Thurrott: ‘Apple can’t afford a huge failure or it’s all over – soon there will be no Macs, just iPo

“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


  1. Poor Paul is having a prolonged psychiatric episode as Apple blast past $50 and the $20 billion market value milestones. He cannot take it that Apple owns the digital music player market and the legal digital downloads market and that the iPod Halo Effect is causing the sheep to awaken and take a look at Macintosh. Paul is afraid because he knows what will happen when they do. ‘Bye ‘bye Windows, hello Mac!

  2. I think Paul Thurrott would do well as a tech journalist for the National Enquirer. He could do a column in the back of the tabloid for C|Net and spread all kinds of FUD for those enquiring minds who want to know.

  3. Who’s Paul Thurrot? Sounds like a fool to me. Why all the fuss over what a loser says.

    Apple, just makes Macs? This guy has to get out of his own website and actually look around. Has he even heard of XServes? Has he even read InfoWorld or eWeek? They’re all saying OS X is the best OS in the world. They are all saying Apple is now competitive in the cluster supercomputer world.

    What an idiot. Even I know this guy spews only crap!

  4. MDN. Please mark this date in 2005, pull out this column, and send it around so we can all get a good laugh at this guy. I could count all the people I know who would want a video player with a 2″ screen. Well, actually, don’t really need a hand. I was actually worried Steve would try the VPod, I’m relieved he didn’t.

  5. We’re in need of a new investigative reporter for 60 Minutes now that all of us here are over the age of 75 afterall. This Paul Thurrott guy sounds like a perfect candidate and he’s exactly what we need to maintain our reputation here at CBS.

  6. I’m sure Apple’s iPod team has their sites on video. It’s just that they want to make it a surprise. The Quicktime team has been gearing up the cellphone companies with xServes for media content. It’s simply a matter of time and you know how Apple is, everything HAS to be perfect!

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