I unsubscribed from Robert Scoble's blog some time ago (pretty much everything he posts ends up on Techmeme anyway so I see it there ...) but he's still capable of coming up with some interesting posts. Today though he posted about AppleTV and in the post he touched on an interesting point - how Apple leaves the door open to its competitors.
Apple could have really taken over the HDTV world and held it for decades. Instead it has left the door open to its competitors.
Microsoft loves competitors like Apple who leave doors open.
What am I talking about?
Yes, what are you talking about Robert?
Do we have a wide-screen iPod yet? One that matches the form factor of my 60-inch HDTV? No. Microsoft executives say that a wide-screen, 16:9 form factor, Zune is on the way this fall.
Do we have a 16:9 1080-full-res MacBookPro out yet? No. Dell has one. So does Acer. Just look for an WUXGA screen. But Apple hasn’t shipped one of those yet.
Do we have HDTV iTunes yet? No. But ABC.com is giving us HDTV Lost. Stage6.divx.com has tons of close-to-HDTV content. Joost is going to bring us close-to-HDTV content. Where’s Apple?
Do we have an entertainment system that joins our computers and our big screens? Microsoft has Media Center and Xbox. Plus Xbox Live now joins gamers on PCs with those on Xbox. Why hasn’t Apple made a deal with Sony yet to bring PlayStation 3 to MacBookPros?
I'm wondering whether Apple isn't overstretched. While Apple is venturing into new areas with AppleTV and the iPhone, in order to be able to do this the company has had to delay the release of Leopard. If Apple is going to dominate new markets I think that the company might have to restructure and re-prioritize to take on the challenges that face it.
But Apple has to be careful. New ventures like AppleTV and the iPhone are speculative and while they might turn out to be lucrative, the company needs to make sure it doesn't harm its core business. The company is currently doing very well but the Engadget blunder showed that investors won't take kindly to bad news. That means treading carefully, and if it means leaving doors open for other, so be it.