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Apple to Rule the Digital Home by 2013?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the apple-speculation-america's-new-pastime dept.

Media (Apple) 223

Stony Stevenson writes to tell us that a new study from Forrester Research is taking a crack at what seems to have become a hobby for so many, predicting Apple's market strategy. Specifically, Forrester is predicting that Apple will become the 'hub of the digital home by 2013.' "Forrester predicts that Apple will offer eight key products and services to connect PCs and digital content to the TV-stereo infrastructure in consumers' homes. A 're-engineered' Apple Store will expand into in-home installation services to deliver what Forrester describes as a 'fully integrated digital experience.'"

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Quick summary: (5, Informative)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524876)

Maybe I'm just hungover but to me the article seems to be nothing but: "Blah blah blah Apple. Blah blah Apple Blah Apple Blah."

Re:Quick summary: (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524902)

No, it's more like Blah Blah Blah Apple. Digital. Blah Blah Blah. Apple. Shiny. Blah Blah Blah. Apple. TV.

Much more in depth than you made it out to be.

Re:Quick summary: (4, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525028)

"Blah blah blah Apple. Blah blah Apple Blah Apple Blah."

Yeah, it's total crap. Not every home even has a drier, or a microwave oven (surprise surprise) or even a TV. Heaps of people don't own anything more than a small radio and cheap TV.

Apple is not going to rule the home because it cannot produce products that everybody can afford.

Re:Quick summary: (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525602)

Who cares about everybody? Apple only cares about people with money. Preferably, those who are easily parted from it.

Remember those ads from the 1950s promising the easy life if you only buy their special new product, firmly targeting the (at the time) new middle class? That's Apple, today.

Re:Quick summary: (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525732)

Honestly, it's not even a new idea. Not worth writing about. I read an article (in Newsweek) back in the late 90s, shortly after Jobs came back to Apple, and Jobs himself outlined this exact same strategy: to become the center of the living room. It's not even a unique strategy. Microsoft has been trying the exact same thing, which is why they are willing to take such a huge loss on x-box. It's a market that may not even exist, and yet if it does the payout is so huge that many players are willing to spend a lot of money to try to get in there.

If you ask me, so far Nintendo's been the most successful.

Yeah (5, Funny)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524884)

The massive success of Apple TV sure put them on the right track.

Re:Yeah (4, Funny)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525048)

Until iTunes can be used as a media player AND a bittorrent client, I don't think it'll happen (at least not for me)

Hell, think of the marketing! "You have two options of getting your media; via iTMS, or for free via BitTorrent" I'd buy that shit in a heartbeat

Re:Yeah (4, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525066)

"House corrupted. Please set fire to it and use itunes to restore."

Re:Yeah (5, Funny)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525102)

I don't know why I got modded as funny, I wasn't going for the humour there. I had great hopes for Apple TV, because for once the same company would be doing both the hardware and the software in a single, well-supported and integrated package. And yeah, imagine if you could torrent free and licensed content off to the set top box.

I'm not sure why people seem to think it's taboo to talk about how Apple TV didn't make the cut. So not all their products are going to be perfect - big deal. The road to success is not always paved with the detritus of your earlier home runs. Sometimes you have to work harder.

I'm not sure if the premise of the article is valid, but I do believe that if someone can make the media center revolution happen, it's Apple.

Re:Yeah (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525238)

I just saw it as a blog post with a bunch of buzz words.

I don't see where it is taboo to say AppleTV isn't up to par. I think it's a fine example to keep to show that Apple doesn't always make a hit the first time around. I'd like to see some better competition, the secrets to Apple's successes aren't secret, most of the information is out there, but maybe it's constantly misinterpreted or poorly adapted to an incompatible culture or management style.

I really don't want one company to have all the keys to the "complete digital home". As it is, Apple has a habit of not fixing annoying bugs in existing products, they'll just fix it in the next revision of the product, which adds different bugs. It's kind of irritating.

And I really doubt that any company, even Apple, would really want to or be able to serve up paid media and install BT to link into illegal distribution of copyrighted materials onto their box like that, and there's a few reasons for that.

bit terrent (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525502)

And I really doubt that any company, even Apple, would really want to or be able to serve up paid media and install BT to link into illegal distribution of copyrighted materials onto their box like that

Bittorrent is quite capable of distributing legal media as well as illegal. I'm not a content provider however if I did make movies and or music I very well may use Bittorrent for distribution. I'd use it to distribute low quality version of whatever then allow a high quality version to be downloaded for paying customers. For a little extra they could even order the movie or music on physical media sent by Fed Ex, UPS or snail mail.

Falcon

Re:Yeah (5, Informative)

Ilyon (1150115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525412)

You can laugh now, but a slow introduction of an Apple product does not guarantee eventual failure.

Estimates indicate 1-1.5 million Apple TVs were sold in their first year on the market [wikipedia.org] .

In comparison, the iPod sold 376,000 units in their first year on the market [wikipedia.org] . We're not laughing at iPod now, are we?

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525420)

AppleTV is selling a whole lot better since the 2.0 upgrade, there is a much greater level of interest from the public on the product and a lot less "selling" required to get them in homes.

There's still some level of confusion from people who thinks that it is a Tivo type of device, but the AppleTV is at a point now that it should have been at launch.

-- Cupertino Fruit Company Insider posting anonymously

No they won't (5, Interesting)

awitod (453754) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524908)

It'll be either one of the console vendors Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony (Probably Microsoft if they can get their heads out their asses on the matter of DRM. The XBox 360/Windows Media stuff works pretty well already and is simple to set up) or a set-top box vendor (again if they can come up with a DRM strategy).

Apple doesn't make anything that hooks to a TV that has any critical mass.

Agreed. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524946)

Perhaps it's wishful thinking but I honestly suspect that Nintendo is the one that will pull it off, and largely because they tend to fly under Sony and Microsoft's radar.

Re:Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525014)

I highly doubt that Nintendo is not being carefully watched by both Sony and M$.

Re:Agreed. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525036)

Perhaps - but the Nintendo version will only work at NTSC resolutions and most of the advertisements for the product will avoid showing details of the actual product instead using cheap camera tricks to distract the viewer. But I could be wrong.

Re:No they won't (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524950)

It'll be either one of the console vendors Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony
If Sony was capable they could have easily done it by now. They've been selling all of the components, mostly successfully, for many years. They don't seem interested in integration.

Nintendo doesn't seem interested in providing the full experience, either. They focus heavily on each individual product.

Microsoft definitely has the strongest ambition. But they do often shoot themselves in the foot.

Re:No they won't (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524980)

The problem I see is that sony and apple will charge too much to get a large install base. Some people are willing to buy PS3s either for gaming or blue ray. In order to rule the home, they have to be in most homes. I just don't see anything at $500 doing that. Two years ago, one could predict Microsoft or Nintendo doing this. At the moment, most people are still dealing with sticker shock for gas prices. Now if someone delivers on HD cheaply and with downloads, perhaps. I have an Apple TV, and I don't think it's ready for critical mass.

Re:No they won't (2, Funny)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525096)

Well, the one thing Apple consistently does well is taking the little things that everyone else is doing, bringing them all together and making it work. It's rare that they are the first ones with an idea. It's common that they are the first ones to make an idea workable. Now, they may or may not do it, but if in a few years they are repeating the iPor/iPhone success in a household setting and all the critics are saying 'they are not doing anything new, why does this version seem to click for everyone' I wouldn't be too surprised.

Re:No they won't (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525400)

You really need to see the Xbox 360 then. Aside from the failure rates, it's basically done. I've hooked it up as a media center extender, and yeah, with DVD ripping and a home media server, combined with Live which already sells/rents movies (in HD) at rates comperable to Comcast, and certainly comparable to the local video store it's perfect.

Of the 100 people on my friends list, 30 of whom might be on at any given time, often a few are watching video's, or listening to music, or connecting to windows media center and aren't just waiting for a game. What's missing? maybe 10 TB of personal storage and some form of neigh indestructable media. I downloaded the free epsode of voltron, anjoyed the gratis rental of austin powers I from McDonalds. What has Apple bought me?

Re:No they won't (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525342)

I don't remember microsoft's foot ever getting injured though... Crappy aim can be useful :p

Re:No they won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23524956)

Apple doesn't make anything that hooks to a TV that has any critical mass.
'cept the iPod video, though I don't know how often it is used in this fashion.

That being said, the idea of Apple 'ruling' the digital home is scary to me... I would like to have some control please, and I don't see Apple giving it to anybody.

Re:No they won't (4, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524968)

I was thinking the same thing. The way the 360 integrates with an internal computer network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.

Other than perhaps a less clunky interface, I can't imagine how Apple could trump that.

Re:No they won't (4, Interesting)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525296)

I was thinking the same thing. The way the 360 integrates with an internal Windows network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.
I fixed that for you. Microsoft's failure to allow the 360 to stream over widely supported protocols is pathetic. you can't even use SMB, which they developed themselves. even using the one windows pc in the house with WMP11 I've had endless troubles with getting the 360 to see the damn pc. uPNP seems pretty half baked if you ask me.

maybe I've had my expectations set too high after using xbox media centre for so long, but after being able to watch pretty much any video format over nearly any protocol the 360's media "integration" just seems like a polished turd

Re:No they won't (0)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525360)

What makes you think that a company which couldn't capitalize on The Internet (which, I must add, was their particular playground) will be any more successful in integrating products which it doesn't even make aka TV, Stereo etc?

Apple (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525654)

The way the 360 integrates with an internal computer network to deliver high quality video and audio is pretty darn slick.

Other than perhaps a less clunky interface, I can't imagine how Apple could trump that.

With built in network ports, Ethernet and WiFi, Apple TV can also integrate with a computer network, and it works with Windows and OS X. It can serve up movies, music, and photos. And it works with standard as well as HDTVs.

Falcon

PS3 or Wii (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524990)

My money is on the PS3 or Wii.

For the PS3, Sony has been helpful in getting Linux to run on it. The most important factor is the blu-ray capability. I know a lot of people who bought a PS3 just for the blu-ray. They own no games 'cept what came in the box.

The Wii is an exceptional game machine. Nintendo hit their target right on and that fact that the Wii is outselling the PS3 and Xbox combined speaks volumes. If the Wii offered up blu-ray, it would dominate even more.

Re:No they won't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525498)

Nintendo know how to keep things simple and too the point. MS will try to shove it down your throat and tell you what movies you are ALLOWED to watch; PS3 will tell you how you ARE going to use it and that it IS the best GODDAMN thing ever. The Wii will just meekly do what you want in an entertaining way.

Yes, I know it will be a different version of the Wii to support HDMI and 1080p. I think all of them will need at else t ONE more version change before it has the chance, including Apple.

Of course, there all looking at each others product, so any one of them may change for the good, or bad.

That said, Steve Jobs is a master at using the wedge to get shit into a market. the iPod being the obvious example.

Re:No they won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525546)

The PS3 works just as good with the Windows Media Server. Quick and painless to setup.

I for one welcome our new over 1 button overloards (5, Funny)

schwep (173358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524936)

Because nobody would ever need more than 1 button on a mouse, nobody would ever need more than 1 button on a TV remote.

Re:I for one welcome our new over 1 button overloa (1)

code4fun (739014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525136)

My Mighty Mouse only has a clit, but it can emulate 4 buttons! After using it for a few months, I prefer this over my MS Mouse now. I now own two of them: one for the mini and one for the laptop. I'm still waiting on TiVo like functionality before I get an Apple TV.

Re:I for one welcome our new over 1 button overloa (0)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525210)

My Mighty Mouse only has a clit
Only a clit? Sexist.

Besides, it's clearly a nipple.

Re:I for one welcome our new over 1 button overloa (4, Funny)

vikstar (615372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525184)

It makes Guitar Hero much easier [eero.info] .

4 Button overloads nowadays (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525402)

The mighty mouse which arrived yesterday has 4 buttons and trakball.

Of corse if you just look at a mighty mouse at the shops you won't notice because the designers made the mouse lokke like it has no buttons at all.

Martin

Re:I for one welcome our new over 1 button overloa (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525518)

Yep .. it's called TV-B-Gone

Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23524938)

Stony Stevenson?

Itunes makes windows unstable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23524958)

This just in "Itunes makes windows unstable so the mac os looks stable for your Ipod" they do have a lot to gain by doing so.

Not so sure. (1)

FriedEggs (1294830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524970)

I think people will learn to diversify the electronics in their houses and where they come from. In other words, I just don't see any single company monopolizing on all home electronics. If that happens, shame on us. This concept reminds me of the mindless mass consumption of Brawndo in the movie "Idiocracy". "It's got electrolytes! It's got what plants crave!"

Re:Not so sure. (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525198)

True, and that fact has the potential for being Apple's downfall in the area. Apple products are great, but they seem to have a difficult time playing with anything that's a non-Apple product.

A consumer that has a TV that's brand A and a stereo receiver that's brand B, and neither one of them work with Apple's latest "digital media center" (or don't work very well) aren't going to run out and buy an Apple TV or receiver, especially when there are other products that will work with his or her existing equipment.

Apple TV (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525716)

A consumer that has a TV that's brand A and a stereo receiver that's brand B, and neither one of them work with Apple's latest "digital media center" (or don't work very well) aren't going to run out and buy an Apple TV or receiver, especially when there are other products that will work with his or her existing equipment.

Except Apple TV [apple.com] works with many, if not most or all, TVs. It also can play different audio formats. What I don't see though are any regular stereo inputs. All I've got now is an old stereo, however I want to get an amp/receiver, reel-to-reel tape deck, and a vinyl turntable. With such a setup I'd do what I used to do, the first tyme I played a record I recorded it on a reel of tape then played the tape. If the tape wears out I still would have the record and could rerecord it. I could also add another step, import the music onto my Mac and rip into mp3 files.

Falcon

Game console? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525012)

Maybe they can get back into the console market while they're at it. Yes, the Pippin [wikipedia.org] was a failure, but then so was the iPhone's predecessor the Rokr.

Forrester cracks me up... (4, Interesting)

voidstin (51561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525016)

How they get people to pay thousands of dollars for this "research" is amazing. Can anyone ever remember someone saying "Damn! Forrester totally called it!"

The 4 new products they predict are:

* AppleSound universal music controller
what, for the times when you are out of earshot of itunes, ipod or apple tv? or so you can sync them? I don't see the market here.

* Network-enabled gadgets
like a chumby? or an ambient orb?

* In-home installation services
apple geek squad? Ok, this may be true, but really... yawn...

* Apple home server product
This is the only one that MAY be interesting, but that's probably just because they don't say much about it. isn't this what the mini is? or mini+drobo?

Re:Forrester cracks me up... (0)

Agent__Smith (168715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525054)

LOL

WOW they totally nailed that.. and so specific too...

Must be a slow news day...

Re:Forrester cracks me up... (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525112)

Well there may be a market for a universal controller, the problem is that they've been beaten to it. The best example would be the Logitech Harmony remotes. These things control, well, everything. You log on to the website and tell it what gear you have and how it's connected, it sends you the data to program your remote to control it (remotes hook up via USB). Gone are the days of digging through code books, you just tell it what you got, and it does the rest.

So it isn't as though Apple can just waltz in to this arena and amaze people, the products already exist, and they are already easy to use. It also already works with Apple stuff. Put an iPod in your Yamaha receiver (many have iPod docks) and the receiver will control it remotely, and the Harmony will control the receiver.

Sounds to me like this guy is an Apple fan who hasn't really done his homework about what is actually out there, or done any real business analysis of if a market would be good for Apple to get in to. As you noted for home installation services, that's a big yawn. To the extent people buy that, they are going to buy it from the retailer they get the hard drives from, like bigscreen TVs. This isn't the sort of thing someone is going to think "Man, I'd better call Apple and have them pick up my TV from Best Buy and install it." It's hard to sell "cool" in the mark of in home installations and it takes only a minor look at Apple's business to realise that selling cool is what they do. The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, it wasn't the cheapest, etc. What it was is the one that made MP3 players cool to have, that made them a fashion accessory.

I really wish Slashdot wouldn't post fanboy crap like this. Just because it doesn't come from a blog, doesn't mean it isn't just a fanboy drooling over what they think would be cool. There seems to be no business case for any of this, just wild speculation.

Re:Forrester cracks me up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525152)

Real Mac people buy XServes and use those for their Apple home servers. ;)

* In-home installation services (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525782)

Actually there's a pretty good market in home installations now, with media centers, automatic systems, and remote control like X10 [smarthome.com] being installed. I've seen 3 or 4 magazines that focus on these like "Smart Homeowner" [smart-homeowner.com] and "Electronic House" [electronichouse.com] . Falcon

Smart move (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525024)

It seems to me that the same people who really want that fully integrated home theatre experience are not necessarily the same people who know how to set up and purchase the componenets for said system. Apple having a one stop shop for home theatre purchase and installation, as well as having the avenue to deliver content to these systems would be very successful in the typical consumer home theatre market. Consumers like integrated, seamless, and easy. Power users like us like full control and customization. This wouldn't necessarily be for us, but if it were a decent system at the right price, I would fork over some of my customization control.

Re:Smart move (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525738)

It seems to me that the same people who really want that fully integrated home theatre experience are not necessarily the same people who know how to set up and purchase the componenets for said system.

Every home theater nut that I've ever met either was motivated enough to learn how to do it themselves, knew someone who could show them how to do it, or had enough money to pay someone else to set it up for them.

I honnest doubt it'll be any of the big three, Apple, MS, or SONY, because they spend too much of their time on trying to set up something that gives them all the benefits that they forget that the whole point is that its supposed to benefit the consumer.

Once you go Mac... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525040)

Apple is pretty simple. Once you start using Macs, you never want to go back. No worries about security, as MacOS is 100% secure from network issues (which no other OS can claim), no worries if device "X" works or not, as you just plug it in and use it.

Apple also is first with devices popular in everyday life which people clone, from the PC, to the MP3 player, to the smartphone. They make a device, and everyone makes poor clones of it.

Re:Once you go Mac... (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525064)

So that's why Windows moved to PPC. ... Oh, wait... [/joke]

Re:Once you go Mac... (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525252)

Actually, Windows was available for the PowerPC, and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft has a version of it that's workable on the PowerPC to this day.

Re:Once you go Mac... (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525430)

Actually, Windows was available for the PowerPC, and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft has a version of it that's workable on the PowerPC to this day.

IBM did the port of Windows NT to the PowerPC architecture, and not Microsoft. While one of the original intents of NT was to maintain some form of platform neutrality by doing everything in C, in reality it wasn't true then and I seriously doubt if it's true now with Vista. MS is pretty much locked into Intel compatible processors.

Yaz.

Re:Once you go Mac... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525188)

Uhhmm, Nothing can say its 100% secure. Nothing. Even OpenBSD has had two remotely exploitable vulnerabilities.

Not with apple TV, but maybe... (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525062)

If apple gave a little innovation into a gaming system and an audio system, that was half as innovative as an iPhone, half as quiet as a Mac mini, half as sexy as as any other Apple product, I bet they would.

Now the bad : apple has no history of creating amplifiers, TVs , or game systems. Still, looking at the success of the iPhone and their laptops, I would not be surprised if they just came out with a Sony/Nintendo/MS Xbox killer multi function device.

Hey APPLE, please do not make it dependent on damn ITUNES.

Am I an apple zealot?
Oh well .... I was a nokia user for the last 10+ years, and I was using Linux (on the desktop too) since it literally came out (94).

Now I replaced all my home computers with Apple computers, and after kicking myself for buying a $500 dollar nokia, I just got an iphone to get rid of that piece of shit E65 after promising everyone, that it was my last ever nokia.

Yep, maybe I am becoming an Apple zealot, but every buck I earn I make on apple computers and phones, and I am doing it with a lot less porblems then what I had with linux or Windows ....

If I can get a gaming/video experience like this: bring it on. No crappy online environment, no kiddie only games and no red ring of death.

JUST NO ITUNES PLEASE..... ....

Anyway .... just my 3 cents ...

Re:Not with apple TV, but maybe... (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525174)

Now the bad : apple has no history of creating amplifiers, TVs , or game systems. Still, looking at the success of the iPhone and their laptops, I would not be surprised if they just came out with a Sony/Nintendo/MS Xbox killer multi function device.

My mind isn't working 100% right now from lack of caffeine, so I'm just going to give you the link for interesting reading to Apple's one and only game system, the Pippin. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not with apple TV, but maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525208)

Sucess with Iphone and laptops? No offense, but those products are the exception not the rule. I goto a university in Philadelphia and while sure some people have macbooks and iphones, its not many at all. Not as much some people would like you to believe. Not everyone falls for that apple marketing crap( stupid operating system commercials and coldplay music color junk)

Re:Not with apple TV, but maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525544)

hmm... Wondering what major. I am in OSx for having unix and a functional desktop. Perfect for programming. If at your uni only the people buy macs who prefer colorful crap... They must be colour blind. On the serious side: what product are the majority if the laptops and iphone are the exception? Ipod's? Then again I am happy with apple stuff because I get quality, I am pissed at most other firms at the time. But then again I prefer my 95 bmw over any us or Japanese brand, so shiny and new is not the driving force behind my decisions. How long would it take to type this on my nokia....

Re:Not with apple TV, but maybe... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525526)

"apple has no history of creating amplifiers,"
the ampliefier is done. There really is no difficulty here. There well understood and everyone with 1 year of electronic interest knows how to make them. The only question is quality, and I'll give Apple that one. They have continued to improve and learn.

"TVs"
Apple doesn't need to create TVs, they just need HDMI. I would be surprised to see Apple try to compete with all the new 1080 stuff. It seem to me that the market for that has all the entries it needs.

ANd if they did, they would rebrand someone else's.

"game systems."
ah, thats an expensive one. I wonder if they would just partner?

  Yes, of course it will use iTunes; which is fine by me, I like it.

FTR: I own an iPod, and iPod mini(both gifts) and I bought a Apple IIc hen they were new..paid about 2K for it in 1983.. sigh.

Re:Not with apple TV, but maybe... (3, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525806)

Hey APPLE, please do not make it dependent on damn ITUNES.

That's where they make their money. And making money by locking in users matters to Apple just as much as to Microsoft.

Apple is as Apple Does (5, Funny)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525080)

Now know this, you newly minted Mac users - if you use Apple equipment for any length of time, you wind up with the same hobby: predicting Apple's market strategy.

It's fun and easy to do, and you soon learn that you can do just as good a job as Forrester or Gartner or Cringley, and do a lot better than Metcalf, Michael Dell or Dvorak (not the keyboard layout, as even a keyboard layout can provide better market analysis than that guy).

Bold predictions! You can make bold predictions -

"Steve Jobs will buy Adobe!"
"Steve Wozniak will mary a famous comedienne!"
"iPhone will be the first earth technology bough by alien visitors as it's superior to their own!"
"Apple will shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders!"

- Ok, I admit that it's unlikely Woz will marry a famous comedienne, but other than that, as long as it's outlandish and over-the-top, there's a one-in-a-million chance it might come true, and as Terry Pratchett readers, we know one-in-a-million chances crop up nine times out of ten.

Articles like this are just the encouragement newly fledged Apple pundits need to start rolling their own... and it's a small step from speculation to rumor-mongering! That's where the action's really at.

(And, you didn't hear it from me, but the next rev of iTunes will knock your socks clean off, employing bayesian fuzzy-logic heuristic inference engines to predict with 89% accuracy what you want to hear before you hear it, or so I heard from a little bird who's working on "Project BHA-II")

Re:Apple is as Apple Does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525332)

Bold predictions! You can make bold predictions


Sir, I think you may need these - [b] [/b].

Apple May Well Rule, But Forrester Misses Why (2, Insightful)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525092)

According to that Forrester article:

The eight essential pillars on which Apple will deliver this platform, based on four existing offerings and four new product concepts, are expected to be:

        * Apple Macintosh home PC
        * Apple TV digital media extender
        * Apple Store
        * iTunes and its successors
        * Apple home server product
        * AppleSound universal music controller
        * Network-enabled gadgets
        * In-home installation services


I think those all of those miss the biggest weapon in Apple's arsenal, and one of them isn't even going to be a factor anymore by 2013 - not as we've come to know it. The PC - including the Mac - is a dying form factor for all but high-end professional use (think workstations). Gamers are migrating to dedicated gaming machines (Apple may well release one themselves), while what we've traditionally used PC's for - web surfing, e-mail, word processing - can now be successfully handled by cell phones. Create a docking station for the iPhone that allows it to use a full-sized keyboard, mouse and monitor while you're at home - or a portable docking solution that allows it to function as a laptop - and a good 90% of all "PC" users won't need a PC anymore. They'll simply use their phone (which really isn't a phone, it's a tiny PC with phone features and a customized interface).

With advances in wireless technology you'll also be able to connect that iPhone to your home's NAS, to your stereo and to your television to share and display content. Apple's big advantage here is user interface design, plus its existing DRM-enabled relationship with major content providers. They've also proven they can market new concepts and new technologies to consumers in a way HP and Microsoft just can't (terd brown Zune, anybody?).

And of course the iPhone can be used as a portable music and video player as well. The next-gen iPhone may well sport 30GB of flash, and by 2013 could be toting 300GB. That's certainly enough on-the-go storage for most users, and with high-speed wireless networks becoming common if it's not enough space, you could always connect to the home NAS and synchronize with it to pull down additional content on-demand (or buy it directly at Apple's online store).

I could see Apple getting into the GeekSquad business as Forrester suggests, for installing and configuring their own hardware. They might even release their own line of displays, amps, speakers and such, although to date they've been pretty content at letting others provide iPod accessories. That might change though as they become more dominant in the consumer electronics space.

Their other big play between now an 2013 could be videogames. There's no reason why Apple can't release its own Xbox - I'm sure Intel would be happy to lend them a lot of engineering help in order to establish a presence in that market. Make the device function with iPhones and serve as a media hub, sell it for $300 or less and watch as it erodes the market for more expensive gaming devices from its rivals. The iPhone is already poised to become a successful portable gaming device in its own right.

Apple could also use their position to smash the high-priced game model that's dominated the market for the past two decades. Keep the price of games to $19.95 and win share away from more expensive rivals, who have been using their cut of game revenue to fund console development. Even if they aren't a huge success as a gaming platform, it won't cost them much to enter the space this way. And they could end up doing to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft what Commodore did to Atari and Coleco back in the early '80s, when the C64 ate the consoles' lunch. Back then consumers were more than willing to abandon single-function gaming devices for a multi-function device that played games while offering new capabilities, like a keyboard and cheaper games, even though it cost more.

The rise of real, connected portable computers over the next 5 years is going to dramatically change the computing landscape, like nothing we've seen since the rollout of the Internet to the masses starting in the mid-'90s. I don't see vendors like Microsoft, HP or Dell adapting to this customer-focused market well - if at all. While I don't fully agree with Forrester's reasoning, I think Apple really could be the dominant player in the industry within 5 years. They'll also be one of the few really profitable ones in the consumer space, although I'd imagine MS and HP will linger on quite happily behind the scenes for decades as part of the infrastructure.

Re:Apple May Well Rule, But Forrester Misses Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525306)

apple winning customers by being cheap? thats never gonna happen

Re:Apple May Well Rule, But Forrester Misses Why (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525506)

That was a really good idea about the iphone.

After all, it already syncs with bluetooth devices, so why not a keyboard and a mouse? A cable that provide HDMI and we're there.

Re:Apple May Well Rule, But Forrester Misses Why (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525646)


Their other big play between now an 2013 could be videogames. There's no reason why Apple can't release its own Xbox - I'm sure Intel would be happy to lend them a lot of engineering help in order to establish a presence in that market. Make the device function with iPhones and serve as a media hub, sell it for $300 or less and watch as it erodes the market for more expensive gaming devices from its rivals. The iPhone is already poised to become a successful portable gaming device in its own right.

Apple could also use their position to smash the high-priced game model that's dominated the market for the past two decades. Keep the price of games to $19.95 and win share away from more expensive rivals, who have been using their cut of game revenue to fund console development.
... you're kind of out in left field, there. Come back in a bit, we can see the players a bit better from here.

Since when has Apple - or anything to accessorize their products, such as the myriad of shareware 'solutions' which provide only the basest features - been 'cheap'? I saw software for OS X the other day which cost over $30, and all the software did was take screen/snapshots of the screen in a vaguely novel fashion. And that isn't the norm, from what I can tell.

No, if Apple were to produce a game system, it would cost 20%+ more than the competition, have only a limited number of games (with very generic names, like Street Fight and Ride Bike) which would have not only an up-front cost higher than the competition, but would also have a per-game for-pay subscription model.

The article has a lot of stuff I consider silly (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525094)

But there are a couple of developments mentioned that I consider likely, or at least plausible.

The first is a fancy NAS, aka. "home server" (But not called that, of course. Whoever thought up that moniker was practically begging to have their gadget ignored by the mainstream). The Time Capsule's hardware is probably already sufficient for a lot of tasks (although they'll probably sell a new souped up model with the new features instead), and more software integration with OSX and iPods/iPhones/AppleTVs seems like a no brainer for future features.
According to NPD, Apple actually has the #1 selling product in both the 802.11n base station and NAS markets these days with Airport Extreme and Time Capsule. And, while I'm not sure they intended to enter that market quite so strongly, I think it does suit their strengths (in this case, making both the hardware and software of easy to setup devices that just work), and I hope they'll seize the opportunity they've been presented with.

And the second is adding BluRay and/or DVR modes to the AppleTV. I think it's pretty clear that a lot of consumers don't want yet another box cluttering their TV stands. If Apple can consolidate a couple of other doodads into theirs for relatively little cost, without compromising the user experience, they ought to go for it. And given that they've recently been allowing variable pricing for new shows from HBO in the US, and other channels in the UK, I think Apple might be becoming open to flexibility in other aspects of video distribution as well. There are certainly still good reasons for them not to do this (dealing with the cable-card/DRM mess, supporting the competition, adding cost and complexity, etc), but in the long run I think it might be worth it to smooth the transition to mainstream internet video distribution.

Why wait until then? (2, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525116)

I have a PopcornHour Networked Digital Media Tank. I can play video files of any format including subtitles from any PC on the network on my HDTV, audio files from any PC on the network on my stereo.

I can also use it to play any streaming video or audio from the net, browse Google Video and Youtube and many others from my couch... and it even has a built-in bittorrent client if I want to download media to the internal hard drive.

All in a little box the size of an external drive enclosure... with a remote. USB inputs, network inputs, HDMI out, etc.

All for a couple of hundred bucks. Which I'm sure is a fraction of what Apple will be charging when theirs comes to market in a few years.

Following the iPod and iPhone trend... (3, Funny)

Orcspit (600792) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525118)

Does this mean I'll have to send my "digital home" off to a service center three months after I buy it to?

No one wants integration (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525130)

Or if they do they're insane. Product tie-in is why people ran to Apple in the first place, to get away from the Microsoft lock-in. Now Apple is doing it. I recently dumped everything I had Apple and moved to FOSS for exactly this reason. It kills competition and locks you into inferior products all for the sack of compatibility.

I like that I can have different components from different manufacturers. It means I can shop around for the best deals. As soon as one company ties it all in you can look forward to the death of standards like HDMI. Anyone remember ADC? The Apple Display Connector? Don't think for a second Apple wont start doing this to lock you in.

It boggles the mind why people get so excited about vendor lock-in like this. Suddenly it's a good thing? Did we learn nothing from the 90's and the Microsoft/Intel/Cisco empire?

Re:No one wants integration (3, Interesting)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525206)

Actually, I think everyone wants integration, if it works well. The problem so far has been most "integrated" devices have been overcomplicated crap. Sure hardcore geeks can use Windows Media Center PCs, and a few have been willing to shell out $1500 or whatever for one, but most folks want something easier and cheaper.

Enter Apple.

Integration can help ensure things "just work", if done correctly (Microsoft being the poster child for how not to do it correctly). The downside is, it's either Apple's way or the highway. But that's really already the case for any existing integrated solutions from every other consumer electronics vendor, from Bose to Nokia to, well, Microsoft.

Apple has successfully locked people into the iPod with the iPod's connector. They've leveraged their position as the #1 portable music player to build up a whole ecology of products that'll only work with their devices, a barrier to entry even Microsoft couldn't overcome. If they establish themselves as the lead integrator in the home, as I suspect is likely via the iPhone and future successors to the AppleTV, they're going to become virtually impossible to work around.

Their products aren't perfect, but I'm frankly glad it's gonna be them and not either Microsoft or Sony. Apple is at worst annoying - Sony and MS have already proven dangerous.

Re:No one wants integration (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525576)

"Apple has successfully locked people into the iPod with the iPod's connector. "
What are you talking about?

Yes, they ahve products that only work with their devices, so what? that's not lock in. If only provided them, then that would be lock in.

It's like saying Chevy has vendor lock in based on there Auto parts When ANYONE can make them as sell them.

Re:No one wants integration (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525216)

The ADC? Sure. Apple used to have the ADC where power, usb and signal all went through the same cable. Now they don't. Now you can plug any monitor you want into a Mac. That is actually a move away from vendor lock in. If you want to make a point about vendor lock in this wasn't the example to use.

Re:No one wants integration (0, Flamebait)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525276)

Well, you're missing the point. Lock in is a very bad thing. Unless it's Apple doing it. Then it's very very good.

Re:No one wants integration (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525560)

How is Apple doing it?
Can I ahve your old Apple hardware?
"Don't think for a second Apple wont start doing this to lock you in."
Of course they won't. It would be stupid, a quick glance at then Stereo market would tell you that is bad and nobody succeeded fpr very long doing that.

And if they did? so what, as soon as it was a problem, people would abandon it in droves. In a lot of ways it's following the Stereo history.

Most people WANT 1 unit to do it all, but nobody can make one that keeps enough people happy.

And your argument is a strawman, BTW

A new study by me says (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525162)

No, they won't.

And I ain't gonna charge you $400 for it.

$5 will do.

Thank you.

In-home installation services? Terrible business (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525170)

Providing in-home installation services would not be forward progress. Eliminating the need for in-home installation services would be.

Cabling for home entertainment systems needs to be simplified drastically. Current large-screen TVs have far too many connectors. The home entertainment industry has been unable to make all the boxes talk to each other and self-configure. The display vendors, the cable box vendors, the media player vendors, and the "amplifier" vendors each want to be in charge. The game console people don't worry about integration much. So we don't have idiot-resistant plug and play, even though that's technically possible. (It is getting better, though; if you're all HDMI, things do interoperate better. Aspect ratio, for example, is handled automatically.)

Apple probably isn't in a position to make that happen, though. Apple may sell a "media center" box, but they won't be the only one.

iHome (1)

acrobg (1175095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525180)

So how long until we see the inevitable iHome? we'll have the iPlasma with an AppleTV attached, iSpeaker system, iDVR, iMedia Center, iBluRay player, etc.

5 year predictions... (4, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525228)

Forrester Research [macworld.com]

January 25, 1996: "Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It's so classic. It's so sad."

I suppose Apple as we knew it in 1996 is dead, but how many people really miss that Apple? By January 2001 Apple was on the rebound, 3 years after introducing the iMac and about to release Mac OS X 10.0.

I don't think that's what Forrester had in mind, though. I'll take any such company-specific predictions with a grain of salt.

prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525242)

One thing these analysts do best is "missing the point" by miles and miles. Poor Apple, if it is really its strategy, I am sure these predictions are precisely the reason that it will never succeed.

USA, maybe (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525268)

Perhaps it should be renamed, United States of Apple.

yeah right.... (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525304)

quickly another apple story on /.
everyone masturbate over your ipod mini's. apple will fuck up their current popularity just like they did last time. that's MY prediction.

Re:yeah right.... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525578)

Yeah, keep predicting that, you've been wrong how many years in a row?

blah blah blah (3, Insightful)

Carfentanil (700688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525316)

This article reminds me of the Astounding! articles predicting global space travel for everyone by the year 2000. It never came to pass, and neither will this Apple-related garbage.

Rule the home? (3, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525340)

Not as long as free alternatives exist, at least for those who know.

would you trust this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525344)

If Stony Stevenson (or for that matter anyone) had predicted in 2001 that Apple would rule consumer gadget market in 2006, then I would take such articles seriously. Unfortunately no one ever did. The consumer market shifts very rapidly and what is hot today becomes boring tomorrow.

I don't know whether Apple would dominate or not, but most products mentioned in the article are just extrapolation of what exists today and there is nothing surprise here. Here is my own list of few products not mentioned but I would love to have:

How about a full docking station for your portable gadget? Thus my phone/mp3/gps is my computer! I will have a dummy docking station which connects to monitor, TV, keyboard, mouse, external disks etc. Thus I can carry my computer wherever I go (provided where I go, has a docking station).

Add GPS, external memory slot to cell phone. A cell phone should also be able to act as a regular cordless phone. Add VOIP functionality to cell phone.

Replace regular TV set top boxes with a computer boxes which can act as cable box, full PC, DVR.

Add weather station in cell antennas. Thus my cell phone will display outside temperature. This is so easy, I don't know why it is not there.

Maybe no? (2, Interesting)

edcheevy (1160545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525348)

I dunno... isn't one of the major selling points of Apple products a sense of style that you are supposed to show off to other people? I know that's not their only selling point, but it sure seems like a big one. They do well by portable goodies (laptops, iPhone, iPod) that you can wave in front of someone and say "shiny", but are more average on other things. I suppose you can still show off your "digital hub" to people who come over to your house, but it doesn't feel the same.

Quick, get a fanboi in here to show me the error of my ways! ;)

Re:Maybe no? (-1, Offtopic)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525776)

dunno... isn't one of the major selling points of Apple products a sense of style that you are supposed to show off to other people?

OOOOOOOOOO! Shiny!

That about sums up the average Apple customer.

"fully integrated digital experience" (1)

Franklin Brauner (1034220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525388)

I think it's time someone at /. create a graphic of Borg Steve Jobs.

hahah ffs, you're kidding me.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525392)

Selling overpriced laptops and producing a half decent portable media player is a far cry from owning 'digital home' in 2000 and whatever.

Whats next? Flying cars and world peace?

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525396)

This just in...Hundreds of confused apple fans have formed a line outside of said digital home, more at 11.

2013? (3, Funny)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525448)

I'm going to get modded down for this, but as it's common knowledge that the world is set to end in 2012, it seems that claim's of Apple's universal dominance are a bit premature.

It's kind of hard to rule the digital home if there aren't any.

Who knew the Mayan's hated Apple fanboys?

house full of dumb! (3, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525458)

That's what this article is lol. I think pretty much forever, Apple's customers will only be rich, showey people who don't know computers very well and douchbags (and some professional media editors for God only knows why cuz Adobe CS3 and Premiere and some Ulead products run on the PC). So unless we all become image obsessed douchebags in the future, I don't think Apple's taking over anything. Linux however is about to kick Microsoft's ass and I'll put money on that one. Get your wikipedia edits about Microsoft going bankrupt written in advance lol.

Apple 2013? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525480)

Silly, everyone knows that 2012 is the year of linux on the desktop.

Still waiting on digital home and the flying cars (2, Interesting)

file_reaper (1290016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525484)

Hasn't this Digital Home idea been in the making since the early 90's? Bluetooth was supposed to be key step to aid in this process but has altogether failed. I can probably see Sony coming out with a solution for this since they do have many products and the expertise. Plus do we really want everything to be controlled by software? The quote "If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization" comes to mind.

Forrester is waking but, but not Roughly Drafted (2, Interesting)

Ilyon (1150115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525490)

I give Forrester Research credit for finally waking up and smelling the coffee, but they're still in a groggy, early morning stupor.

AFAIK, this is the first article from a mainstream computer industry research report that acknowledges Apple may have a very serious and viable five year product plan, beyond their existing hit products.

But then, Forrester goes on to say Apple's "commitment to closed systems" poses a barrier to wide adoption. In the previous paragraph, Microsoft and HP are cited as tough competitors, without mention of how much more closed Windows is. Nor does the article mention that Apple's proprietary parts are superior interfaces to open protocols.

I would have been much more impressed if the article discussed how Apple's practice of continuously building and improving on past technical and product successes poses a serious challenge to Microsoft and HPs practice of quarterly product planning. I guess this degree of insightfulness is reserved for more independent sources, like Roughly Drafted [roughlydrafted.com] .

oh, really? (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525586)

What's the acronym for the opposite of FUD?

More than likely, this is just more nonsense from the standard Apple product cycle [misterbg.org] .

Apple and the sub $200 PC (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525706)

The only way Apple could get any kind of toe-hold in the average household is if their stuff is cheaper than anyone else's. That's all it takes, just low price. Oh yes and they should've started this strategy about 5 years ago.

I have no idea why the media is so in love with Apple and it's products - the real world just seems to ignore them. From what I've seen, no real people use Apple PCs or laptops, a some have oneiPod and a tiny fraction have an iPhone (but would they buy another?). It's only the media "luvvies" who seem to use them in any great number, and are responsible for placing them in TV and film productions. This gives the entirely false impression that they are ubiquitous - they aren't. Outside the U.S. an Apple PC/lappy is about as common as a tandem bicycle - you know they exist, but see maybe one or two a year.

Will that change? No. They don't offer any functions that average, normal, people want, at a price they're willing to pay.

Placement (2, Insightful)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525712)

To watch all the Apple product placement, you'd think they ruled the world now.
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