The Motley Fool: Intel gives Apple a free pass while everyone else is supposed to use Viiv

“At a recent trade show in Japan, a senior Intel executive praised newfound partner Apple or its consumer-friendly, proprietary entertainment platform,” Anders Bylund writes for The Motley Fool. “Then he turned right around and prayed for Japanese electronics manufacturers to support the open standards of Intel’s Viiv entertainment platform — which is notably incompatible with iPods and iTunes. Want another cake while you’re eating this one, Intel?”

“‘Let Apple be Apple,’ said Eric Kim, senior VP of Intel’s home entertainment group,” Bylund writes. “The fact that Steve Jobs and his merry men have a virtual stranglehold on the digital music market can inspire its partners to forgive many a flaw, like a tightly locked-down media format that won’t work with anybody else’s hardware until Apple decides to loosen up a bit and start selling third-party licenses.”

MacDailyNews Note: You mean like Motorola? Oops, sorry to break Bylund’s flow.

Bylund continues, “Even Intel, provider of the chips powering today’s Macs, doesn’t have the right to sell gadgets or software that can play your iTunes downloads, and the chipmaker seems OK with that.”

“I’m a big fan of open standards myself, and would be happy to see Apple’s closed platform opened up so I could buy songs through iTunes and play them on my Creative Zen media player. Intel is in a position to push Apple into licensing its FairPlay digital rights management scheme to Viiv devices. Giving Apple a free pass while everyone else is supposed to get in line makes Intel look like a wishy-washy turncoat that doesn’t really believe in its own product,” Bylund writes. “‘At the end of the day, consumers want choice,’ Kim said. But no matter what they choose, Intel wants to be a part of the solution.”

Full article here.
You want to play iTunes content on a media player, Mr. Bylund? Then get an iPod.

Apple should not license FairPlay to others unless and/or until it makes business sense, not because someone wants to buy an also-ran device and buy from Apple’s iTunes Store. Also-ran device buyers like Mr. Bylund should use the also-ran online media outfits to which they’ve consigned themselves with their purchasing mistake, er… decision.

Intel is not “giving Apple a pass.” Intel doesn’t tell Apple what to do. Never forget: Universal Binary means it runs on Intel and PowerPC (and there’s always AMD for those that like to compute a bit more leisurely). Intel needs to keep working hard to keep Apple’s business and thanking them profusely for it.

Related articles:
Motto inside Intel: ‘Let Apple be Apple’ – October 03, 2006
Apple’s vs. Microsoft’s music DRM: whose solution supports more users? – August 17, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004


  1. what are these people griping about? why cry about not having the ability to play iTunes purchases on a non-ipod device? if they have an also-ran device, there are a number of services out there they can use to purchase their songs. if they don’t want to buy an ipod, then, don’t buy music from iTunes!

  2. drives me nuts…how come everyone who ever said “Apple needs to license FairPlay” uses “consumers want choices” as their arguement???? Isn’t the fact that consumers want choices reflected in the fact that people either chose to buy an iPod and use iTunes or not????

  3. I would accept and possibly even enjoy Windows if it had the best and most intuitive products. That is the difference…the iPod a combination of the best and the most intuitive hardware in the iPod and software in iTunes 7.
    The next generation is smarter…it is more about quality these days. The sheep are simply moving to greener pastures, and it is just beginning.

  4. Another good, balanced rejoinder, MDN. Your “get an iPod” line is so blindly pro-Apple that it’s just silly. What if the answer to “I want to run [insert a Windows-only application]” is “get a PC”. You’d be all over yourselves excoriating them for being closed-minded, bla bla bla.

    I still want to see FairPlay become the defacto DRM standard for ALL digital music devices. That way, Apple makes money if they sell their own product *or* somebody else’s product, via royalties. And Apple’s market domination would be just as strong as it is now, because their solution, absent any DRM discussion, is far better than the rest of the market. And if FairPlay is ubiquitous, consumers don’t have to think about what device will play what song, which is a big win.

  5. It definitely sounds like the author is biased against Apple.

    He wants Intel to make Apple use their standard like everyone else????
    – I guess he wants Apple to be mediocre like the rest of the industry.

    And how is Intel in the position to push Apple to license Fairplay?

    And we’re suppose to take this fools advice with our money?

  6. It’s not about closed versus open,

    it’s about a solution vs chaos.

    Which is exactly why Microsoft has seen the light and initiated Zune. This is a validation of Apple’s approach to meeting the needs of consumers.

  7. I always get a kick out of the pundits that trumpet “the customer wants choice” line. I call bullshit. The “customer” has chosen Windows something like 90% of the time and rarely gripes that they don’t have a myriad of other choices. I have never met anyone that feels strongly that they want to be able to buy from a selection of different music stores. “Customers” perceive choice as, “Can I choose to download the music I want?” If they answer is yes, they are not hung up of the store that it comes from. Customers like the iPod and they buy from the store that works with it. Can one choose Willie Nelson while another chosses Metallica while another chooses Nelly while another chooses Frank Sinatra? Yes. That is the choice that matters.

  8. I have to admit…I’m a complete Apple guy and have iPods, MacBook Pro, 30″ display and just love it all….


    I absolutely love my Sony Ericsson W810i phone…best I’ve ever used and I think the UI just blows the door off any Motorola one (as I’ve had 2 RAZRs and a SLVR)….

    It’s really too bad that I have to put so much effort into putting my purchased iTunes songs onto it. It’s not like Apple actually makes an iPod cell phone. If they did I’d probably get that if it were as good as the w810, but in the mean time it really frustrates me that they wont’ work out better deals with more than the crap SLVR and the stupid song limit.

    Surely even the ultimate Apple fans on this site can agree with this, no?

  9. Eric is right.

    This guy, Bylund, can buy music (and even get subscriptions! WOW!) from a plethora of online services. Napster, Rhapsody, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Urge (is that still around?), and others I’ve unfortunately forgotten.

    Instead, he longs to buy music from iTunes Store.

    Bylund, just wait. Best Buy will likely offer the online music store you have been longing for.


  10. I think from a business sense, now is the time. If Apple licenses FairPlay, all the WMA music sites will fade to nothing. Since FairPlay music is tied to Quicktime then Quicktime becomes the standard. Once that happens, WMV becomes irrelavent. Apple makes money on FairPlay/Quicktime for the rest of forever. Microsoft fades to oblivion. iTMS (sorry iTS) is well established now. Capture the battle field now, not a year from now when competition forces the issue.

  11. hairbo have you tried to use a “PlaysforSure” service? I’ve tried with Rhapsody, Napster and Urge.

    Not a pretty site. Each time the install warned me that I needed an update and that I would need new licenses for all the windows media on the other stores.

    It is a buggy confusing mess, and even Napster’s CEO has hinted at this.

    We don’t need iTunes reputation tainted by buggy un-coordinated implementations of Fairplay in other players.

    Quality control is important, and we’ve never really had that in the PC market. Please don’t bring that mess to iPod+iTunes.

    A better target for energy is to convince labels to release tracks in MP3 format, without DRM.

    But leave the the iPod+iTunes integration alone.

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