“Steven P. Jobs is rebooting Apple’s digital movie effort and putting the company squarely in the middle of an intensifying industry battle to download movies and Internet content to high-definition televisions,” Matt Richtel and Brad Stone report for The New York Times.
“On Tuesday at Macworld Expo, an annual trade show, Mr. Jobs announced that the company is adding movie rentals from all the major Hollywood studios to its iTunes download service. Mr. Jobs said that more than 1,000 regular definition and about 100 high-definition movies would be available by the end of February,” Richtel and Stone report.
“He also unveiled a sequel to Apple’s year-old, unsuccessful AppleTV — a set-top box designed to play those movies on a high-definition television set. The older version of AppleTV [sic], introduced last year, required a computer connection. The newer version connects directly to the Internet and allows consumers to select movies and TV shows to watch directly from their TVs,” Richtel and Stone report.
MacDailyNews Take: 800,000 or so Apple TV units with little or no marketing, no movie rentals, no direct to iTunes ability, etc. in 11 months is “unsuccessful?” Richtel and Stone also don’t seem to understand that all existing Apple TV units are now “the newer version,” too. A free software update adds all of the capabilities to those 800,000 or so Apple TVs already out in the market; Apple TVs that are ready and waiting to rent content, we might add.
Richtel and Stone continue, “Anxious to defend themselves from these rivals, cable and satellite companies are expanding their own on-demand offerings. Comcast, one of the nation’s largest cable companies, said last week it would have 6,000 movies available on demand by next year, with half of those in high-definition… Apple’s offering is not a radical departure from what its competitors offer. It will charge $3.99 for new releases, $4.99 for new releases in high-definition, and $2.99 for older movies. Consumers can store the movie for 30 days, but can watch the movie only during a single 24-hour period.”
MacDailyNews Take: Comcast’s and the others’ offerings will not be portable and playable on 150 million Apple iPod and iPhones, not to mention Macs and PCs. That fact alone is a radical departure.
Richtel and Stone continue, “Richard Doherty, research director of Envisioneering, a technology assessment firm, said that AppleTV was the best solution to date for getting movie downloads. But he said consumers ultimately may favor a way to get digital content onto their televisions that does not involve buying or installing another box… He believes that Apple, hoping to compete with manufacturers that have integrated Internet access technology into televisions, will eventually introduce a TV set of its own. ‘We’re fairly sure they’ve been working on that, and it might be a summer announcement,’ Mr. Doherty said.”
Full article here.