Apple Steve Jobs ready to pounce with video downloads, video iPod?

“Ask Steve Jobs to describe the ‘next big thing’ for Apple Computer Inc., and a video iPod seems the furthest thing from his mind. For years, Apple’s CEO has dismissed the idea of portable video players, insisting that no one wants to watch movies on tiny screens. Then again, he pooh-poohed an Apple-branded music player just months before releasing his iconic white gadget in 2001. What’s more, two Hollywood execs say Apple has held talks with movie studios about downloading movies to PCs. While Jobs may be more interested in developing such technology to make it easier for Macintosh users to get movies at home, the talks have prompted speculation that the notoriously secretive Jobs will eventually launch a video iPod,” Cliff Edwards writes for BusinessWeek.

“In 2002, Creative’s Nomad products and Diamond Multimedia Inc.’s Rio-branded digital music players were the industry leaders, battling over which company had the better technology. Apple jumped onto the scene, boosting the sleepy market from 1.8 million units sold in 2001 to nearly 30 million this year. It quickly won 85% of the still-growing market by combining great hardware and software that made music downloads a snap with a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that convinced consumers that the iPod was the coolest thing since the Sony Walkman. The result: In late August, Rio exited the market, and Creative remains awash in red ink after spending millions on advertising in a failed effort to boost its market share,” Edwards writes. “In some ways the portable video-player market today looks eerily similar to the music market in the days before Apple jumped in… Many analysts believe Jobs will bring digital movie downloads to home PCs and even to the living room before tackling portable devices. Perhaps. But rivals are taking no chances.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
BusinessWeek: video-ready Apple iPod won’t be about watching movies on the go – September 15, 2005
Apple’s iTunes 5 provides hints of future iTunes Video Store – September 13, 2005
Microsoft, Texas Instruments reps expect Apple ‘iPod video’ by end of year – August 16, 2005
Creative debuts US$399 video-capable 30GB music player – August 03, 2005
The next big thing? Apple’s iTunes 4.9 supports Video Podcasts (with example) – July 29, 2005
BusinessWeek: Think Apple’s developing ‘Video iPod?’ – Think Different – July 27, 2005
Apple’s ‘pure genius’ will soon make iTunes’ portal the ‘number one destination on the Internet’ – July 26, 2005
Video iPod? Does The Wall Street Journal have a ‘Deep Throat’ inside Apple Computer? – July 25, 2005
Cringely: Apple’s soon-to-come ‘iVideo’ movie download service very important to Intel – July 23, 2005
Selling music videos on Apple’s iTunes makes economic sense – July 19, 2005
Report: Disney considers teaming with Apple to deliver iPod video content – July 19, 2005
Ars Technica peeks at Apple’s portable video plans – July 18, 2005
More info about Apple’s reported iPod+iTunes video talks – July 18, 2005
WSJ: Apple in video iTunes talks, may unveil video iPod by September – July 18, 2005
Cringely: Apple working on HD movie download service and Video iPod – July 15, 2005
Cringley: Apple and Intel to merge; Steve Jobs finally beats Bill Gates – June 09, 2005
Apple’s shift to Intel really all about Hollywood, owning the living room, and Transitive – June 05, 2005
Cringely: This week changed the world of high tech forever – May 13, 2005
Cringely: Apple prepping Video iTunes, Video iPod, and setting stage for iPod clones – May 06, 2005


  1. What I am looking for in a video iPod would be to have video out capabilities so I could connect my iPod to any TV and watch a video that way. Another thing that it would be way cool if Apple implemented (and which Phil Schiller has actually mentioned before) would be viewing goggles for full screen viewing so you could watch in a mobile environment. (alright, semi-mobile unless you want to be running into trees ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” /> ) Of course they would have to have the option to watch on the iPod screen too but I think I agree with Jobs and don’t anticipate watching videos this way that much.

  2. iTunes may be the software, but the iPod won’t be the hardware.

    I agree with Jobs, nobody wants to watch a full length movie on a 1 1/2″ screen. Movie downloads will go to a Mac mini like device with cable out to a digital TV.

  3. SJ said earlier this week that it’s not a technical issue but a bring to market issue, i.e., how do you get more people to want this.

    Newsweek reports that Sony sold 100K copies of two UMD movies for the PSP in less than 2 months. This is a faster rate than the first DVD movie (100K in 9 months). The PSP has a 4.3″ screen, so some people certainly want to watch on a screen that size.

    Maybe the market case for a video iPod with a 4″ screen is becoming more likely. Maybe the click wheel could reside on a slider or a flp-out, so that the iPod 20/60 would not have to grow in size.

  4. Wouldn’t a suitably sized hard-drive (storage medium) be quite large if it were to hold a library (even a small library) of films? Makes more sense that Apple will adapt a Mac mini along with some new adaptation of iTunes software as the hub of a Home Entertainment Center that is somewhat portable (and could be quickly plugged into another television/monitor). Right? Sounds great to me!

  5. Yes, Creative and others had tried the videopod thingy, but was not success. It’ true, nobody wanted to watch the full length on the tiny scrren, not unless apple set the trend.

    I ever tried watching a full length movie on the Nokia phone, but after 5 mins, I gave up.

    I would predict that they would introduce Music Video download to the (coming)Vpod. Watching a 1 – 5mins Music video makes more sense than watching the full length movie.

    Remember, only apple can set the trend, others just copy and follow. Agree everyone?

  6. Chris, that can all be done with a laptop, which is exactly what i have in mind for my G3 iBook i bought 3 years ago. Won’t be much chop as a computer in a couple of years but will still be a great portable music/DVD player. That is if it’s still working in a couple of years.

  7. this is my take:

    Apple will develop a device that connects to hardware that needs to placed on the map — in this case HD or HDready TV sets….I notice that while they are cool to own — no one has ran out in masses to buy a set.
    Most people are holding out for the right media content to come along — and only then will they consider the purchase of such equiptment.

    What Apple will do is not only help it’s own market share — but they will
    help companies struggling to attract consumers to their products.

    Very much the same way, the iPod has attracted consumers to buying portable speakers — and FM transmitter for music players…it created a new market — a healthy one at that.

  8. forget the video iPod, what i want is a video equivalent to my airport express… one that has a video out as well as audio out. then i can watch videos without having to run all those stooopid cables.

  9. Inside info

    We will not see videos on ANYTHING, until spring 2006, when the new MacTels arrive.


    The new Intel chips have the most stringent copy protection schemes we will ever witness in computers.

    In order to watch a BlueRay or a HD-DVD a Mac will have to have a active internet connection.

    To download videos the content will be scrambled and the keys changed constantly with online authentication.

    Video to Apple monitors will be seperatly encrypted with Apple DRM, Apple monitors might already have the DRM chip inside.

    PC users will have to buy new monitors, adoption to downloadable videos on PC’s will be slower than on Mac’s because they don’t want to absorb the costs of the new hardware, this will come down in time giving Apple a head start.

    Video content to ViPods will also be scrambled using the same Apple DRM.

    Apple is almost ready to go now, it intends to be the first as it’s products usually target the upper end buyer.

  10. I still reckon that an intelligent ‘iPod’ dock that sits in your HiFi cabinet is the way they’ll go. Download movies & songs to your iPod then ‘dock’ the iPod for full-speaker ad TV support or take the movies & songs on the road.

    With a higher ‘wireless’ model to stream movies to your TV via your Mac, using your iPod as the cache.

    MW to your TV ‘through’ your iPod

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