Disney and Apple’s ‘iPhone’

“Earlier conjecture about the potential for Disney to eventually merge with Apple Computer in the wake of Disney’s buyout of the Pixar animation studio in January may or may not have been folly. But the deal has clearly put Pixar chief Steve Jobs in a position to leave a mark on the House of Mouse. And Disney is ready to play a leadership role in the convergence of content and technology,” Barrons reports.

“A recently published benign patent application filed by Disney is a small but tangible bit of evidence that a new era of cooperation is under way,” Barrons reports. “The Disney filing pertains to streaming-video technology for a proprietary Disney handset device; accompanying illustrations make it look like a flip phone. In the application, Disney says ‘the systems and methods of the present disclosure may be applied to other mobile electronic devices…such as e.g. the iPod digital music player available from Apple Computer’ — the company that, of course, is Jobs’ main gig.”

Barrons reports, “Reading the tea leaves of arcane intellectual-property filings is tricky business. But the filing does suggest that Apple and Disney are cooperating on the mobile-video front. Of course, Apple is expected to enter the mobile-phone fray next year. In fact, Apple’s shares got nicked last week because an analyst’s note predicted the product’s arrival to be later than expected.”

Barrons reports, “While Disney will pull the plug on its ESPN Mobile wireless service on Dec. 31 (you couldn’t watch live SportsCenter on it), the company hasn’t thrown in the towel on being a branded wireless provider. In fact, its Disney Mobile unit is still in business. Wouldn’t those connected kids like to receive their High School Musical videos on a sleek new Apple iPhone?”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Disney sells nearly 500,000 movies via Apple’s iTunes Store in less than two months – November 09, 2006
Disney patent application shows ESPN video content coming to wireless iPod – November 09, 2006
Disney CEO Iger: Apple’s ‘iTV’ has ‘small hard drive on it’ – September 19, 2006
Jobs’ stake in Disney valued at $3.9 billion – May 09, 2006

Apple’s ‘iPhone’ silence drives rumor mill crazy – December 08, 2006
BusinessWeek: Wish List for Apple ‘iPhone’ – December 08, 2006
Apple ‘iPhone’ could cause Nokia, Palm, Motorola, and RIM to really start to sweat – December 07, 2006
Apple shares fall as CIBC sees ‘iPhone’ release delayed – December 07, 2006
Analyst expects 16GB flash-based Apple iPod video player, 4-8GB flash-based ‘iPhone’ models – December 07, 2006
Prudential: Apple ‘iPhone’ to sport iPod click wheel; video iPod by Q2 – December 06, 2006
RUMOR: Apple’s smart phone project to feature ‘extensive integration with Mac OS X’ – December 05, 2006
Apple begins ‘iPhone’ production – December 05, 2006
Apple needs to think different about data security for ‘iPhone’ – December 05, 2006
Kevin Rose: Dual-battery Apple ‘iPhone’ coming in January; $249 for 4GB, $449 for 8GB – December 03, 2006


  1. This filing implies NOTHING about Apple. It shows a picture of a flip phone. I think you’ll find that Apple has 0% of the mobile phone market. Someday that figure might increase. But that begs the question, what the hell are these guys smoking?

    Move along, people; there’s nothing to see here.

  2. I just don’t find Disney as creative as Apple. It always feels like Disney would be a drag on Apple rather than some synergistic creative force for moving forward. Disney’s reputation is still suffering as a remnant of its previous leadership and weak offerings over the past years. Apple’s work with Motorola and others has, in my view, negatively affected what was eventually done. I am not comfortable with the scenario here, whatever the scenario really is. Apple is on a roll now and I would hate for the machinations of some other corporate behemoth to slow them down.

  3. I’m thinking 10-14, and yeah, for good or bad, they have them.
    But if it is a way to have music, school notes, and have Mom and Dad keep tabs on them, go for it.

    Of coourse, they may offer it to a different crowd. My point was it didn’t neccesarily need Apple’s involvement, other than iTunes to sync with.

  4. I’m 73 and loving every minute of it. I’ve been enjoying Disney longer than my Apple Mac.

    Thing is I have had the same CD on my desktop for years. I called my son who installed my beloved iMac and he told me drag it to the trash. Fiddlesticks to that. I don’t want to throw the CD out. I might need it again. I just want to get it out of the computer.

    I think a Disney phone would be marvelous. My grandkids can’t get enough of that Pete’s Dragon. That big green dragon is a delight. Helen Reddy is terrific too.

    Nadine C.

  5. Now the pieces are coming together.

    The delay of the iPhone . . .

    Steve’s saying nothing about iTV and its still secret MW2007 products . . .

    The trend of Disney’s latest movie stories . . .

    The rumors about a OS X light in a new Apple gaming machine . . .

    It’s all starting to come together now. . .

    all together now. . .

    Apple is buying Disney . . .

    It’s obvious.

    I am glad I subscribe to Barron’s because
    only those Wall St. (Journal) guys have the
    brilliant minds to see through all the rumors
    and put all the pieces togoether.

    Thank you uber-Analysys.

    Thank you Dow Jones’ Barron’s magazine.

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