The Day Apple Killed Television

Update: Here's the webcast for your viewing pleasure, and Gruber's take, which led me to the Apple Remote page (no idea if it's compatible with IR transceivers for existing Macs or what kind of battery it uses, though).

I must confess (again) that I'm not (in the least) enthralled by the video iPod - it is likely to be my 1G iPod's successor, but mostly because my old one is behaving more and more erratically and I'm likely to need extended photo storage for my next vacation. If it had wireless connectivity, I'd probably be seriously considering getting one, but I'll pass for now.

Anyway, here's a summary of my train of thought as I clicked through the rumor mush to witness the first changes in Apple's site:

  • Video. Right. Okay, let's check iTunes 6.
  • Oooh, a video option. Big deal, hope it can be removed from the list (like Podcasts). Let's check the video content.
  • Music videos, trailers... No, nothing. Ah, let's switch to the US store.
  • Hmmm, Lost, at US$1.99 a pop. I could pay for this. What do you mean I can't buy it in Portugal? Ah well.
  • Front Row seems to be very nice indeed (and the fact that the magnet-held remote is a close relative of the iPod Shuffle hasn't escaped my attention). Bundling it solely with the new iMacs is a mistake, though - bundling it with the Mac mini (or selling it as an add-on) would be a much better idea, but I guess its time will come (maybe the next mini will have an IR port, who knows...).
  • Having recently scoured Portuguese retailers for an iSight myself, I think embedding the iSight is a great idea (and it's something that several folk pointed out ever since the new iMac form factor came about). And the "Mighty Mouse is not sold separately" sentence is a nice touch.

Finally, the catch: None of this is likely to make a good Xmas present here in Portugal, because (as I posted yesterday), distribution is still not working that well (the joke from my colleagues was that they still couldn't get a nano, and there was Apple upping the ante again...).

Yes, I know that LOJApple has just sold its Oporto operation to Prológica, but that isn't likely to improve things much for potential Apple buyers over here...

Like Melo and Gruber, I was hoping for a PowerBook upgrade - I guess it must be slated for January, which probably places Apple in the awkward position of launching PowerPC-based laptops that are likely to be trounced by lighter, somewhat faster iBooks come next Summer.

One way to lessen the gap would be to make them dual-core (as Melo prays for every night...), but we'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I'll be checking if iTunes 6 breaks DAAP again, and if mt-daapd is updated (the RSS feed for their forum is here if you share my concern).

My biggest fear (and a lot of other people's, I bet) is that Apple may strike a deal with the likes of the Sci-Fi Channel - I, for one, would probably spend a very significant amount of cash buying TV series (instead of DVDs). But that's unlikely to happen anytime soon (thanks to the idiotic way in which TV series are sold across markets).

One thing's for sure: This is the end of TV as we know it. It's been heralded time and again, the BBC has been running their little trial, etc., but even if Apple somehow fails to leverage their lead, the media industry will never be the same - again.

I'm very curious to see if Sony will see the light and place their content on iTMS instead of pressing it into UMDs, but that's another story...

...and Nokia One-Upped The Blackberry

Like I wrote earlier, Nokia's E61 launch is likely to be a lot more interesting for me.

The way I see it, they've finally shown something that is likely to trounce both Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices in the professional segment - it's a Blackberry clone, sure, but it can run IMAP, Blackberry Connect or ActiveSync to hook up to corporate e-mail, and (thanks to Opera) has what I would call a "nearly useful" mobile browser.

It's likely to be pricey (and RIM still packs more bang for the buck, no matter how you slice and dice features), but its UMTS and Wi-Fi connectivity (apparently complete with a SIP-compliant VoIP client) make it very appealing indeed.

Of course, we've yet to see how good it actually is - a lot of Nokia devices seemed to be winners on paper and turned out to be utter dogs in real life - and what the shift towards a Blackberry-like form factor means for both Series 80 and Series 60 devices.

After all, the E61 is a lot better (again, on paper) than the 9300i, and that one is barely out the door... But the biggest issue surrounding the Series 60 is the fact that it is becoming an increasingly fractured platform, and the E61's new form factor and software features isn't helping matters much...

Anyway, we'll see in a few months. But now I think I understand why SonyEricsson went public with the P990i this week - compared to the E61, the P990i isn't all that exciting...

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