Fortt: Apple becoming the Sony of this century, not with Mac or iPod, but with iTunes

“Apple is at a crossroads where it must decide what it will be over the next decade. It’s not the first time, either. In the late ’70s it set itself up to be the inward-focused, proprietary computing wunderkind it became in the ’80s. In the late ’80s, it set itself up to be the flailing, disorganized disaster it became in the ’90s. In the late ’90s, Steve Jobs set Apple up to be the streamlined, user-focused, iPod-fueled juggernaut it is today,” Jon Fortt blogs for Business 2.0.

Fortt asks, “So it’s the late ’00s. How’s Apple setting itself up this time around?”

“Let me be the first to say that anyone who claims the ability to specifically divine Apple’s future is delusional; the best any longtime Apple watcher can do is read between the lines. That’s what I’m doing here,” Fortt writes.

Fortt writes, “And to me, it looks as if Apple’s positioning itself to be the Sony of this century, only without making clock radios, movies and TV shows. Apple’s focus remains on crafting software and hardware that’s an indulgence and a delight for everyday people, it just wants to take that philosophy beyond the computer and into more facets of life. (Sony followed a very similar path after its early success with tape recorders and transistor radios.)

Fortt writes, “At the foundation of this move by Apple is not the Mac, not the iPod, but iTunes… And that’s why every new device Apple introduces – Apple TV, iPhone, you name it – will connect to iTunes. Apple wants to grow iTunes into the control panel for our digital life.”

Full article here.


  1. Apple has already decided what it’s going to be: not a computer company, but a consumer solutions company. Apple is taking everyday products/services that people need or want and is redesigning and enhancing them to be what they should be – easy and pleasant to use, packed with features and hidden gems, and cool. Whatever the next trouble area for technology solutions, Apple will be there.

    Fortt is wrong about iTunes. Apple’s key for success is OS X; that’s what everything is being based on. iTunes may be the catch-all front end app, but you need the power of OS X to be able to handle all of the data, sync info, create projects, manage files, etc. That’s what these analysts don’t understand, and it’s why Apple will continue to release great products packed with features while their competition doesn’t.

  2. Without a doubt, an Apple HDTV is coming. They’re just waiting for the internet to catch up to HD content. I’d peg the release in 12 to 18 month – perhaps a little longer. But there’s no way that Apple will settle in long-run having other TV vendors display it’s beautiful software offerings. Not a chance.

  3. How long before they change the name of iTunes or comes out with a new front end software tha is iTunes, but so much more? They are already up to version 7, I bet this year they come out with something new, but it will be similar to iTunes.

  4. While we would all like to believe that everything is based off of osX you must think of how many itunes users are on windows machines. Steve wanted the mac to be the digital hub and for many of us it is. However, through the release of itunes on windows it has become the digital hub of most computers; be it a mac or windows. The beauty of it is that most people don’t realize that itunes has become their hub. The only company that seems to sense this is MS with their updated version of windows media player. I think OSX is much better than windows but many people do not. So, itunes is the way for Apple to be the center of your digital universe regardless of which OS you have on your system. People are still using windows, despite its shortcomings, so Apple is going to conquer your digital world through software and not hardware.

  5. Rock on G-Spank… with a fully integrated OS X 10.5, bluetooth, wireless networking, iTV, maxed out HD (i’m talking about TB’s!!) BlueRay drive, DVR functionality … and something cool no one even knows about yet (its the apple way). Apple is going to rock the next decade.

  6. I like OS X too, but realistically iTunes is truly the ultimate key to it all. No matter whether they use a PC or a Mac, all of those tens of millions of iPod users must install iTunes (along with QuickTime). Apple TV and the iPhone are likely just the first in a line of additional gadgets that will link with iTunes as well.

  7. This guy gets it. I suspected this to be true back in 2001 when the iPod came out and every year more and more devices and content interface through iTunes. Soon we’ll have smart appliances that hook up through iTunes, and WiFi cars also. The possibilities are endless. iTunes is really the “killer app”, not the devices. M$ and Sony should be peeing themselves as they quake and tremble before the master of all things techno-cool, the omnipotent Steven P. Jobs!

  8. I would be very surprised to see Apple do a TV set. They already did and it was miserable in the market place. Apple has it covered with the set-top box, let the others battle it out on low margin TV sets.

    Apple likes high margin products.

  9. If this guy got it, he’d know that iTunes is software. It requires a computer to run it. The Mac, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV all have one thing in common: they’re computers.

    Apple is avoiding the use of the word computer because 90% of computer users associate that word with trouble. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve been using the world’s most problematic OS.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.