Apple’s Media Grenade

October 22, 2005

APC Magazine has gotten it right, I suspect, when they report “Apple lobs grenade into Microsoft media center camp“.

Windows Media Centre is typical of a technology company’s solution, whereas Apple is now fairly and squarely positioning itself as a content company (Steve Jobs likes to say, “let’s never forget, it’s all about the music”) which happens to have cool technology to go with it.

If you’re still sceptical, consider that in Apple’s last financial results, sales of Macs actually jumped 48 per cent year-on-year. “The iPod halo effect is real,” says Marcus Annett, iPod Product Manager in Australia. “Before, it was all a bit anecdotal, but these figures actually show how dramatic the effect has been.”

To me it’s obvious: Apple’s about to do to the media center PC market what it did to the portable music player market. It doesn’t mean people will switch to Macs as their primary home PC, but Apple is going to sell a truckload of Mac Minis along the way anyway as under-the-TV media-centre boxes. The next phase of its long term strategy isn’t too hard to imagine, and it will be to do with replacing home PCs (with the assurance that you can always run Windows on an Intel-based Mac if you need to.)

I think he’s downplaying the PVR aspect a little too soon; I bet we see that come rolling in before terribly long, but assume that pay-download content will be a full player with the PVR content, not an afterthought…

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