Analyst: IPTV war kicks off – with Apple likely being the big winner

Apple Store“90 – million – iPods. 2 – billion – songs. Those are HUGE numbers. There are currently 9.36 million Xbox 360s and 2 million PS3s based upon the latest worldwide console sales numbers (from VG Charts). Don’t you think Apple has got to have an advantage rolling out an IPTV product to its user base relative to either Microsoft or Sony? Even if one assumes that the demographics of the three user bases are similar, the sheer reach of Apple’s audience gives it a built-in head start relative to its top competitors. At least it seems that way to me,” Roger Ehrenberg writes for Information Arbitrage.

Ehrenberg writes, “IPTV is right at the intersection of two technology and user mega-trends – light, flexible, powerful and easy-to-use web-based applications (Consumer Era of Computing) and on-demand content that is exactly what I want, when I want it that can be consumed where I want it (Asynchronous World). The online conversation clearly sees IPTV as massively disruptive to legacy content creation and distribution platforms, forcing recognition of and adaption to these new mega-trends. Apple has been the recipient of most of the favorable discussion in this burgeoning arena, notwithstanding a spate of recent competitive offerings. That said, it appears that some technological hurdles need to be overcome – and performance proven – before the IPTV medium is accepted in the same way as, say, music downloads. But the handicapping is that these technical hurdles will be overcome and that IPTV will be massively disruptive, with Apple likely being the big winner. Surprise, surprise.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

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30 Comments

  1. “HDTV requires over 10 Mbps of bandwidth to stream H.263 (MPEG-4 AVC) signals.”

    H.263? H.264 streams just fine on my system with just the tiniest bit of buffering.

    “The rollout of IPTV will be dependent on the bandwidth providers, not the content providers. Very few households have the required downstream bandwidth today.” It’s not “very few”. But it doesn’t have to be “a lot” either. It only needs to be “enough”.

    “Personally, I believe the bandwidth providers (e.g. at&t, Verizon) should be kept out of the content business. Just provides Mbps/$.”

    With the coming widespread deployment of WiMax wireless broadband, with a 30 mile range, not only fixed but also mobile high speed broadband will become available almost everywhere. These frequencies are licensed (owned) and Sprint is the only major current player with large amounts of licenses. Clearwire is #2. Comcast and most of the major phone service providers are currently out in the cold.

    “Death to the cable companies! Long live the content producers!”

    WiMax just may produce your desired result.

  2. You can download or purchase the music or videos directly from your iPhone…

    This is an interesting point. The iPhone can indeed be thought of as an iPod that doesn’t require computer ownership; but then, most cell phones sold today can download and play music at least after a fashion. So much depends on the speed of the internet connection. Theoretically, an iPhone user could use that device plus web apps to accomplish most of the tasks that most consumers use home computers for. Not that it isn’t more convenient to sit in front of real computer monitor and type on a real keyboard. But the point is that a product like the iPhone may represent, among other things, a way for some people to leap in a single bound from computerless have-nots to fully-connected citizens of the digital world. From this angle, Apple is really throwing in the cell phone for free!

  3. Now all we need is for Apple to bring out an iPhone (less phone) for less than $US100 for poor countries – internet via WiFi, VoIP/SMS, Google web-apps via Safari, charge via car charger, local MP3 song/movie base, landscape/portrait mode and intuitive operation. It would wipe the floor with the Linux alternatives. Probably cost-price for Apple.

  4. I don’t understand the writer’s logic. Apple may have more iPods than Microsoft do XBoxes or Sony do Playstations. But Microsoft and Sony have two important advantages: their devices are already connected to the Internet and they’re already permanently connected to the TV in high definition. The iPods do neither. I fail to see how this translates into a commercial advantage for Apple when it comes to IPTV.

  5. I agree with Connor, IPTV is streamed content over the internet. Verizon & AT&T are preparing to roll out this Microsoft based technology beginning this year – giving Microsoft access to 10’s, if not 100’s of Millions of subscribers. Imagine a Microsoft set top box on top of 20~30 million AT&T subcribers TV’s. Therefore, I think its waaaayyyyy to presumptive to declare Apple a winner in the IPTV wars.
    People will both have to buy the appleTV box and buy the content seperately. Incontrast AT&T & VZ will likely provided the set top box for minimal cost and charge customer’s for the content (like any other cable company).

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