Geekspin Blog

Apple to save Blockbuster

Posted on: February 19, 2006

Cringely has posted this very speculative article on a possible scenario where Apple could partner with the long ailing Blockbuster chain to distribute digital video.

While it seems on the surface that there are huge advantages of having a “shop on the corner” to distribute future hardware and digital movies via an instore dock, served of large Apple storage servers, there do seem to be some worrying, less obvious issues.

  • How long will the lack of connectivity and bandwidth be a real issue? Look how far we have come in the last 10 – 5 years? Surely its a bit of a risky business to invest in all that new hardware and training?
  • Will Apple be willing to take on the risk of an old world technology chain store, together with all of its debts and issues?
  • Will people like my mother for example see the advantage of having a non-return rewriteable media player? Personally I dont think she would like to have to unplug the thing and carry it to the store .. just seems to complicated, and frankly that is still the issue with VOD via the internet. Its still in the realm of geeks.
  • What happens when I happen to past a Blockbuster and I don’t have the iPod with me? Eek.. I rent many DVD’s like that, on impulse.

In reality I think there may be space for a small scale rollout in areas with a large geek population like, San Fransisco and other areas of California, and perhaps other trendy areas. However I think large scale adoption would take many years to really take place.

No I think the solution for an interim distribution service will be less clear cut than this and its value will be increasingly temporary as large scale bandwidth rollout becomes a reality worldwide.

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