“It was a no-brainer for Apple to port it’s iPod application over to Mac operating system and hook it up to a remote control. The interface has been tried and tested on millions of iPods. It’s low hanging fruit — they probably didn’t have to invest a ton of money to get the feature in their OS. Microsoft kinda / sorta did the same thing, only in reverse order with the Media Center first, Portable Media Center second,” Charlie Owen, Program Manager with the Microsoft Windows eHome Team (producers of Windows XP Media Center Edition), writes on his RetroSight blog.
Owen, “Porting the iPod application over to the OS is further evidence of the iPod halo effect Apple has been hoping for whereby strong sales of iPods translate into equally strong sales of Macs. It remains to be seen if there is actually a halo effect. I don’t think so. The price inequities between a Windows PC and Mac are far greater than iPod vs. any other portable player, and I’m willing to bet there are more iPods connected to Windows PCs than iPods connected to Macs.”
“Steve Jobs comparing the Apple remote control with the Media Center remote control was nothing but sheer marketing brilliance. It’s totally not about which remote control is better. Not at all. By making this comparison, Steve Jobs gave the illusion the two products were on equal footing EXCEPT for the remote. All things being equal, Joe Consumer will choose the remote with 6 buttons instead of 40,” Owen writes.
Full article here.
The New iPod with Video. The ultimate music + video experience on the go. Buy it now at the Apple Store. From $299. Free shipping.
The New iMac G5 – Built-in iSight camera and remote control with Front Row media experience. From $1299. Free shipping.
MacDailyNews Take: Now, Owen’s a good guy – read his full article. He likes Macs and gives Apple credit for making good products. We have sympathy for Owen. Trying to make something like a Media Center within the confines of a bloated, malaise-ridden, creatively-challenged company, without the benefit of a single-minded, relentlessly-driven visionary like Steve Jobs, is obviously impossible.
Owen has a chart which is the basis for his opinion that there is no halo effect: http://www.retrosight.com/mediacenter/Apple_iPod_and_Mac_Sales.png The chart shows iPod sales dramatically increasing and Mac sales increasing right along with them. Owen seems to think that because Mac unit sales didn’t go from 800,000 to 6 million along with the iPod sales, that the iPod Halo Effect doesn’t exist. This is the “Program Manager of the Windows XP Media Center Edition,” folks. Is it any wonder why Microsoft’s effort is illogical?
Of course, Mac unit sales last quarter were up 48% year-over-year, besting the PC industry’s growth by a large margin. Apple is growing Mac market share. The iPod Halo Effect is undeniably real. Showing a chart that proves it’s real as evidence that it doesn’t exist is something only a Microsoft employee could understand. By the way, we know several people who used to own Windows boxes, who’ve recently purchased a Mac because they owned iPods first and decided that if Apple cared so much about the details of an MP3 player, then Apple’s Mac must really be something. And that, dear friends, even if we only knew one single person who did this, is actual, iron-clad proof that the iPod Halo Effect is real. Owen must have missed some meetings lately as Microsoft executives have already admitted that Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ exists since at least as far back as July. If you need more proof, there’s plenty in the related articles below.
Anyway, as to the rest of Owen’s piece: Microsoft is looking in the wrong places with their Media Center and, no, we’re not going to spell it all out here. We will say that Microsoft’s idea of taking the old TV+VHS VCR paradigm and trying to make it digital is hardly revolutionary. Apple is taking a different path, as usual. And, we haven’t seen all of Apple’s pieces, yet. Microsoft’s Media Center, we’ve seen, and nobody’s buying.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Thurrott: Apple Front Row software copies Microsoft Media Center – October 14, 2005
Analyst: ‘media companies will call Apple to strike deals, Front Row is Media Center done right’ – October 12, 2005
Apple’s Front Row with Apple Remote and iMac G5: media center done right – October 12, 2005
Apple introduces new thinner iMac G5 with built-in iSight video camera, ‘Front Row’ media experience – October 12, 2005
iPod Halo Effect strikes tech columnist, gets new Apple iBook after fifteen years of Windows – August 23, 2005
Microsoft executives acknowledge Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ – July 29, 2005
Needham & Co: Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ fueling Mac purchases; predict 43 million iPod sales in 2006 – July 18, 2005
Comprehensive survey shows ‘iPod Halo Effect’ is increasing Apple Mac sales, market share – July 12, 2005
SG Cowen survey shows evidence of a significant iPod halo effect boosting Apple Mac sales – July 12, 2005
Merrill Lynch: Mac sales ‘appear robust,’ expects futher evidence of ‘iPod Halo Effect’ – July 07, 2005
RealMoney: Apple’s iPod Halo Effect ‘quite profound,’ Macs taking good market share from Wintel – June 27, 2005
‘iPod Halo Effect’ on Mac sales seen in Apple’s soaring second-quarter results – April 13, 2005
Morgan Stanley: Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ is ‘roughly double what the market expects’ – March 18, 2005
Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ begins to shine – August 03, 2004
Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ materializes, restarting growth in core Mac units – July 15, 2004