“Bill Gates this week spilled the beans about the introduction date for xBox2 — a slip that was anything but a slip. If you go to the news stories about this, you’ll note the context in which he was speaking, which was talking about Microsoft’s potential involvement in the so-called ‘year of HD.’ Where have we heard that term before? Why from Steve Jobs of Apple! Why would Bill Gates use Apple’s expression? It’s because Microsoft has an inkling of what’s shortly to come from Apple and wants to at least appear to have a horse in the race, which it doesn’t,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.
“Apple last week shipped Mac OS 10.4, which they have incessantly told us we should call ‘Tiger,’ but I prefer ‘10.4,’ thanks. The Year of HD is dependent on 10.4 and its H.264 video codec that I believe will be at the heart of an Apple HD video download service to be announced shortly. And in 10.4, we can see the first parts of that system coming together, notably Apple’s new HD Video Showcase, which routes you right through the iTunes Music Store. Increase the video selection, add prices, and they are done,” Cringely writes.
“And 10.4 gives us a peek at another evolution of iTunes, which is the inevitable expansion of the system to carry additional audio file formats. Looking at the unused iTunes icons that shipped with your new version of 10.4, you’ll notice icons for currently-not-supported ogg vorbis and Windows Media Audio (wma), as well as several others including a variety of video formats, too,” Cringely writes. “With this new information we can make a pretty good guess about the evolution of both iTunes and iPod. When Apple feels that the success of iTunes is absolutely assured, which will be shortly, they’ll address the user complaint that iPod only supports AAC and MP3 audio by adding these additional formats, leading to increased iPod sales. And at the same time, the video icons strongly suggest that Apple will also have a video iPod this year.”
Not only all that, but Cringely goes on to speculate that as Apple drives down iPod prices, there will come a time when iTunes is the moneymaker, not the iPod hardware sales. At that point, Steve Jobs will open the iPod platform to cloning extracting license fees from those desperate to make their own “iPod” units. Cloning the iPod at the correct time will leave Apple as the monster distributor of online music and movies via what is now the iTunes Music Store. One question springs to mind, can Apple add video content and continue to call it “iTunes” or will they need a new name?
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: When Cringely writes about Apple, we pay attention. Some bits of truth (and sometimes whole chunks) tend to materialize at some point or other. Cringely may not provide perfect predictions, but they’re oftentimes close enough to matter. Some parts of what he writes in the linked article will come true. It’s just which parts and how much, those are the questions.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple releases iTunes 4.8; now supports QuickTime video along with contact, calendar transfers – May 09, 2005
Are Apple’s ‘iPod’ and ‘Mac mini’ the razors or the blades? – January 28, 2005
Cringely: the full story about Apple Mac mini’s purpose has not yet been told – January 21, 2005
Cringely predicts $249 Macintosh, would make Apple the world’s number one PC company – January 10, 2005
Cringely: is this the beginning of the end for Macintosh hardware? – May 21, 2004
Robert X. Cringely: Steve Jobs ‘is proud of being an a**hole’ – April 30, 2004
PBS columnist: IT hates Macs because ‘Macs reduce IT head count’ – August 15, 2003