“On Monday, July 21st Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer dropped a bomb on those listening to Apple’s quarterly conference call on earnings for Wall Street analysts. He said that gross margins for the coming quarter, and possibly beyond, would be lower for three reasons: 1) a back-to-school special; 2) a one-time charge related to a contract manufacturer, and; 3) ‘a future product transition that I can’t discuss with you today,'” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.
Cringely continues, “Here’s what I THINK Apple is about to do. I reported more than a year ago and repeated in this year’s predictions that Apple would be adding H.264 hardware support to its entire line of computers. The chip they are adding comes from NTT in Japan and was developed in cooperation with Japanese broadcaster NHK. The chips began sampling a year ago and should now be available in volume, though Apple may be paying as much as $50 each for early production.”
“The NTT chip is not just an H.264 decoder, it encodes, too, which is what makes it so special. The last I heard NHK was claiming the chip could compress a 1080p video and audio stream into four megabits per second, down from the 20 megabits normally required. If we assume Apple will apply the same kind of wink-wink, nudge-nudge transcoding to 1080p that they’ve already applied to 720p in the Apple TV, then it is within reason to expect they’ll claim to distribute 1080p over iTunes in two megabits per second,” Cringely writes.
“This is all about taking command of the 1080p video market. Apple’s strategy with iTunes will continue to evolve, but for the moment having a unique real-time 1080p capability will suck a lot of early adopters back into the Apple stores and give Apple’s emerging content competitors like Netflix something new to worry about,” Cringely writes. “Though it is doubtful that many will use it, you can be sure Apple will trumpet the ability to support 720p video in iChat.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: “We are working to develop new products that contain technologies that our competition will not be able to match.” – Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, July 21, 2008
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mtnmnn” for the heads up.]