There is a lot of video content online but watching it on your television remains a hit or miss affair. The market is fragmented as best so what you get depends on your specific hardware and the vendor partnerships that go with it. With one TV (or connected Blu-ray player) you can watch Netflix or a YouTube stream out of the box. With another you can plug into Cinema Now content or something else.
London, Paris, Tokyo. Across the globe people lined up around street corners. Some camped out. Some cheered. Hungrily, they waited for the moment – it wasn’t for tickets to some rare concert ,not for a hugely anticipated movie premier – the moment they sought was a chance to grab a bit of tech history, Apple’s latest trophy device, the iPad.
Originally intended for an earlier global roll out, Apple had pushed back the delivery date to insure there was ample inventory to supply the domestic market. The extended wait seemed to only fuel greater anticipation and more gadget lust.
Apple has grabbed a solid piece of almost every digital media market its entered, every market but one. Apple TV has never been much more than a sideshow. In nearly three years on the market, the device aimed at bridging the digital divide of the living room – the elusive TV to Internet gap – hasn’t really lived up to its promise.
That may soon be changing. It’s too soon to know but there’s an increased volume of chatter suggesting Apple will overhaul the device Steve Jobs has downplayed as “a hobby” sometime this year.
Expected changes include a shift to the iPhone/iPad operating system and a reduced price point. One of the theories behind the concept is that the modification would allow user’s to run select “Apps” through their TV platform.
From WiFi to Bluetooth, mobile technologies have begun to shift where we consume information and entertainment. Touchscreens and voice automation have similarly begun to shift how we interact with it. In the coming years, changing display technologies will likely have a similar effect on where and what we see.
Case in point – this week Sony revealed a new prototype OLED display so flexible it can be rolled and unrolled around a tube no wider than a pencil. We’re not talking a screen that can just bend, this can literally roll and unroll. (Watch the video. More After the jump)
Confirming reports circulating for several days, Microsoft announced a substantial plan to reorganize its Entertainment and Devices division. Timed to coincide with the fall departure of retiring group head Robbie Back, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take over the division starting July 1.
It’s a story about great creativity, perseverance, forward thinking. It’s a story about vision, about leadership, about innovation. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it any better. After a long exile, Steve Jobs returned to a then struggling Apple when it acquired his NeXT Computer company in 1996. Apple at the time was little more than a boutique competing against the mass market Window’s juggernaut. It had passionate followers, a known brand, and solid product, but a relatively meager market share. In the decade plus that’s followed Job set out to rebuild and restore the company he first created. It may be a foregone conclusion, but we can now send the Champagne to Cupertino.
Apple is known to be a tough negotiator. How tough, and whether some behaviors cross the line of appropriateness is a question regulators are apparently looking into.
New reports citing “people familiar” suggest the government anti-trust regulators are inquiring about whether Apple’s dealings with music labels have been inappropriate.
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported one of the questions on investigators minds is whether Apple tried to keep the record labels from giving Amazon’s rival music download store exclusive access to some new releases.
Antitrust staff from the DOJ has reportedly contacted several music labels as well as some internet music startups.
The interviews are considered “preliminary” and at this time there is no formal investigation. Still, regulators are clearing keeping a close watch on Apple; an apparent reaction to the dominance the company has established in many of its markets.