The One More Thing Steve Jobs Didn’t Announce TodayJan 15th, 2008 | By James Lewin | Category: Commentary, General
You’ve probably also had a chance to read about Steve Jobs’ announcements, includin:
- the new Macbook Air;
- the Time Capsule wireless backup device;
- updates to the iPod touch;
- iTunes movie rentals;
- the new Apple TV software;
- the free iPhone updates; and
- DVDs coming with an iTunes Digital Copy.
It was an solid keynote, with lots of meaty announcements, but no huge surprises and no “one more thing”.
If you read between the lines of Apple’s announcements, though, there is one more thing hidden in Jobs’ keynote: Apple is killing off the DVD.
Four Ways Apple Is Killing Off The DVD
DVDs are dead. Steve Jobs didn’t come out and announce this, but he might as well have – four of today’s introductions pointed to the demise of the DVD as we know it:
- The MacBook Air gets rid of the internal DVD player. Like Jobs decision to kill off the floppy with the iMac, getting rid of the DVD player is a sign that Jobs sees now sees wireless networks and the Internet as the ways to move bytes around. Apple will offer an external DVD player, but its an option. Apple expects you to buy your movies digitally and get your software wirelessly.
- iTunes Movie Rentals promise to bring DVD-quality movies directly to your computer, iPod and television. Apple’s has nailed this by getting the major studios on board, offering fair rental pricing and flexible viewing options and by having a complete system that works. This will put more pressure on the already-struggling DVD-rental industry.
- The Apple TV update turns what used to be an interesting iTunes peripheral into a digital replacement for Blockbuster and NetFlix. Now you can rent movies from your living room digitally.
- iTunes Digital Copy – at first glance, this looks an enhancement to DVDs. In reality, it immediately establishes a de facto standard for delivering digital movies for portable media players. Apple is so far ahead of the competition here that it would take years for a competitor to catch up with this. The only way the movie industry will be able to keep iTunes Digital Copy from becoming a proprietary de facto standard is by moving to an open standard for digital movies – exactly the same thing that has happened with the digital music industry. In other words, the movie industry is going to have to kill off the DVD and offer DRM-free movies.
Don’t expect Apple to kill off the DVD overnight. It took Apple a few years to get rid of the floppy drive, and there are still some PCs that come with floppy drives.
Nevertheless, Apple is looking ahead, not back, and the future Steve Jobs envisions doesn’t included DVDs.