bbc.co.uk Navigation

Darren Waters

Bright future predicted for Apple

  • Darren Waters
  • 22 May 08, 10:30 GMT

Analysts like to make waves. After all, if what they say lacks impact, then no-one pays attention.

So how about this prediction from Forrester: "Apple Inc. will become the hub of the digital home by 2013."

Forrester says Apple will evolve an "integrated digital experience" based on eight pillars.

Four of them you will probably recognise:

The Mac, Apple TV, the Apple store (the physical shop), iTunes.

Four of them are, ahem, guesswork from Forrester:

Apple home server product, AppleSound universal music controller, network-enabled gadgets (ie music, digital photo frame and alarm clock devices) and in-home installation services.

Apple TVNow, I can certainly believe that Apple is working on a home server product, that's not really a big prediction. It's merely an extension of Apple TV and the Time Capsule wireless storage device it already ships.

But an AppleSound universal music controller? Do they mean a remote control? I'm not even sure why this is needed.

And can anyone else envisage Apple selling digital photo frames or alarm clocks? Nope, me neither.

And Apple offering in-home installation services? Erm, isn't the whole point of Apple's products that you don't need professional installation help? And what would people be installing exactly?

These predictions strike me as off key for a number of reasons:

1. I don't see Apple displacing satellite and cable firms so radically. In fact, I see more disruption of Apple's business by set-top box providers than the other way around.

2. Apple TV remains a work in progress and hasn't proved its potential.

3. Content providers are now very wary of doing deals with iTunes that leave them at the mercy of Steve Jobs. The music industry is doing everything in its power to break iTunes' hold. The film and TV industry won't make the same mistake

4. Open standards will triumph. I don't believe that "lock in" systems will ever work as the glue between our devices.

5. I don't think one company will ever be the hub. Interoperability will mean that we can cherry pick our devices and our content will run between them all.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Personally, i think that apple will create a way to be able to link the media store and used on Apple TV across your own private network (which will include your family and friends' houses).

    Also, a "back to my mac" facility from the iPhone would be well received.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am surprised to see no mention on the iPhone (which I'm not a fan of) and the iPod (which I am). As time goes on, more and more of our 'integrated digital experience' will depend on mobile devices which can sync with a basestation in the home. I want to have a mobile/PDA no larger than the size of the average phone which when I walk through my front door uses WiFi to background sync with my desktop/laptop/whatever, updating my appointments, emails, latest downloaded music, films etc and all without my interference.

    I can then go to work the next day listening to my music on my phone or watching the latest iPlayer episode of the Apprentice all without pushing a button on my computer or my phone at night. If Apple achieves that, they might change me from an iPod user and Mac avoider to someone who buys Apple products all the time.

    At the moment, all I see Apple providing me with is devices that look cool and have a good UI at the expense of device interoprability (I have a windows mobile phone) and inflated shop prices. Buying an Apple product typically involves a 15% markup on an equivalent product from someone else.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think apple need to bring out a decent pc to be taken seriosly, their macs are a joke

  • Comment number 4.

    @simonbirtwistle
    I often hear the claim that Macs cost more, so here's a challenge for you: go and find an
    equivalent spec pc that costs 15% less than a mac. Then you can back up your claim with something more than the usual bluster.

    Back on topic, I'd like to see an Apple home server/media centre that you can control from a web browser or iPhone anywhere in the world. I want to be able to download movies and music from iTunes, straight to my home server, and then stream it over the net.

  • Comment number 5.

    always the same negativity, always the same ill-informed people dismissing Apple out-of-hand!
    Why? What is wrong with a company that is aggressively promoting open standards?
    rather than follow the herd, and just buy what everyone else buys, why not buy something that 'does what it says on the tin' without having to reach for a manual every time?
    Apple devices DO look cool, and have a good UI. but they also WORK first time too! - what is wrong with that?
    pop into your local PC shop, and try to get an all-in-one windows PC with all the same features an an iMac, without paying more for the privilege.
    (check one of the main-brand online stores, if you haven't looked recently..)
    And as for 'openness' on music tracks - it's the music companies, not Apple, who are restricting their sales by insisting on DRM, whilst they then allow companies like Napster to sell the same tracks AT THE SAME PRICE without DRM.
    Unfair marketing practices? - who can say, but it's also unfair to blame Apple for it - especially after all they have done to create a revenue-stream for the music corporates.

  • Comment number 6.

    I seem to recall that Apple have already filed some designs for software that would enable an iPod or iPhone to control media on your Mac, Apple TV etc.

    So that is perhaps where the Universal Music Controller prediction comes from.

    Presumably it would allow an iPod/iPhone to work with a Mac or AppleTV in the same way that a PSP can work with a PS3.

  • Comment number 7.

    @nigelgoodey

    Agree completely. I used to use Windoze for everything (work and home) and since moving to my current job (web design etc done on Macs) i wouldn't ever go back to a PC.

    The point is that Apple innovates HOW people interact with technology. I think there is a lot more to come from Apple over the next couple of years, and i think more and more people will actually start to take them seriously, unlike a few who have left comments.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sure, Apple has four pillars currently but they're certainly not - The Mac, Apple TV, the Apple store (the physical shop), iTunes.

    They are Mac, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.

  • Comment number 9.

    None of this is new, or even a bold prediction. Apply already told us they were working towards becoming the centre of the digital hub when OSX was first launched. This was inially a software solution involving iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie and iDVD.

    They have since been working towards backing this up with hardware solutions, iPod and AppleTV being the first of these, and I have no doubt they will fill in the other pieces with bits of cool kit. (In that context, a Photo frame that syncs with iPhoto and iTunes seems possible...)

    As for an apple audio device, I can't see how this would be much different from an iPod attached to some speakers, so maybe that one is off target.

  • Comment number 10.

    Apple already have a wireless audio device that syncs into iTunes remotely. It's a built in part of Airport.

  • Comment number 11.

    Indeed. There you go then :)

  • Comment number 12.

    A more profound suggestion would be to suggest that Steve Jobs will run for American President.


    I'm not even American but he has my vote!

  • Comment number 13.

    The fifth and sixth pillars are the black roll neck and designer stubble respectively :)

    But seriously isn't all this integration stuff too complicated - quite frankly I can't be bothered and I don't believe the majority of people will be bothered either. I'd rather have every devices as a thin client to the web so I don't have to think about where things are located or how or when to back them up. Google or Apple do that for my email and I increasingly pay some one else to run project management software, database software, virtual servers etc etc. Really all I need is a portable browser profile and Google or Apple supply that for Firefox and Safari respectively (I am sure MS do it for IE somewhere down the line).

  • Comment number 14.

    To quote:
    I often hear the claim that Macs cost more, so here's a challenge for you: go and find an
    equivalent spec pc that costs 15% less than a mac.

    I suppose it depends what you want - I buy my computers and equipment based on technical specs - i.e the amount of RAM, the CPU, screen size and so on. I got a better deal on my dell laptop 18 months ago than I could get with any of Apple's products today for an equivalent spec. By all conventional wisdom they should be cheaper.

    You can't compare like for like with Apple, because they make the best looking and easiest to use devices on the market, but for me boiling down to the hardware essentials, Apple is beaten on price a lot of the time. You can't put a price on usability and looks though, some people will believe it's worth it.

    Apple does a lot of good stuff - the iPod touch is brilliant (though in a market that will eventually disappear). The iPhone I am not a fan of, I can get more for my money from elsewhere without being locked into O2.

  • Comment number 15.

    I thought Apple was already providing a digital hub.

    Apple TV lets you view all you music, films and photos or there's airtunes for just want to steam music to your hi-fi.

    The Mac is the home server, I don't get why you would need a separate device. It already syncs with basically everything, or at least iSync has the capability to, third partys just need to write the plug in for their device.

    Lastly the iPod and iPhone allow you to take it all on the move.

    I would say all the pillars are really done and I can't see any new major devices needed, rather just updates to the current ones.

    Apple TV would be so much better if it had the ability to record programs, and they have already filed a patent to do this, including the ability to transfer the program to your iPod and other devices. This would be so much better than Sky+ where you record a program in your lounge but then can't watch it on your bedroom tv without moving the box.

    A universal remote (perhaps an add on to the iPhone of iPod touch, like the ones you can already download) would be a major asset as AirTunes requires you to select your songs on the Mac that could be in a different room.

    As for photo frames I can't see being likely new product as it just isn't special enough. Apple like to make new products that they can talk about for an hour at a conference and then make a load of money on, it would just be to cheap. Plus they already discontinued the Apple Hi-Fi in preference of just letting 3rd parties take care of it, why should they do any different with other products.

  • Comment number 16.

    What a joke. There is no way on earth people will start using Apple products in such a complete way by that date. Or ever, I would predict. These Forester people must be on the Apple payroll. Apple makes nice toys that look good, work OK most of the time, and cost a blinkin' FORTUNE. Not a good combo. Home systems and lifestyle management devices.... oooh. No-one needs a talking internet fridge. Or an Apple alarm clock for goodness sake. I use my mobile phone to wake me up, like most of my friends. Or sometimes I go crazy and use... an actual alarm clock that I own already. Who thinks of this garbage?

  • Comment number 17.

    I am NOT an apple fan, I use a PC and a laptop, but no mac at all. I use an iphone and an ipod, but I'm currently waiting for the Blackberry Bold and the new 3G iphone before I upgrade.

    About the comments above, "Apple's lovers" against anti bashers and the war about it, Apple makes good product. The products looks very nice, which many electronics maker did not care about, and that is most people concern, although I am tech savvy person and I do not mind much about it but I do know average user do a lot.

    The products are expensive. On the other hand, well, Apple targets people wealthy people, it seems to me, and similar to any luxury brand, they want to distinguish themselve with the price (not to mention to make a bigger profit).

    Now, I mostly agree with Mr Waters and, as stated above, it is really weird there is no mentioning of the "iphone" and the "ipod" in this article. I think they should try to use real data, as: a really high proportion of music players are ipods, but the trend is flat. Apple's sells are going to decrease. Will Apple be able to stay a leader, or will it innovate? Can Apple become a major player in the smartphone market (refering to the iphone)?

    These are real questions that it seems the forecast did not think of.

  • Comment number 18.

    Lets keep the silly Mac bashing off this blog. It's not the point of this article, it's immature, and it's out of date (go check out an 8-core Intel Mac Pro if you think Apple doesn't to 'serious' computers).

    I don't understand the comment about 'proprietary integrated solutions' with reference to Apple. The iTunes/iPhone/iPod/Apple TV ecosystem is based on open standards (AAC or MP3 audio, h.264 video), with a little proprietary DRM mixed in at the behest of the content owners.

    Apple is the only company that's anywhere close to having a top-to-bottom fully integrated system that's even remotely accessible to the average consumer. I can buy a tv show or music track on the iTunes store, or on my Apple TV, and have it played back on any of my iPods, iPhone, Macs or PCs with no fuss and no problems. In this regard I do think that this report is spot-on. Nobody else seems to be even in the same ball park when it comes to defining what home media will be like this coming decade.

    Sony and Microsoft are the only companies that come close, but they both have huge pieces of the puzzle missing or broken.

    I do find the definition of the 8 pillars rather strange though. No, Apple won't be making an All-4-One remote control. I can, however, guarantee that come June/July you WILL be able to remotely control you iTunes 'server' from your iPod Touch or iPhone - either with Apple software or a 3rd party app. Seems pretty obvious to me.

  • Comment number 19.

    if apple seriously want to conquer anything, they need to lower their prices, radically.

    they need to understand that more and more people are unwilling to pay such extravagant prices for hardware.

    the products are great but the prices just aren't competitive, and that's the bottom line.

  • Comment number 20.

    Apple make nice products but this is just silly.

    People will continue to shop around for their best deal and content providers will resist being tied to one distribution channel.

  • Comment number 21.

    I hold no loyalty to a PCs, MACs or any system and will quite happily switch to whichever suits my needs.

    I've read reviews that feature many positive reviews about the MAC/Leopard user experience, but when I look into how I use my computer there are so many things that I would be unable to do if I switched to a MAC. On the contrary, there is nothing that I can do on a MAC that I can't do on a PC.

    Until this changes, I'll be sticking with a PC.

  • Comment number 22.

    I am an Apple convert, and I would no more go back to a PC than I would resort to a horse and cart.

    In my business we use an equal mix of Apples and PCs. The PC help desk gets three/four calls a day. The Apple help desk was last used in January.

    Also Apples retain a reasonable second hand value. Before we commenced the corporate switch to Apple we checked the spec for spec the cost of an Apple vs a same spec PC. Dell were between 5 and 10% more expensive.



  • Comment number 23.

    i enjoy the flexibility of running a wireless xp desktop and laptop home network and can do that without the expense of apple products, mp3 player sync, file transfer and remote control via bluetooth, wireless streaming to my tv, web building/maintainance, music production, video production, graphic manipulation, alot of people have problems with xp and doing the above but ive never had any major issues as i built my own desktop and have that and my laptop finely tuned, protected, updated and cleaned..xp for me is as stable as its ever been so i dont need apple in my life to complicate things...

  • Comment number 24.

    I feel that some of the comments about price have been prematurely made by people who see a laptop as just a laptop. Any will do as long as it works.

    Yes I accept the argument that they are expensive, but Apple do cater for a wide spectrum of people and monetary levels.

    I myself have had a Macbook Pro for just over a year and I can honestly say hand on heart that its been the best thing I have ever purchased.

    What you pay extra on the price, you get back on the design, usability and not forgetting reliability!

    When I had a desktop personal computer, I was forever getting rid of rubbish, popups, errors and slowness etc... PC users how many times do you find yourself thinking "why is this taking so long to load? Why wont it do this?"

    This laptop has exactly the same installation on it as the day I bought it. I have every single email, photo, word document and music made or downloaded to it since that day. It has never crashed or frozen and its been my trusted companion pet dog.

    On the note of Itunes and Apple dominance, to be fair they have blown fresh air into an area of hit and miss when it came to personal music players.

    I bought a portable sony minidisc player (MZ-N1) which allowed me to copy mp3's once converted to Sonys format across to port around. The biggest problem with that was I could never get the software written by Sony to work! It was forever crashing and forever letting me down.

    Itunes came along and made making your music collection a piece of cake to manage.

    Apple do not need to radically reduce their prices. Apple is a brand that stands for quality and they would not want their brand cheapened by flogging them left right and centre on every corner of the internet.

    People are prepared to pay for quality and reliability. For instance you could apply the same argument to buying a car. Yes you can by a Mazda saloon for 10/15% less than you would for lets say an Audi?

    I do not see Audi rushing to reduce their prices to sell more....

  • Comment number 25.

    I have read a lot of your articles regarding apple often you come across with some sort of problem with the company. Apple are innovators in their own market. I used to be a big windows man and hated apple. I then had to use apple at college, it was the dominant force. When i became used to the difference in software i loved it. I recently upgraded my homes network to all mac machines. I have no problems setting up networks, sharing files, i do not crash and i do not have to reinstall windows every time some shoddy hardware decides to blue screen my system to death. You might pay a bit more but believe me its worth it. I have taken a bite of the apple and in the short term yes its expensive but the hardware lasts! if it wasn't for apple our 'smart' phone industry would be still as bad as it was a year ago. Apple force the market to raise the bar and everyone should be happy about that.

  • Comment number 26.

    Quote "if apple seriously want to conquer anything, they need to lower their prices, radically.... the products are great but the prices just aren't competitive, and that's the bottom line."

    I used to be like you. I used to think that Apple was for toffs and up-themselves designers. I used to build PC's for a living and have owned many PCs from many different manufacturers all running MS Windows.

    3 years ago I bought an iMac, the one I'm typing this on. In those 3 years it has never 'full-on' crashed. I have had to restart it about 5 times (4 of those are down to a third party software app). I spent £750 3 years ago on this machine and I do everything on it, it is my only computer. Last week I was editing HD footage in Final Cut Pro and running plugin effect in real time. Yesterday I finished off a website design in Photoshop. 3 weeks ago I was building an A0 panel (2Gb file) in Photoshop and it was relatively painless.

    Can you buy 3 years (without spending another penny, never having to re-install anything or having any kind of servicing, call centre or warranty intervention) of this kind of solid performance, stable native software, future proofing and good, old fashioned reliability for £750 in the Windows PC world? I know the answer because I've been through it...

    Mac's are worth every penny.

  • Comment number 27.

    gee4orce sez

    "I can, however, guarantee that come June/July you WILL be able to remotely control you iTunes 'server' from your iPod Touch or iPhone - either with Apple software or a 3rd party app. Seems pretty obvious to me."

    It's trivially obvious, as I've been doing this for months. There's a 3rd party app called Signal that allows you to control iTunes on your computer from an iPod Touch or iPhone via the web across your LAN. The computer drives the speakers and you sit on the sofa with the Touch. You get access to your whole music collection, and I love it. I don't have any connection with the Signal people, BTW.

  • Comment number 28.

    95% of the world's PCs run windows - no matter how good a Mac might be, if it were that good it would have 95% of the market. As for an integrated system - I've already got one and not a Mac in sight. I refuse to use Itunes because of the anticompetitive way it was set up - People complain about Microsoft - but Apple is just as bad - it's just Microsoft is the more successful - and you know how we hate that!


  • Comment number 29.

    I've used Macs fort about 15 years. They have got a lot worse in past five or six years. In that time I've bought three new Macs, and every one has had a problem with the power supply when it was just out of guarantee. The Apple-supplied software is pretty dreadful (iCal is especially bad) and I could fill a book with all the websites which will only work with the latest IE (but to mention two, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Ebay both give me problems).
    When my mother was planning to get her first computer I advised her against buying a Mac. When I buy a new computer, I might well buy a Windows machine (although comments like that from timlinbob do make me hesitate).

  • Comment number 30.

    Apple won't be the first in the marketplace with a home-server.

    There are already plenty free products about, and most allow you to stream your media from your PC over the web.

    I agree that Apple's GUI is nice, but their iPod/iPhone devices do not do what other manufacturer's devices do, such as the Archos range (http://www.archos.com). Archos have their own TV+ box which beats the pants off of the Apple iTV.

    Everyone buys iPods or iPhones cos they are mass-produced, good looking, and in today's world, a bit of "bling".

    I prefer functionality over looks, and won't be buying any apple product soon.

  • Comment number 31.

    i think by 'AppleSound universal music controller,' he means one of the things where you can listen to music all over your house with one remote.

    So no, you got it wrong. It'd e a media remote to access all your content and play your iTunes from your iPod and iMac all over your iHouse.

  • Comment number 32.

    Why would you want a home server? Centralising content at home makes no sense to me...the sharing between devices model is much better, easier, cheaper. It avoids duplication. You've already got a computer that's more than capable of storing all your media, why buy another one?

    Also, for example, if i want to sync my media to my iPod, I don't want to walk to the attic where my home server might be and plug it in there! I dread to think how slow sync-over-network would be, even with 802.11n. Movie files from iTunes are almost 1GB.

    The universal remote thing, rubbish. That again is duplicating devices. You have a mobile that has a screen, buttons, wifi/bluetooth, rechargeable etc. Just write some software for that!

  • Comment number 33.

    Macs.... ROCK
    I have a great deal of computer experience. From everything from Macs.. To ahem, HORRIBLE windows... to even building my own Linux machine (debian). I hate it when ignorant people say
    "I think apple need to bring out a decent pc to be taken seriosly, their macs are a joke"
    more like
    I think apple need to continue there excellent computers , their macs are a amazing.
    Macs will be the center of home computing soon

  • Comment number 34.

    I've been an apple user for about 10 years and can say I have never had a problem with a mac that I couldn't fix myself. Apple software is easy to use, iCal, Mail, etc all work well and are great for work as a designer.

    What apple should do is release OS X for PC and show PC users how great it is, give windows a run for its money, and more importantly give consumers the chance to use OS X without having to buy a mac. Hopefully consumers would realize how good OS X is and might be more eager to purchase a mac.

    I think over the next few years some people will start to rebel against apple instead of embracing the fact that yes at the end of the day they are making computers to make a profit, but they also make those computers to make life just a little bit better, more fun, let more creative.

    A few years ago producing home videos on a computer was a world of amatuer/semi-pro video producers, bit with the likes of iMovie,iPhoto, Garage Band a whole heap of creative possibilities have been presented in an easy and innovative way for people of all ages.

    As long as apple continue to make innovate products and software in technology I'm sure they will have a place in every home in the years to come

    Long Live Apple


  • Comment number 35.

    This issue gets too many people in a fluster. Here it is, the truth if you can handle it.


    I use a mac pro and a macbook pro. I will NEVER use a windows PC ever again. Notice I said windows? I have no problem using Linux, in fact its better than both windows and Mac OSX for a few tasks.

    Ok, now onto why. I work in the film industry. OK I'm industry where macs are all around you but I used them before that. I edit TV shows for a small company. I have a corner of the office that would annoy PC guys to the point of distraction. My mac pro edit suite and my macbook pro personal computer. I work with PC only guys. They almost didn't hire me because I use macs, strange hey? The funny thing is they only use their computers for office work. We did have a PC avid suite but it exploded on my second day. It just sits in the corner needing an new motherboard and graphics card (how much cheaper are PC's?). All I hear all day over my shoulder are the frustrated cries of people trying to get their computers to do what they want. Every day something goes wrong and they spend hours getting things to work when they should just work anyway. Me, I just get on with my work.

    My productivity is worth the extra price, windows PC's are false economy, both in terms of price and work you can actually get done. If you want to use a PC, use Linux, its free for god sake and can do all the things you need it for. Plus it wont crash. I even have an XBOX and my mac syncs with it better than windows media center!

    Thats the truth, if you want to get stuff done you have two choices. One, buy a mac, two, learn how to run and repair your PC. You decide which one is better.

  • Comment number 36.

    QUOTE
    And Apple offering in-home installation services? Erm, isn't the whole point of Apple's products that you don't need professional installation help? And what would people be installing exactly?

    Perhaps given the quality of their LCDs they will start selling Apple TV with Home sized screens and stuff.
    Many people do hire companies to put advanced entertainment systems in their home and I could imagine Apple installations looking very slick in future homes.
    I am no fan of Apple but I would like...
    A 40" Apple cinema display in the living room with Apples new wireless surround sound speakers. A 30" display in the bedroom.
    Apple home server with 3TB storage and Wimax. Wimax enabled Iphone.
    Every room in the house would also have very small wireless cube speakers and a hidden sub. there would be a handy hub in every room that can select source and turn them on off. You get the idea.
    I know these products do not exist but if I would imagine that it is only a matter of time.
    Apple alarm clock? there is no reason that the home server could not just wake up and start blasting Black Sabbath over the house at 7.00am.
    "sorry I'm late boss but the alarm clock started with Coldplay and put me into a coma!"

  • Comment number 37.

    I enjoy the fact that every single article that has the words "Apple" or "Mac" in it creates a full blown war. I'm currently using a Macbook Pro, and, yes I've not had any problems blah blah blah. I'm using boot camp as there are certain things that you can't do on OSX (I'm an engineering student using bespoke software), but I believe the point of this article was to give opinion regarding the statement of Apple being the be-all and end-all of home entertainment.
    It certainly has some great products, in fact one of my friends is using one of apple's largest screens with a Mac Pro and TV tuner in their living room to control everything media-related, so it could come true, it might not.
    I think it's certainly objective, Apple will NEVER control the market, as it's recent dominance in sales is far too late in an industry that has been dominated by Windows for so long. There will be people that have stuck with Windows and will do forever, so to say that all homes will have Apple at their core is a rather ridiculous claim.
    Hopefully people will stop evangelising about their preferred OS/hardware and let everyone make their own choices.

    Oh- Macs certainly aren't expensive, being a student needing a high-end laptop, I was comparing Dell (who are known to be particularly cheap) and Apple, and apple came off better, especially seeing as I had a copy of windows and could tehrefore have the best of both worlds. the expense is a bit of a myth.

  • Comment number 38.

    I find myself in full agreement with Darren.

    This suggests to me that I am probably wrong, (just kidding Darren), but I too can't see Apple becoming the home hub that Forrester predicts.

    Open standards will win-out; because that's what the public are demanding.

    My Apple devices look great and I love them with an unhealthy passion - but I HAT the way Apple stop me moving my digital content between all my various machines / devices. Yes, there are 'work arounds' but I shouldn't need them!

    If Apple become more open, perhaps they will have a chance.

    Great post Darren!


    Jim Connolly
    www.thetechnewsblog.com

  • Comment number 39.

    When you go Mac, there's no going back.

  • Comment number 40.

    I wont have any of them - Wow is it evil to dislike i(everything)Apple as much as I do Microsoft?

    This is bad prediction full stop - I have a media centre accessed by PS3 acting as a remote media centre. I have an iPod and no other apple products.

    So I would disagree 100% with everthing predicted - Is he on Apples payrole perchance?

  • Comment number 41.

    Oh and one final point - .mov (Quicktime) is an awful product full stop.

  • Comment number 42.

    Well done for directly confronting this hype. Apple-controlled, network-based picture frames and alarm clocks? Not in my lifetime, thank you. And a very good point about "lock-in" systems not being the glue that binds our devices together. Only open-source, interoperable standards and devices will be accepted for this role, if anything is.

    Some consumers already have a fear of having to replace their entire music collection every few years whenever some new format, standard or DRM system comes along. Apple should get back to basics: simple to use, intuitive computing and devices "for the rest of us."

  • Comment number 43.

    For those folks who say mac are too expensive:

    This can only be true if your time is worth very little. So, if you look at a mac and say "this is too expensive", I strongly urge you to STOP.

    Stop looking at computers, and go read some books, get some decent grades, get a job and THEN look again at computers.

    If you think macs are too highly priced for what they do, you are not in the market for computer. You are shopping for a typewriter that doesn't work properly, or a gameboy. Which is fine.

  • Comment number 44.

    I am a committed Mac user - I have an iMac at home, a macbook, AppleTV, iPhone etc.

    My only critisism of Apple in the context of a home hub - and the critisism overflows to all media providers - is that the prices of video through iTunes (and other services) is just ridiculously expensive. I believe that the only way to stop bittorrent being the dominant (and free) deliverer of content is to provide predictible quality downloads at an accessable price. You can never remove the taste for new release torrents (I see Indiana Jones has already hit the main sites) but I truely believe that users will only be honest when a TV episode or series can be downloaded for less than it costs on DVD.

  • Comment number 45.

    Darren, pretty accurate. I too also believe that soon everything will be running off the 'net - therefore no single vendor will have the monopoly that Microsoft once enjoyed.

  • Comment number 46.

    Ever since Michael Dell suggested that Apple should be sold and the money returned to the shareholders it seems the only truism is "don't bet against Apple".
    The computer business has gone from strength to strength, FNPD now reports that Apple has 66% share of the highly profitable >$1000 computer range. Yes there are more cheap computers but you make virtually no profit on them.
    When Apple decided to change to intel in large part because of better support laptops, many people predicted failure. Now we see Mac laptop sales booming, indeed as I sit here in a coffee shop in Cambridge I can see 12 laptops, 10 of which are Macs.
    When the iPod came out it was described as too expensive, didn't support some formats, insufficient capacity etc. well they have sold 140M ipods and dominate the market.
    iTunes and the iTunes store were originally seen as a means to drive hardware sales but now serve videos, TV programs, games, podcasts even my sons university lectures.
    Similarly the iPhone, many criticisms when it first came out, but it is now the 4th most popular online operating system (behind Win,Mac, Linux) and is used by more people than all the other mobile operating systems put together.
    Most Apple products are now built on Open standards, MacOSX using BSD, communication protocols (USB, Firewire, Wi-Fi) are all open, Webkit (used for Safari) has been made open source. Go to the WWDC next month and you will see how (the free) Xcode development environment is allowing developers to build new apps with unprecedented speed.

    As I said "don't bet against Apple".

  • Comment number 47.

    After all the years with superior products and finally getting our attention why does anyone want to talk Mac down? They are still rising stars unlike Microsoft who are more and more like problem children each day.

    Why do I use Mac? I have never had a virus checker on my machine and never been invaded. It has never crashed and works like a dream.

    I will buy all Mac products as they become much more affordable.

    Like any company they won't get it all right the first time, but the end result is what the consumer wants, not what a monopoly powered master wants us to take or leave.

  • Comment number 48.

    Charlie Kay has it. Until we get web based services that are cheaper than the stores, pirates will have it and Mac or whoever tries it will not get our attention. Yes iTunes/vids FAR TOO expensive.

  • Comment number 49.

    I use windows at work daily, however i am a great fan of apple , i have the phone i have had ipods, i think apple will always do well as long as they keep things simple, like life using windows is over complicated, we all want simplicity not hundreds of tool that we never use!!

  • Comment number 50.

    ausgulag:

    The thing is, Macs really are expensive for the specs they provide. I recently had to buy a new computer, and in the end opted for an Acer PC as all the Apple Macs cost so much more. And to those who say that Mac is more stable, rubbish: my friend used to have a Mac, and it was slow and crashed on him four times in a week. Even after getting it checked over and told that all would be fine, there were still issues over certain software not working etc. That made me decide not to go for a Mac in the near future.

  • Comment number 51.

    You need a server because you don't really want to have a 'complete' computer attached to every screen or audio device in your house.

    On the 'remote' front, think about how you're going to interact with these devices, then think about the Apple touchpad technology and 'gestures'. There's some interesting software available that turns the iTouch / iPhone into a glorified keyboard / mouse that can connect to any computer.

    I put my money on the blurring the divisions between the UI and the physical input and think Apple have got this sussed.

  • Comment number 52.

    Apple the digital hub of the home? Centre of our domestic lives? Please... I'm afraid that BSD has a head start here, I don't see any Apple toasters. ;)

    http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2005/08/11/toaster-pc-runs-bsd-and-makes-toast

 

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk