I am so tempted to confuse the tail with the dog.
At today's Apple Event, Steve Jobs (who looked, dare I say, healthy) said something that is worth ruminating on.
He said that the consumers of Apple TV, Apple’s favorite hobby, don't want a computer in their living room, specifically citing “storage management” as a problem that consumers wish to avoid.
What they want instead is top-flight Hollywood programming, such as first-run HD Movies, Music, and TV Shows.
It was an odd distinction; especially since the knockout success of iPad proves the irrelevance of such arbitrary distinctions.
Thus, it almost seemed like Apple worked backwards from $99, and needing a wedge into being a ubiquitous living room peripheral, they chose a domain that they Own and Control (iTunes Media) over one that they merely Profit From (iOS Apps).
Why do I say this? Conventional wisdom was that the revamped Apple TV was going to become an iOS device, and specifically run iOS Games and Apps, a logical, an obvious stronghold for Apple to pursue, specifically because it is so disruptive to Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox (a combined 150M user installed base).
Plus, one can see the power benefit of vertical integration for consumers and developers vis-a-vis an integrated platform that scales from handheld media devices to mobile phones, tablets and big screen, HD TV screens.
But, alas, nix that. At $99, they couldn't figure out how to make games and other apps work. Given that the device is running an A4 and can support up to 720p HD Video Output, I can only guess that it's a storage issue, some combination of footprint and target margins colliding.
Do the Nano-Nano Shuffle
Also of note, Apple has embraced the job of wear-ability, by focusing on making both the iPod shuffle and the iPad Nano easy to operate while being attached to a jacket, belt or ear (okay, I am joking about that last point).
In fact, the Nano was effectively reborn as a multi-touch device -- but won't run iOS apps.
Can you feel a fragmentation headache coming on? Given ‘em credit, though. There is a method to the madness.
iOS, iPod touch and…Ping!
Meanwhile, back in the land of iOS, or what Apple calls a revolution in touch and apps (operators standing by), there have now shipped 120M iOS devices, and Apple is activating 230K new iOS devices a day, with a subtle dig at Google inflating Android activation counts.
If Steve Jobs isn’t the Second Coming of Michael Jordan, I don’t know who’s better.
App store has also generated 6.5B app downloads (200 apps/sec) across 250K apps, and the biggest deal on the horizon is a unified 4.2 software release in November that upgrades the iPad to the same level of functionality as the iPhone and iPod touch.
Stuff that matters Is the fact that printing is coming to the iPad, and the activation of AirPlay, which allows you to push audio, video, photos over wi-fi to other devices.
The entrée of the event, though, was the iPod touch, now the most popular iPod AND the #1 Portable game player.
(Scratches head wondering again, "Why new Apple TV doesn't play iOS apps and games?)
Jobs officially the dubbed iPod touch, the "iPhone without the phone," and promptly gave it a Retina Display, front-facing camera and FaceTime, a rear-facing camera with HD video recording at $300 for the mid-level version.
I am so totally buying that, and so will a lot of people if the success of iPhone 4 is worth anything.
The intersection of my media likes, my circle of friends and my favorite artists has a lot of potential.
Apple is combining the equivalent of a short post on Facebook with the dumb simplicity of Twitter in expressing taste and filtering based on similar interests.
Best of all, Apple has logically baked Ping down to the device-level of the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
How many companies could introduce a major step up like Apple, with their iPod touch, and surround it by reinvention of Nano and Apple TV, while making iTunes social?
Of those, who could be trusted to accomplish all that in a year, let alone one tightly synchronized event.
Apple is simply an amazing company, albeit leaving me a bit confused as a developer -- at the level of tail, not the level of dog.