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Intel expected to unveil cable service, set-top box at CES

post #1 of 92
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Chipmaker Intel is reportedly planning to unveil a new set-top box and accompanying cable service at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January.

Citing sources familiar with Intel's plans, TechCrunch reported on Monday that Intel's "virtual cable TV service" and hardware are in the works, and that the company also has a plan to secure the necessary licensing agreements to release such a product. Apple, which has been long rumored to be interested in building either a television set or a set-top box, is said to have been held back at least in part by media companies who are reluctant to offer necessary agreements.

Citing one source, Monday's report claimed that Intel has become tired of "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV." That's prompted the company to step in and "do it right" by building their own service and hardware.

"The plan is to create a set-top box and subscription TV service that would appeal to people who want streaming TV access but don't want to entirely cut the cable cord and lose key content like sports," author Josh Constine wrote. "The service would pipe in both traditional channels and streaming content such as Redbox's streaming service."

Intel reportedly plans to unveil the "first version" of what's called an "evolving set-top box" at its CES event on Jan. 7.

Apple TV


Rumors of a full-fledged Apple television set have persisted for years, but the possibility of the company instead releasing a greatly enhanced Apple TV set-top box as an accessory for third-party televisions was raised this August. A report from The Wall Street Journal revealed that Apple was considering building its own cable box that would include an iOS-like user interface and advanced cloud-based DVR functionality that would blur the line between live and on-demand content.

Google TV


With Apple allegedly interested in expanding its current Apple TV accessory, and Intel reportedly planning to unveil a new platform in the immediate future, Google has signaled that it wishes to get out of the set-top box business. Earlier this month, one report claimed that Google was working on a deal to sell its Motorola Home Business, responsible for building boxes for cable providers.

Google's shift would sell off a major portion of the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility it bought a year ago. Some industry watchers had initially speculated that Motorola's set-top box business might have been a key part of the acquisition for Google, as the company offers its own Android-based Google TV business.
post #2 of 92
The day I can subscribe to all sports for $25/mo will be the end of current cable Giants and their lazy foot.

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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post #3 of 92
Com'on, who you kid'n!

Every one knows Apple will be 1st to this....and then ripped off...I mean copied...flattery...Ah' you know what I'm sayn'.
post #4 of 92
I'm surprised that Google sold off the STB business. How hard would've it been to put Google TV into every box?
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #5 of 92
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
I'm surprised that Google sold off the STB business. How hard would've it been to put Google TV into every box?

 

That was their dream years back, wasn't it?

"Eventually you won't be able to buy a TV without our software" or something like that.

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post #6 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With Apple allegedly interested in expanding its current Apple TV accessory, and Intel reportedly planning to unveil a new platform in the immediate future, Google has signaled that it wishes to get out of the set-top box business. Earlier this month, one report claimed that Google was working on a deal to sell its Motorola Home Business, responsible for building boxes for cable providers.

Google's not working on a deal to sell off the set-top business. They DID sell it off, getting roughly $2.5Billion in cash plus stock.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #7 of 92
Intel taking a page from MS who took a page from Apple?
post #8 of 92

Agreed. Cable companies will eventually be reduced to just renting and servicing their "pipes!" :)

 

I use the Redbox vending machines. It is excellent value compared to the old Blockbuster days. I look fwd to when the roll out their streaming service.

 

Currently, I'm using Netflix. And it's OK. Movies are a bit old and on the whole are subpar. But I do enjoy watching the English TV shows, "The IT Crowd," etc.

 

But am really looking fwd to an Apple TV because I know Apple will do it right! :)

post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That was their dream years back, wasn't it?


"Eventually you won't be able to buy a TV without our software" or something like that.

I don't recall Google wanting that, but it doesn't surprise me. I know Microsoft wanted to be in everyone's living room. Going to be interesting for the next few years. Whatever happens it'll be a win for us consumers.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Agreed. Cable companies will eventually be reduced to just renting and servicing their "pipes!" 1smile.gif

I use the Redbox vending machines. It is excellent value compared to the old Blockbuster days. I look fwd to when the roll out their streaming service.

Currently, I'm using Netflix. And it's OK. Movies are a bit old and on the whole are subpar. But I do enjoy watching the English TV shows, "The IT Crowd," etc.

But am really looking fwd to an Apple TV because I know Apple will do it right! 1smile.gif

If you're into Brit TV you gotta watch Misfits.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"The plan is to create a set-top box and subscription TV service that would appeal to people who want streaming TV access but don't want to entirely cut the cable cord and lose key content like sports," 

 

Don't we have this today with the iPad and Apple TV?
 
I want to entirely cut the cable cord.  Fast broadband is all that is needed.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


If you're into Brit TV you gotta watch Misfits.

Sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation. I will! :)

 

I remember a long time ago, the Young Ones, Rise and Fall of Reginald Perin, and, of course, Black Adder! Just brilliant writing.

post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


Too bad that your broadband comes through the cord you're looking to cut.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #14 of 92
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Too bad that your broadband comes through the cord you're looking to cut.

 

I didn't know my DSL was carried over a coax cable. Wonder why I had to plug filters into my phone lines, then.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlongz View Post

The day I can subscribe to all sports for $25/mo will be the end of current cable Giants and their lazy foot.

 

To each their own I suppose.  For me, sports is the main reason I stopped watching cable TV.  

 

There is more entertainment value in sticking your head out the window or going for a walk than there is following organised professional sports.  You don't learn anything, you aren't actually being entertained most of the time, and all the events end the same way.  The teams change rosters, the players start and retire over time, the teams change names, colours and cities, but other than these completely inconsequential details, every game is the same boring story over and over and over and over again.  

 

Every minute you are sitting in front of a TV watching some silly sporting event, is a minute of your life that you are wasting IMO.  

post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I didn't know my DSL was carried over a coax cable. Wonder why I had to plug filters into my phone lines, then.

DSL is dying, and the speeds aren't that fast.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation. I will! 1smile.gif

I remember a long time ago, the Young Ones, Rise and Fall of Reginald Perin, and, of course, Black Adder! Just brilliant writing.

The writing on Misfits is more juvenile but nonetheless good. One of the craziest comedies I've ever seen. Here's a taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MgHNX11HwI&feature=youtube_gdata_player
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

To each their own I suppose.  For me, sports is the main reason I stopped watching cable TV.  

 

There is more entertainment value in sticking your head out the window or going for a walk than there is following organised professional sports.  You don't learn anything, you aren't actually being entertained most of the time, and all the events end the same way.  The teams change rosters, the players start and retire over time, the teams change names, colours and cities, but other than these completely inconsequential details, every game is the same boring story over and over and over and over again.  

 

Every minute you are sitting in front of a TV watching some silly sporting event, is a minute of your life that you are wasting IMO.  

I hear you. I stopped watching the NFL because of the amount of commercials. They turn what should be a two hour game into 4.5 hours. Complete waste of time. But watching Senna race in F1, Agassi play tennis, Tiger play golf, Ali in the ring, Deion Sanders playing defense was magic. Just to name a few. :)

post #19 of 92
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
DSL is dying, and the speeds aren't that fast.

 

No, and no, and that doesn't excuse how it's not at all the cable he's disconnecting.

 

I refuse to ever move to a cable or any other "shared" bandwidth system.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I don't recall Google wanting that, but it doesn't surprise me. I know Microsoft wanted to be in everyone's living room. Going to be interesting for the next few years. Whatever happens it'll be a win for us consumers.

http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/7/2618225/eric-schmidt-le-web-paris-google-tv-majority-all-tvs

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post #21 of 92
I have to laugh at everyone trying to beat Apple to the punch in TV when they really have no idea what Apple is planning on doing in this space. I think where companies are missing the boat though is people don't really care about so-called smart TV's. They haven't taken off at all. Hopefully Apple realizes its not about a cool UI. They can have the coolest UI ever but if you're still stuck with cable monopolies and bundled packages where you're paying for channels you never watch its not really solving anything. Cable companies get all the blame but its the content providers pushing/forcing bundling. I'm skeptical Apple will be able to change any of that.
post #22 of 92
Intel is totally in bed with Apple on this.
post #23 of 92

Thanks for the link. I do remember that now and here we are in the winter of 2012 and it still hasn't happened and I for one am glad it didn't.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I have to laugh at everyone trying to beat Apple to the punch in TV when they really have no idea what Apple is planning on doing in this space. I think where companies are missing the boat though is people don't really care about so-called smart TV's. They haven't taken off at all. Hopefully Apple realizes its not about a cool UI. They can have the coolest UI ever but if you're still stuck with cable monopolies and bundled packages where you're paying for channels you never watch its not really solving anything. Cable companies get all the blame but its the content providers pushing/forcing bundling. I'm skeptical Apple will be able to change any of that.

Is no company now capable of coming up with a good idea without it being them having to beat Apple?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I have to laugh at everyone trying to beat Apple to the punch in TV when they really have no idea what Apple is planning on doing in this space. I think where companies are missing the boat though is people don't really care about so-called smart TV's. They haven't taken off at all. Hopefully Apple realizes its not about a cool UI. They can have the coolest UI ever but if you're still stuck with cable monopolies and bundled packages where you're paying for channels you never watch its not really solving anything. Cable companies get all the blame but its the content providers pushing/forcing bundling. I'm skeptical Apple will be able to change any of that.

I think that is partially correct. I feel the problem with today's SmartTVs isn't just a slow and convoluted UI but a lack of content that simple cant be had today without working with the cable/sat providers.

I don't want Apple to ignore cae/sat but to work with them so that the Apple TV UI is I tethered seamlessly into the content you get from your cable/sat providers.

I've envisioned a couple ways (logistically) this can be done but none of them seem like a great solution. Apple typically doesn't do partnerships like this but like most things there is an exception. They partner with telcos for the iPhone and it's their most successful product line. I don't think it would be if they were there own MVNO or only sold it unlocked at their retail price.

Whether we get Apple HDTVs or not I'm hoping Apple has inked deals with a large cae company (like they did with Cingular) to get the ball rolling with an Apple-branded cable box that has WiFi and BT.

An HD Scientific Atlanta box is in the retail iPhone and iPad prices, if memory serves. I'm not sure how much of that is profit but I have to think Apple can do it more efficiently as there is no part of the HW they don't have experience with, save the specific HW for the digital cable decoding. Apple even has experience with analog TV tuners but I would doubt that would be included in this 21st century device.

One caveat is, I think, most cable companies are still using MPEG-2 for digital cable, including HD. Not hard to support in the device since we're talking about a codec and the processing is considerably less than H.264. Having a separate backend system for just H.264 for Apple's content would be an undertaking. That said, I have faith that would be considered since a transition would have to happen and it will save them considerable bandwidth saturation, data usage, and allow for On Demand to be queued faster.

I don't think it's worth talking about H.265 until later in the year. Once it's finalized (next month?) then the re work starts.

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post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Thanks for the link. I do remember that now and here we are in the winter of 2012 and it still hasn't happened and I for one am glad it didn't.

It wasn't realistic when he states it. Sometimes I think execs get so used to getting told what they want to hear that they then make statements based on that. The Emperor's new HDTV, so to speak.

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post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Is no company now capable of coming up with a good idea without it being them having to beat Apple?

We saw this 3 years ago when rumours of the iTablet were heavy in the air. CES was filled with tablets that never made it to market after Apple unveiled the iPad.

In a Schadenfreudian way it was kind of funny.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #28 of 92
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Is no company now capable of coming up with a good idea without it being them having to beat Apple?

 

If they were actually capable of anything, they would have done it already while they still have any control of the industry whatsoever. BEFORE Apple gets there. They're obviously just not capable of creating something new.

 

They'd get the telecoms together and scare them to death with a deal that the company imagines Apple will force the telecoms into. Provided Apple hasn't already gotten to said telecoms (who are gonna be dead anyway), the company will offer subservience as long as the telecoms agree to putting their content through the company's UI system. And then they'd have something. Customers would still hate it, but telecoms would think it's the future.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #29 of 92
As these clowns continue to mess this up I'll continue to use my own solution.
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post #30 of 92
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Some industry watchers had initially speculated that Motorola's set-top box business might have been a key part of the acquisition for Google, as the company offers its own Android-based Google TV business.

 

It would have been funny to watch Microsoft and Google in a bidding war over WebTV.

Then to watch the winner drive WebTV into the ground the way Microsoft did.

Our counterparts in infinite alternate universes are madly munching popcorn watching that right now.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #31 of 92

All fun and games until Apple shows up. 

 

He who has the best fundamentals will make the biggest impact. He who does consumer-centrism best. 

 

No one's fundamentals can even approach Apple's.

post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Agreed. Cable companies will eventually be reduced to just renting and servicing their "pipes!" :)

 

But am really looking fwd to an Apple TV because I know Apple will do it right! :)

 

Cable companies will not be reduced to renting and servicing their pipes.   The cable networks are not going to give up that revenue stream.    For most people, it's still far easier to tune in a live channel than to enter URLs or search for bookmarks, especially on TV interfaces where there's no keyboard.     

 

I don't know why people refuse to understand that while one technology may partially cannibalize another, it generally doesn't replace it.    Road warriors and those who don't spend a lot of time at home (young people) want to stream onto portable devices.   Those who still watch in the traditional home setting (whether living room, media room or bedroom) don't care about streaming - they hardly even use VOD, which is easier.    

 

Also, the industry as a whole has to be very careful - if you sell your content to every possible distribution channel and every vendor within those channels, you wind up with an unsustainable business model because the fragments become so small, none of those distribution channels can make a profit.

 

Especially for sports channels, the MSOs pay hefty fees to the content networks.   The MSOs are not going to continue to pay those fees if the channels sell their content via streaming either directly or via other third parties.    And industries tend not to want to give up substantial current revenue streams.   So I find it a bit hard to believe that Intel (or Apple for that matter) has been able to obtain rights to substantial sports packages.     

 

So be careful what you wish for.    If the market becomes as fragmented as it looks like it's going to become, the major OTA and cable networks will look more like YouTube as they greatly reduce the amount of money they'll be willing to invest in content.    (Not that there's anything so great to watch on those networks today.)

 

As for Apple "doing it right", I'm not so sure anymore.    IMO, I really don't see anything very special about Apple TV, either from a content standpoint or from a UI standpoint.     And I don't think that Apple's UI is bleeding edge (or even leading edge) anymore, the way that it used to be.     And I suspect that any Apple TV set is going to either wind up being a traditional set with a super nice frame and an Apple TV embedded (yawn!) or a very closed box system which doesn't permit you to easily access content that doesn't come from an Apple source.     The latter will only sell to Apple fanboys.  

post #33 of 92
Steve's comment about solving the interface problem was a bit of a red herring.

Apple is going to solve the content problem, by building a network of data centers that allow live one-to-many broadcasts from any individual to any number of other individuals anywhere in the world. When it becomes 3-D, this world FaceTime "conversation" will be more compelling than any canned programming put out by any legacy "providers." Only live sports and other high-level performance will be able to compete with actual humans talking, virtually visiting and traveling with other actual humans.

I shouldn't be revealing this strategy, but I know no one's going to pay the slightest attention.

Edit: I'm kind of with zoetmb above, except from the other side of the fence. Yes, the cable providers and networks will be left with the couch potato demographic. Those he scornfully calls Apple "f-boys" in his last sentence will be most of the intelligent world. It stands to reason that Apple will become the communications giant of the 21st century, like the pre-break-up AT&T was in the last century, only without the monopoly perniciousness that led to the break-up.

Edit2: The point is that the center-to-margin broadcast model is finally dying, making room for person-to-person(s) manycasting. No matter how much I dislike Google's subversion through advertising, I'm still grateful for what they've shown us with YouTube.
Edited by Flaneur - 12/31/12 at 11:42am
post #34 of 92
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
Apple is going to solve the content problem, by building a network of data centers that allow live one-to-many broadcasts from any individual to any number of other individuals anywhere in the world.

 

Useless without cheap fiber access between them. And Apple has no control over that.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

We saw this 3 years ago when rumours of the iTablet were heavy in the air. CES was filled with tablets that never made it to market after Apple unveiled the iPad.
In a Schadenfreudian way it was kind of funny.

Steve Ballmer at CES with his red sweater vest trying his darnedest to look like uncle Ballmer on Christmas morning with a Windows 7-based HP Slate was funny. A few tech elites openly salivated at the prospects for Windows on a tablet. Then a few weeks later, iPad happened. And IT changed everything.

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post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Useless without cheap fiber access between them. And Apple has no control over that.

Yet.

But yes. YouTube over DSL is sometimes torture aleady.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Steve's comment about solving the interface problem was a bit of a red herring.
Apple is going to solve the content problem, by building a network of data centers that allow live one-to-many broadcasts from any individual to any number of other individuals anywhere in the world. When it becomes 3-D, this world FaceTime "conversation" will be more compelling than any canned programming put out by any legacy "providers." Only live sports and other high-level performance will be able to compete with actual humans talking, virtually visiting and traveling with other actual humans.
I shouldn't be revealing this strategy, but I know no one's going to pay the slightest attention.
Edit: I'm kind of with zoetmb above, except from the other side of the fence. Yes, the cable providers and networks will be left with the couch potato demographic. Those he scornfully calls Apple "f-boys" in his last sentence will be most of the intelligent world. It stands to reason that Apple will become the communications giant of the 21st century, like the pre-break-up AT&T was in the last century, only without the monopoly perniciousness that led to the break-up.

What TS said. I think this is why we'll see Apple work with the cable companies... because they supply the internet. He who controls the spice controls the Universe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Steve Ballmer at CES with his red sweater vest trying his darnedest to look like uncle Ballmer on Christmas morning with a Windows 7-based HP Slate was funny. A few tech elites openly salivated at the prospects for Windows on a tablet. Then a few weeks later, iPad happened. And IT changed everything.

That was one of the very few tablets to make it into production, too. I do hope we get to see MSTV next week.

I still can't figure why they used an image with an apple on it to showcase the HP Slate. Was it because the Twilight book was so popular making it a coincidence or was it some odd slam on Apple?

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post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What TS said.

What I said to TS.

But I like the spice analogy. Soon the English and Americans became the imperial powers by dealing in spicier stuff like opium.
post #39 of 92
Agree with Flaneur's big -picture predictions. However, timing is everything and I wonder WHEN we will get more of Apple's coolest stuff.

It will get here when it gets here.

I really can't wait until Hollywood is just one tiny subset of a giant content producing universe of talent throughout the world.

The glass pipes are on the way regardless.
What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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What is really factored into the price is a kind of perpetual sense of disbelief that any company could be as good as Apple is. ~Retrogusto
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post #40 of 92
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
But yes. YouTube over DSL is sometimes torture aleady.

 

Not if you buy a fast enough package.

 

My only problem with the service is the "slower as you get further from the hub" thing (so people in rural areas can't get the fastest packages), but fiber fixes that, yeah? No loss over distance there, right?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Intel expected to unveil cable service, set-top box at CES