Apple's iTV Challenges Set-Top Box Manufacturers

Well, there's big news out again from Apple. Steve Jobs surprised most by introducing a product currently named iTV. I wonder if Independent Television in Britain might take umbridge at the use of their established TV network abbreviation (Independent Television). At any rate, it is interesting to watch the Apple enthusiasts leap with joy upon hearing such announcements. Far be it for me to contradict them. Apple has been magnificantly successful lately. It also announced new iPods yesterday, and I have to quote the article title from T3: "It's official - new iPods! It was worth the wait – Apple’s eye popping new players already have us dusting off our wallets." I'll get back to them later (although Apple's Midas touch makes it difficult to raise doubts about their new products). By the way, Apple unleashed nano versions and 22" (iPod screen) versions of some of its products lately. I've been telling my students that near future newspapers will be video displays that change the articles as the user decides (didn't I see something like this in a Harry Potter movie?).

Although the computer literate audience members at the announcement yesterday (12 September 2006) didn't seem to recognize it as such, it seems to be a set-top box and one that will compete in some ways directly with TiVo, I should think. I guess it's safe to say it can "download" any digitial content and then allow the user to physically transport that information (including Hollywood films) to the display device of their choice, the big seller seeming to be large screen TVs.

What this means to me is still further pressure in an already extremely competitive marketplace, which should be good news for consumers (especially with price). This is just another case of the accelerating pace of technological change. I suspect iPod's success has made consumers confident in Apple, but I wonder who beyond the inovators who will try anything first will comprehend what this device can do.

The product is slated for introduction in "early 2007" (whatever that ends up meaning). I wonder if this will cut into consumers' spending on video games. It seems a possible trade-off. I pity anyone who's trying to keep up with this stuff, especially me!

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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