What if instead of selling us something new in 2008, Apple simply updated its 1 million+ iPhones already in circulation with a little gift: Universal remote capability? If all those iPhones suddenly could control your DVD and cable and stereo with a few glowing icons, purchasing Apple’s new video players might be more appealing.
The thought is spurred by a Fast Company article, which throws cold water on Apple noting that Steve Jobs has his work cut out to outdo the iPhone hype. The big problem, FC says, is that Apple’s current stock momentum is based on the rare luck it had by breaking both the MP3 player and music download market at the same time. Back when the first iPod and iTunes were released, there was a huge vacuum in the entertainment content market and Apple filled it. The iPod took off, then the iPhone, and Apple’s computer sales have rode the wave. Now, with the market awash in good technology and with videos all over the web, video entertainment won’t be so easy to dominate. If Apple doesn’t do something brilliant soon, its momentum may run dry.
Which is why we find it interesting Apple has filed patents No. 20070189737 for a Multimedia Control Center and No. 20070230723 for a Portable Media Delivery System. The first is a method to manage different devices with a media control center; the second would help current Apple products talk to non-Apple products.
Are iPhones a Trojan Horse for Apple to gain access to your beloved living room? Would a million users given sudden access to a remote that actually ran everything be more interested in downloaded Apple iTunes videos for the Apple TV system? Just a thought. This may sound radical, but then, so is an MP3 player that talks to your Nike sneakers.