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Monday, June 06, 2005 

Apple Media Centre device coming today?

Apropos of the growing certainty that Apple will today announce a major new partnership with Intel at the WWDC - some suspect that this is tied to Apple's obvious long-term ambitions to beat Microsoft to the punch in creating the killer convergence platform.

Everyone knows the iPod and the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), and some people will have heard of the Motorola-Apple collaboration to produce the imminent, long-fabled iPhone. But what of video? In a little-heralded move, Apple have recently begun to sell music videos through the iTMS as well, suggesting that (along with the seeming inevitability of a video-enabled iPod being not far away, if not already here as the iPod Photo) Something is Clearly Up.

So, what's missing? Well, the MPAA may have learned some of the lessons (as they would see it) of the RIAA's too-blithely letting Apple establish the digital downloads music industry as their own little DRM fiefdom. More to the point, the Hollywood types will likely take a much tougher stance against people exercising fair use committing piracy. Intel's future chips, of course, are going to implement DRM lockdown. Is Intel Inside(tm) the final piece needed for the long-awaited Apple Home Media Center for your living-room?

Could it work? We already have two of the major pieces (iPod and iTunes) in place. That the iPod crushes the opposition is made clear when even Microsoft start touting (claimed) iPod compatibility as a 'feature' of the XBox 360, and Real spend most of their days trying to crack Apple's FairPlay DRM.

The Apple-Motorola iPhone (Motorola's upcoming RAZR) will surely extend this dominance of the public mindspace to the mobile market. A sitting-room media centre box to tie it all together - audio, video, Web, TV - well, that there's the Holy Grail (one conspicuously flubbed by Microsoft so far). Today's Apple-Intel announcement could be about this mythical iHome box, perhaps a big brother to the delightful Mac Mini.

In which case, I'll take two, please, Steve.

p.s. Meanwhile, in what I hope was meant as a joke, Jonathan Schwartz at Sun writes:

"So I'd like to personally invite you to adopt Solaris 10 as the underpinning of the next generation Mac. We both respect Unix, both respect innovation*, and both clearly see volume opportunities in extending choice to developers. We'd love to work together [...] Have a great keynote! You know where to reach us.


Jonathan, I think in Steve Jobs's case we can safely assume it'll be "don't call us, we'll call you..."

UPDATE: Oops, spoke too soon (via TUAW)

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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