Our World. Our Minutae.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Apple & Blockbuster? So 20th Century?

Blockbuster Movie Rentals will clearly have to re-invent themselves soon
before they become the typewriter repair shops of today – quaint reminders
of a different time.

But why would Apple spend BILLIONS to buy Blockbuster, its THOUSANDS of
employees and its BILLIONS in debt?

There are ZERO reasons.

Yes, Robert Cringley us right about one thing. The future evolution of the
iPod will clearly be the iPod as a er … pod.

The first step in the next releases will undoubtedly be wireless/bluetooth,
et, al but before long (and of course, long before anyone else gets its
right), Apple will “fix” the iPod so you can dock it in a mothership pod to
buy music & movies.

Does Apple need Blockbuster to do this? No, Apple just needs about an 8’ by
5’ foot space … do you need to buy a 10,000 square foot store to install a
vending machine?


Apple will probably add to their stores first and then, it will be a fight
to see who gets it next. Like the intent on vending machines – which is to
draw in foot traffic – and who knows, that customer might buy something else
– that’s all you would need. A space or a wall will do nicely.

If Apple wants to buy anyone, they might buy, Zoom the company with the ipod
vending machines: http://www.zoomsystems.com/home.html

But why would you spend billions of a store and a store name that reminds
people of the days of video and not DVD’s?

Why would you spend billions on a store clearly fewer and fewer people are
going into – associating it with old technology? When they have Netflix or
Video-on-Demand now?

These iPod motherships would be perfect on campus, in company cafeterias, in
airports, and in countries where homes are smaller or a more social
societies (pretty much the rest of the world) where people tend to gather in
the streets, in plazas and coffeehouses, the un-tethered iPod is perfect –
people can dock in while buying a coffee, or waiting in line.

There’s still plenty of work to be done – the whole authorization issue,
security issues regarding accounts, etc … (perfect for an Apple iPod phone
that adds your purchase right to your Apple mobile phone bill :-)

But you can see the possibilities are endless.

However one possibility is not just remote but pointless.

Apple needs to buy Blockbuster the day they need to buy Del Monte.


Anonymous Jay said...

just so you will know - Blockbusters market cap is under $800 million not billions. Apple has over $8 billion is cash and short term moneys.

6:11 PM

Anonymous Alex in Los Angeles said...

Good vision on the Kiosk system.

One thing, though, Cringely never said Apple would buy Blockbuster. He even gave the same reasons you did. He said Apple would save Blockbuster by giving them some exclusivity on the kiosks.

And, I'm not sure about the ubiquitous Kiosks idea. These kiosks are going to be expensive and robust xServe, xSan, and large Display setups. They need to store Apple's ENTIRE library of movie, music, and video offerings and be connected by T1 to Cupertino. Apple might be wise to plan a controlled rollout of these Kiosks with a partner willing to invest in this infrastructure for a chance to share in the revenues, IMHO.

What do you think?

10:06 PM

Blogger Metro said...

The kiosks wouldn't be cheap but they would be perfect in a controled and safe place like an airport or a really large train station - I think the only remaining holdouts are people with plenty of disposable income but have too little time to buy a bunch of CD's, rip and then load them - if they are really rich, they have their assistant do it but if you have 15 minutes to kill before the train, why not pop in your ipod and scroll around. Apple could team wup with Zoom and sell ipods right then & there also.

3:48 PM

Blogger diggler said...

The mothership device exists, it just can't be patented globally.
Who would you suggest in interested in backing an independent land-grab of sites for the ubiquitous kiosk / mothership?
How do you raise capital without patent rights?

5:47 PM


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