My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple and the iTV - Back to the future

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apple and the iTV - Back to the future


21:42  Jesus saith  unto  them,  Did  ye  never  read  in  the  scriptures,  The stone  which  the  builders  rejected,  the  same  is  become  the head  of  the  corner:  this  is  the  Lord’s  doing,  and  it  is marvellous  in  our  eyes?

King James Version Bible, Matthew 21 vs 42

September 1st is D-Day for the big Apple (no pun intended!) announcement from CEO Steve Jobs, expected to focus on refreshes for the Apple iPod and its closely related siblings or offspring.

Namely the Apple iPod Touch, Apple iPod Nano and the Apple iPod Shuffle as stated in the article “Apple likely to show off new iPods Sept 1”, published Wednesday August 25, 6:26 pm ET, by Reuters, Yahoo! News.

That is right Apple FanBoys! Apple actually does make other products.

The Apple iPad is the media darling of the moment, or at least until 2012 with the no competition in sight due to the competition being caught flat footed as stated in the article “No iPad Killer Coming Until 2012 , Says iSuppli”, published Thursday August 26, 1:59 pm ET, by Barbara E. Hernandez, Yahoo! News, golden words from the components analyst, saving me the trouble to trot out all the rumours of the other wannabee Apple  iPad Replacement Killers.

I mention this fact as there is still an ongoing components shortage and this is affecting both Apple iPhones and Apple iPads, as stated in the article “White iPhone 4 faces manufacturing woes; iPad too”, published Friday July 24 2010 by  Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News and confirmed by the article “LG overwhelmed by iPad display orders”, published by July 23, 2010 9:56 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker, selling at a rate of nearly one million (1,000,000) units per week.

This is not even going into the fact that the Apple iPad has set off a Tablet wave as stated in the article “iPad paves the Way for Coming Tablet Invasion”, published Tuesday August 24, 10:57 am ET by Tony Bradley, Yahoo! News and lower prices form Laptops and Netbooks due to decreased demand for these electronic devices.

Things have improved a bit as stated in the article “iPad wait times slowly getting shorter”, published Thursday August 19, 5:05 pm ET by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

If anything, the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle, which I like to call the White Unicorn and the Black Panther, together, have rekindled the love of reading, especially using a format made popular in the early 80’s, that being e-books.

Thus in part saving the Publishing and Newspaper Industry as stated in the article “Kindle and iPad e-Readers Spark Revolution”, published Thursday August 26, 11:51 am ET by Daniel Ionescu, Yahoo! News.

Meanwhile simultaneously acting as an accelerant for e-book piracy, as stated in the article “Is iPad supercharging e-book piracy?”, published May 14, 2010 12:32 PM PDT by David Carnoy, CNET News.

Apple plans to debut a 7” Apple iPad for the business community, apparently more of a show that they have not forgotten the suits and ties in the office and is a special device, just for them.

This 7” wonder is in the works, and is Apple’s specially tailored device for the jet set as opposed to merely making them have to use the generic Apple iPad, as aside from the small screen size, it may be more specifically tailored form their office needs as stated in the article “Report says Apple to Launch 7-inch iPad by Christmas”,, published Tuesday August 17, 3:40 am ET, by Dan Nystedt, Yahoo! News.

But none of this is the highlight of this much anticipated event. John Public is awaiting the confirmed news of the details of the long awaited refresh of what in the minds of many was a failed experiment that has the greatest unrealized potential for Apple: The Apple TV, aptly rechristened the Apple iTV.

The Darling Stepchild of the Apple family, the oft hacked and neglected Apple TV, launched in 2008, seemed then little more than a hobby horse for Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. But now word on the street is that the Apple TV is getting more than just a name change as stated in the article “Revamped Apple TV coming this fall?”, published August 11, 2010 3:43 PM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Rumour has it that Apple’s re-launched take on the set top box concept will not only be capable of 720p HD video playback, suitable for HDTV, but more importantly to us non-tech Fanboys, will debut with a ultra low price of US$99 and will be renting content via the Apple iTunes store for S$0.99 cents as stated in the article “Latest chatter point to $99 Apple TV, 99-cent TV show rentals”, published Wednesday August 25, 11:00 am ET by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

Possibly the greatest stats to hear in a Recession laden US Economy, as that is a deal breaker when compared to subscription services like Hulu with its pricing point at US$10 as stated in the article “Hulu launches US$10 video subscription service”, published Tuesday June 29 2010 by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer, Yahoo! News.

Its new name, the Apple iTV, is an indication of the porting of the new iOS Platform that runs the Apple iPad and Apple iPhone 4.0, suggesting, downloadable Apps, a mash-up involving Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) streaming of content from the Apple iTV to an Apple iPad similar to Verizon FIOS as stated in the article “Verizon Wants to stream FIOS to iPad, other Tablets”, published Wednesday August 18, 5:14 pm ET, by Adam Dickter, newsfactor.com, Yahoo! News

Even streaming over the cloud for musical content using technology from recently purchased online streaming service LaLa as rumored to be in the pipeline by the video CNET The AppleByte, aired Friday August 6th 2010 by Senior Editor, Brian Tong, CNET News.

But despite these pricing highlights, what has me excited is the possibility of the video calling platform FaceTime introduced and made popular on the Apple iPhone 4.0 being included with the Apple iTV, as opined by ZDNet pundit David Gewirtz in the article “FaceTime could be Apple's iTV killer app”, published August 23, 2010, 7:35am PDT, By David Gewirtz, ZDNet Government.

That alone, even if it is just a rumour, has it totally sold for me, especially if voice commands and video gaming using a motion detection controller were to be thrown in, akin to Microsoft Kinect, making this revamp on the same level as the Apple iPad, as this would make it a completely new concept: A set top box with gaming capabilities. Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox, we may have a possible contender………

Thus, in short order, I would do nothing less than recommend that Apple ink a deal with Telecom Provider Digicel and their newly minted Digicel Broadband 4G services based on ultra fast WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) to have the device in Jamaica for its customers exclusively, as already Triple Play Provider FLOW has begun selling DVR (Digital Video Recorders) to its customers.

With its pricing point, it would be a bona fide hit with the Jamaica public, who like Americans, are not so excited about live television as stated in the research pieces by Media Practitioner, Marcia Forbes in the articles expanding on the dismal finding by the 2009 MRSL All Media Survey which finally includes a section on the usage on Internet

Albeit not on its impact on the traditional media, be it Broadcasters in Radio or Television and the Newspapers as stated in the article “'Jamaica to the world' via the Internet”, published Thursday March 25th 2010, by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer and broadcast Radio as stated in the article “What fate Radio?”, published Saturday April 10th 2010, by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer.

Finally rounding off her triptych with an ode to experimentation with social networking by the author in the article “Twitter, Twits and Tweets”, published Thursday 22nd April 2010 by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer.

Throw in the Americans and their trending towards time-shifting with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which is also a real possibility and John Public can confirm is actually happening in Jamaica as well as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17, 6:53 am ET By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo! News.

Telecom Provider Digicel may be looking at a means of launching their DigiTV service, their own Wireless Subscriber Television Service as stated in the article “'DigiTV's launch for 2009' - Mobile Provider branches into TV”, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, Online Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

This is similar to the one they currently have in the South Pacific Island and thus assisting their partner-in-crime the RJR Communication Group with a set top box from Apple priced within reach of even the ordinary man at a heavenly US99 (JA$8600) value and US$0.99 (JA$86) per show rental, a new business revenue stream for the RJR Communications Group.

An extra plus and brownie points would be the knocking of some of the wind out of the sails of Telecom Provider LIME and their partnership with DC Digital to provide Cable TV and Local Television content on mobile phones by Christmas 2010 as stated in the article “LIME goes Mobile TV”, published Saturday August 28 by Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner and confirmed in the article “TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Strangely, Telecom Provider LIME had made no mention of video calling in their presentation. If the Apple iTV does have video calling when unveiled to the world on September 1st 2010AD, it would be to Telecom Provider Digicel’s advantage to ink an exclusive deal with the company to port this device along with their Digicel Broadband 4G service, as this is the true future of television, going back to the future as ascribed to the cartoon The Jetsons (TV Series 1962–1988).

Any news from Telecom Provider CLARO on their offerings for the Christmas of 2010? John Public is waiting………..
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