Listening to Engadget podcast number 47.5 (a special edition due to last week’s Apple announcements) this morning, I wanted to throw down a bit of “less news, more commentary” for all y’all. Last week’s Apple event (we found out about the iPod video, the new iMacs, iTunes 6 and Front Row) is significant for much more than the sense of glee created by shiny new hardware and software.
With its ABC/Disney deal allowing iTunes users to download episodes of LOST, Desperate Housewives and others (and other deals apparently in the works), Apple’s increasing presence in the entertainment biz justifiably leads to legitimate discussion about where the company (and the industry in general) is heading. The podcast really got me thinking about how Apple has grown, from playing an integral role in the birth of the PC industry to the design revolution spearheaded by the first iMac. The company is increasingly paving/heading down a road where its machines are integral aspects of our digital lives (this is no big secret), but in striving to be a purveyor of devices that provide us with access to all of the media in our lives, does it logically follow that Apple then becomes more of a media company?
As iTunes and iPods form a greater share of the company’s earnings (last week’s record earnings came from 1.2 million computers and nearly 6.5 million iPods), it will be interesting to see if they shift their focus a bit. The iPod’s place in history is secure, and without the ability to read the mind of Steve Jobs, any statements I make about where Apple’s going would obviously pure specualation, and from a person with only a few years of experience following the industry.
Watching sales of the iPod video and iTunes music videos will truly show us what customers want, and Apple’s decision to back into the portable video player market after establishing a stranglehold on the portable music biz is, in my opinion, the perfect way to see how excited consumers are about the ability to watch video while on the move. Is the screen too small? Does the fact that you need to actually watch it (as opposed to listening to music in your pocket) limit potential growth? Time will tell.
Have a good Monday.