updated 09:15 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2006
Apple to help Blockbuster?
Apple should be looking to Blockbuster to enter the world of digital video distribution and gain a stronger retail presence, according to tech pundit Robert Cringely. Blockbuster, which has been failing to meet investor expectations, needs a better avenue for distribution and its stores would be perfect for Apple to set up an iPod-based video food chain to reach an entirely new base of customers: "Apple's Blockbuster product strategy is simple. Start with a new iPod that has video- and audio-out capability. This iPod -- which will be just as good at playing songs as any iPod that preceded it - will be more than just a video storage device. It will be a video player. No make that plural - players - a whole family of video-out iPods, some with flash storage and others with little disk drives. Take your Video-out iPod to Blockbuster, drop it in a kiosk dock then download from the local xServe your choice of 50,000 movies. You can rent the movie or buy it and you can even choose the resolution, which may or may not affect the final price. Take the iPod home, drop it in the dock attached to your TV and watch the movie. H.264 decoding takes place in the iPod in hardware."