Running Down the Options
I could go on, but lets look at each one in turn: Media Center Macintosh. ExtremeTechs Dave Salvator was on the money in his recent column titled
"Why is Apple MIA from the living room?
"Media Center PCs, media adapters, and other connectivity products that bridge the computer to television gap are one of the most popular areas of computing today. Apple could own this market. Give up the G5 and go for the glory!" Salvator said.Home Media Server/PVR. Who knows video better than Apple? With Paul Allens Digeo releasing the TiVo-like Moxi, Scientific Atlanta creating four-room PVRs, and TiVo itself stumbling, nows a perfect time for Apple to dominate this market. Instead it makes rack-mounted servers for the enterprise. Keep the rack, change the focus. Apple could make a home server to die for. iPod Video Player. This summer, were going to see a flood of personal video players, based on Microsofts Media Center platform. But theyre all fundamentally flawedyou need an expensive Media Center PC to shovel video and audio onto the device. Unlike Archos flawed AV320, you cant record to them directly.
In a year or so, theyll fix the problems, but until then the markets wide open. Why does the iPod remain an audio platform? Because Apples too busy refreshing the iBooks to embrace this emerging category.
iHome OS. Yes, OSX is a nice piece of workits just not original anymore. Apple should take all those expert interface designers and OS wizards and foist them on a bigger problem: building a decent interface for managing, viewing and storing media at home. Its a huge problem, but Apples got enough geniuses to make it work, I know!
NewtPhone. I know Apple stopped making the Newton years ago, but there must be a skunk works down there somewhere on Infinite Drive in Cupertino hoping to recapture the old glory. Let the past stay in the past!
Instead, Apple should look towards Smart Phones. Why shouldnt Apple be shellacking Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Siemens in this incendiary market? There will be 2 billion intelligent phones sold over the next few years. With Apples device, form factor and OS brilliance, they could dominate here too.
iHDTV. Many traditional computer makers are now making a killing selling high-end TVs that double as computer monitors. Unfortunately, they all look terrible.
With a bit of Apple design, and some old-fashioned engineering excellence, Apple could clean up in this market too. Who wouldnt opt for an Apple logo on the TV in the living room over Dell, Gateway or HP?
Meanwhile, I didnt even touch on digital cameras (my first one was made by, yes, Apple), speakers, stereos and home media networks. Apple could own these categories too, if it tried.
Apple has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dominate the emerging convergence world. But its legacy operations are dragging it down.
Kill the computers, Steve, and embrace the home. But if you do, be careful with that remote control. The last thing I need on my coffee table is another coaster-shaped device for the kids to chew on.
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