iPhone and Apple TV

Jobs announces iPhoneI need a new phone. Unfortunately I don’t need Cingular’s service. Cingular’s fine… most everywhere on the east coast except my office. That’s too bad. I was hoping Apple’s new phone wouldn’t be tied to a single carrier. Funny how the share price of Palm and Blackberry’s parent companies tanked. The market reacted a little too quickly. Is there a market for a $600 phone? That remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that it is as revolutionary a UI as Mr. Jobs says it is. Of course, the Newton’s was too. How did that work out?

If nothing else, iPhone finally frees users from the grip of the carriers’ near-criminal music pricing plans. If nothing else, the days of the $2.99 ring tone should be drawing to a close.

Apple’s phone might actually be a decent video device. All that VC money in Mobi-TV squandered.

iTunes becomes iTube

Apple TV boxApple TV is actually closer to reality since it’s shipping next month. Nice. 720p should be good enough for most consumers, and for $300 we shouldn’t expect Blu-ray… but I can dream. DRM is going to be an issue. How will the Apple TV authorization work? I can’t imagine the studios will allow multiple Apple TVs to sync to a single iTunes account the way multiple iPods can.

Is this IPTV’s killer device? Maybe.

From today’s Boston Globe

“This is what CES is going to be about for me, and I think it’s going to be the big story; there are a class of devices that are about to be available that will bring Internet video to television sets,” said Josh Bernoff , an analyst at Forrester Research who recently authored a report on the technologies.

Perhaps he should have skipped Vegas and headed to SF. The IPTV device people might actually use was not at CES.

One out of every 10 online consumers watches television on the Web, according to the Consumer Internet Barometer, which provides Internet research to business executives. But no one thinks the new devices will mean the end of subscription TV services soon.

That’s because they are at work and people would know they were goofing off if they sat in front of the TV in the lobby. This stuff is truly insightful. I really should have tried harder to become an analyst out of business school.

A Forrester survey of 5,000 US households found that 80 percent of respondents were not interested in Internet video on their living rooms, and Bernoff predicts it will take five years before Internet TV will be competitive with cable.

An analyst can say that flying cars will take five years to arrive and no one will hold him to it because no one remembers what analysts spew five minutes after they say it. That’s a great prediction. If film critics are frustrated filmmakers, what does that make analysts?

Something for Apple to keep an i on 

Slingbox’s answer to Apple TV. It’s inexpensive and media-format agnostic. If it’s easy to use, Apple might have some serious competition.

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