If you’ve been following the latest rumors surrounding Apple’s television plans, you know that a new report claims the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is only planning to offer 32- and 37-inch options starting next summer.
What did you get this holiday season? Was it a brand new iPad? How about a shiny new Android smartphone? Maybe you were really lucky and got your hands on a new HDTV.
As for me? Well, my holiday wish list was dominated by one entertainment option: video games.
If you’ve been paying attention to the mobile market over the last several months, you know that Apple and Samsung are at each other’s throats over alleged patent infringement. And with lawsuits flying worldwide, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the war between the firms will spill over into next year.
Last week, I talked about Verizon’s reported desire to acquire Netflix, and why such a maneuver would be a bad one for the company.
And although I still feel that way, it’s quickly becoming clear that in a year, Netflix won’t be Netflix. The streaming company will be part of a much larger firm that will use it as a key component in a move to expand a home-entertainment empire.
Something rather interesting has been happening as of late: an increasing number of companies, smelling Netflix blood, want to jump into the streaming space and become the average consumers’ new go-to place for entertainment.
It makes some sense. Over the last several months, Netflix has been hemorrhaging subscribers who are displeased with the company’s new pricing plans. And its ill-fated decision to spin off its DVD rental business made management seem incompetent. Add those issues to the difficult relationships it has with content providers, and it’s no wonder companies like Amazon, Wal-mart and others, want to take it down.
I’m shocked that anyone wants to buy the Wii. But I’m even more shocked that so many people are doing it. Earlier this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter reported, based on his checks, that a little over 1 million Wii units were sold last month, putting the device slightly behind the Xbox 360 in overall sales during the period.
Last year, when Apple released the next-generation Apple TV, I was happy. I felt that after all these years, the company finally understood just how important the living room was to its customers. And although I wasn’t blown away by the device’s functionality, I was confident that Apple would show me something new this year.
Over the last couple years, I’ve been a devoted Netflix customer, paying my fee every month to access the company’s streaming service. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s time for Netflix to go.
I came to that realization recently when I started accessing content on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video. I watched a few television shows, checked out a couple movies I hadn’t seen in a long time, and realized something: for $79 per year, I was getting an experience that matches what I get from Netflix for about $96 per year.
Over the last couple days, I’ve been playing Battlefield 3, a game that Electronic Arts said prior to its launch, could go head-to-head with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and win. But after playing through the majority of the single-player campaign, I can tell you without any reservation that it can’t do anything of the sort. In fact, Modern Warfare 3 has a much, much better single-player experience.
Each time I pick up my iPhone, listen to songs on my iPod, or surf the web on my Mac, I think about the mark Apple has left on the technology industry. It’s amazing to me that a single company has been able to do so much in such a short amount of time. And it’s perhaps most amazing that no other company has even come close in many of the markets the iPhone maker competes in to matching it.
When I get thinking about that, I ask myself a simple, but not so solvable question: would the technology world be the same if Apple didn’t exist?
As of late, we’ve been hearing a lot about a possible Apple television. The latest rumors suggest the set will launch late next year or in early 2013, and could offer access to apps and iCloud, among several other features. As I noted on these pages recently, I’m excited by the prospect of an Apple television, and I can say without any doubt that I will be first in line to buy the set if and when it launches.
But what if Apple isn’t the only company thinking seriously about getting into the television space? What if Microsoft, armed with its Kinect motion peripheral, tries its luck at taking on Vizio, Samsung, and all other vendors in the TV space?