While Apple is experimenting with the video functions with the release of iTunes 4.8 there are those who, with a breakaway, predicts the future of the iPod and the digital music store, designing a scenario in which Apple will be the center of strategy for Apple and iPod will lose its relevance by becoming a licensed third-party product.
The perspective, in some ways original, contained in a reflection by Robert Cringley, one of the hi-tech recognized "gurus" and commentator very much in evidence for different technology sites.
Exploring the possibilities that open up for the future of Cupertino, Cringley believes that the prerequisites for a strategic turnaround are now in place and it would be Tiger to prove it. Digging inside the system's resources you will discover, in fact, icons not used at the moment, but that symbolize video and audio formats, among which the Vorbis OGG and the WMA – Windows Media Audio stand out. This is enough for Cringley to assume that "Apple will soon announce a high resolution video download system. The H.264 codec of QuickTime 7, the power of Tiger are the tools that will allow it to do so ?.
The turning point would be strategic because Apple would not limit itself to supporting the sale of videos, but would transform the iTunes Music Store (for those days no longer just "music" in the central pivot of its strategy "with iTunes – says Cringley – Apple managed to prove that in the long run the software has also become an excellent tool to make cash, first through the sale of music and, soon, thanks to the sale of films or, more generally, videos ?. This, according to the opinionist, could allow Apple to abandon the path it has pursued until today which plans to use the store as a support system for the sale of iPods, from which Cupertino draws the greatest profits. Reversing the prospect, the Apple house would direct its economic interest on iTunes, effectively divesting the iPod and giving the licensed brand "the profit margins on iPod – says Cringley – are dizzyingly lowering and Apple must have the foresight to catch a glimpse when the time to move your business from a mix between hardware and software to one solely derived from the software and related online services, it will be inevitable and it will happen to us after having licensed the iPod to other companies ?.
A Samsung or a Dell can thus not only mark (as HP does today) the Apple iPod line but build their own versions of iPod, also make models that read movies, which can be purchased through the hypothesized service of iTunes Video Store. Having compatible iPods on the market always and only with iTunes, even produced by other brands, will be the key to increasing the leadership of the iTunes system.
Only doubt: Steve Jobs has always expressed a declared allergy to clones, which appears to be clear even to Cringley who, in fact, specifies that Apple will grant iPod licenses (from 5 to 25 dollars per player) only when he decides to leave that market .