“I suspect there are many reasons for Apple not pursuing video (or subscriptions services) yet [with their iPod platform],” Paul Thurrott writes for Internet-Nexus. Thurrott details four reasons why:
1. Jobs’ ties to the movie industry (Pixar especially). This is the mentality that sunk Sony’s recent MP3 players: Because Sony owns a record company, it cares more about protecting its artists (and its record business) than it does about making good devices for consumers. And as for Apple, remember, there is no such company as Apple anymore. There’s just “Steve Jobs Inc.,” a company that sells Macs and iPods. Soon it will just be iPods.
2. Apple’s relatively limited R&D budget means the company must focus, laser-like, on specific projects, so it logically picks the most viable ones first. Music? A no-brainer, and Apple did it right. Photos? They’ll get there. But video (and even more to the point, subscription services) is hard work, and you need partners. Which leads me to …
3. No one is interested in Apple’s small platform, and Apple isn’t interested in wooing them. The nice thing about the “Microsoft digital media platform” is that it’s an ecosystem of interdependent pieces. Microsoft can offer media companies a platform–Windows–that ones 95 percent of the market. What can Apple offer them? Let’s see: The latest versions of Mac OS X command about .5 percent to 1 percent of the market. That’s not enough. However, if Apple is successful enough with the iPod (and again, it’s getting there), they might be able to parlay that into deals with the CinemaNows of the world. Microsoft got there first because of their platform strength. Also, Microsoft tends to work with others. Apple tends to go it alone. They need to suck it up and start partnering more frequently, even if some of those partnerships don’t result in immediate dollars. It’s called investing in the future.
4. Apple can’t afford to launch a huge failure. If Apple has one more high-profile failure, it’s all over.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Thurrott’s pipe dream: “there is no such company as Apple anymore. There’s just ‘Steve Jobs Inc.,’ a company that sells Macs and iPods. Soon it will just be iPods. If Apple has one more high-profile failure, it’s all over.”
Paul’s really gotta just say no to the pipe.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Analyst Michael Gartenberg: why there’s no video Apple iPod – October 28, 2004
Microsoft could learn a lot from Apple’s iPod – October 26, 2004
Signs point to Apple adding to their 30 million Mac users via ‘iPod Halo Effect’ – October 26, 2004