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. @geo: I agree. I think they will do something to open things up one day, as there is much more money for them to be made, as they’ll never be able to physically make every product that people like (PDA’s, Cell Phones, Music Players, etc).

  2. until Apple decides to loosen up a bit and start selling third-party licenses.

    will these morons ever get it…

    open up… open up.. open up… sounds like the Iraq talking points all over again

  3. No one has to use ViiV or PlaysForSure or any so-called “open” standard. The companies that use them choose to use them. Apple chooses to do things on its own. Apple does not need a “free pass” from Intel.

  4. I’m so fed up with journalists who call for Apple to license their DRM. The real solution to this digital mediamess is remove DRM altogether. Then any device that supported the MP4 format could play music/video from iTunes.

    Since DRM is inherently closed & proprietary, I see absolutely no difference between less closed (PlaysForSure) and more closed (FairPlay). They’re both closed; end of story. What we need is open!

    Down with DRM!


  5. hairbo: “Another good, balanced rejoinder, MDN. Your “get an iPod” line is so blindly pro-Apple that it’s just silly.
    …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”

    And how is that NOT blindly pro-Apple?

  6. Has anyone considered that Apple may be using the viiv hardware for the iTV? Just like Intel put together the hardware for the iMac etc, Apple are using Intel to design the boards. It’s cheaper to get Intel to do this. Apple work on the front end which is what they do best.

  7. “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. “

    I really don’t understand the logic here. If you have a Creative Zen media player, why would you want to buy a song from the iTunes store, when:

    1: It’s not compatible with your player, and:


    Why would you demand of Apple to open up the iTS? Are the songs different in any way? No, they’re not, so what’s his problem?

    Aah, his problem is DRM, so then why pick on Apple?

    DRM is present in every digital music store because the record labels want it this way – get over it, DRM exists and will exist whether you like it or not.

    Your only solace is that you must choose the DRM with the weakest DRM – Apple.

    This article is a coded attack against Apple’s dominance. He’s discouraging his readers from buying Apple, so that every geeks favourite company – Microsoft – can overrule us all with the Zune.

  8. He bloody well can listen to it on his crappy Zen player. He has to burn it to a CD first and then import it. What’s so difficult?

    This whole issue is big load of horse manure.

    And as for arguing there should be NO DRM at all, which planet are they living on? Why aren’t they complaining that shops charge them for a CD? Why should I pay to see a movie at the cinema? Books, no DRM we all want them – for free. “THEY SHOULD ALL BE FREE! NO CHARGES, NO DRM” they should say.

    Idiots. Definitely


  9. <sigh>
    Who here is arguing that there should be no DRM because they feel that music should be free? No one is arguing that, which makes your rant completely meaningless. It’s easy to argue against a strawman that doesn’t exist, but in the end it just makes you look foolish.

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