands.
  • Yet another example of using today's trends to predict the far future.

    Can you say "global warming"? Sure. I knew you could.

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