“Every year there are winners and losers in the consumer electronics business. But rarely are they so acutely divided as they appear to be in 2007. Those products deemed winners not only won—they won big. Those that lost tended to lose big, too,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.
“Some winners will come as no surprise. Apple continued to dominate the mobile media player business, its iPod brand still a synonym for the entire category. The clear loser in this market was pretty much any company that dared challenge Apple on turf it has owned in an undisputed manner since 2003,” Hesseldahl writes.
“But Apple didn’t dominate in every market segment it entered. Selling downloadable TV episodes—it has sold 100 million of those in two years—is one thing. Selling gadgets that make those videos watchable on a TV set is quite another. Take AppleTV, an iTunes-connected TV accessory that, with sales clearly not taking off in an iPod way, Apple CEO Steve Jobs described as a ‘hobby,'” Hesseldahl writes.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV itself isn’t to blame. The box is just sitting there waiting for more compelling, higher quality content and, perhaps, more enticing options beyond direct sales of content that most people watch once. Whereas we want to buy and own our music, we want to be able to either subscribe (or maybe rent) TV shows and movies, with the option to buy the few that we’d like to watch multiple times. At least let us buy iTunes video content directly from the Apple TV! Apple needs to get the system developed (they may have it already in the lab) and either sell the content providers on the idea(s) or wait for them to finally get with the times. Apple TV and Apple could replace a sizable chunk of cable subscriptions, but, for now, our Apple TVs sit there showing photos from time to time, playing music perhaps, maybe some podcasts or YouTube vids, and only the occasional TV show or movie that we missed.
Hesseldahl continues, “The video game market also produced a surprise winner in 2007… More than 15 million Nintendo Wii consoles had been sold this year through October, according to iSuppli. That beats the 10.4 million Xbox systems and the 8.8 million PS3 consoles sold in the same period.”
Full article here.
In the accompanying article, BusinessWeek names Apple iPhone “Best Smartphone” (Worst: Palm Centro), Apple MacBook Pro and Mac Pro (tie) “Best PCs” (Worst: Dell’s Inspiron 1501 notebook), Philips Soundbar HTS8100 and Bose Lifestyle v30 (tie) “Best Home Entertainment Systems” (Worst: Apple TV), Pioneer’s Elite Blu-ray BDP-95FD “Best DVD Player” (Worst: Microsoft’s Xbox 360 HD DVD).
More categories and products in BusinessWeek’s full best and worst photo and text slideshow here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacUser” for the heads up.]