Originally Posted by Mr. Dirk
I'm with you on that: Apple should just by El Gato. Now, I know it's too early to be thinking this, but what about Blu-Ray down the road? With the Sony PS3 being $499, if Apple really wanted to get into the living room, maybe they could take advantage of the economies of scale that will quickly come with the PS3's high production of Blu-Ray (perhaps by Spring 07) so that they could include Blu-Ray drives within the current pricing structure (although they would have to give up some margin to penetrae the market effectively).
Why should they buy El Gato?
It would be a nasty thing for Apple to start competing with El Gato. It would only be slightly worse for them to buy them out. The message is then that Apple doesn't like competition and doesn't like developers that do things right.
What Apple needs to do is make Front Row 2.0 open to plug-ins, so that developers can add functionality, allowing it all to be controlled from one place. (Well, they also need a better remote--not a MS monstrosity, but something with a bit more than an "on" button.
) Then, if you want a PVR, boom, you've got it. You want games via FR? Boom, done. (Providing those developers want to support FR, obviously.)
If you like El Gato's stuff, just buy their products. Why does it all have to have an Apple logo on it?
As for the Blu-Ray drive: count on it. (Well, not the discount pricing or reduced margin. This is Apple folks!
) If I could find a bookie to take bets on a MWSF intro of products featuring BR drives, I'd fork over my savings (which, TBH, since I'm a teacher, isn't all that much...). Whether it's just adding them to the line-up as BTO options, or that plus a unique entertainment device/media hub, I'm not so sure. But BR drives will be available in Apple products by early January, no question.
They'll be expensive as hell--I'm guessing a $700-$1000 add-on option--but available, even if only in the Mac Pros. (Remember, for it to be added to a mini or an iMac or laptop, the drive would have to be a SuperDuperDrive(TM) CD-RW/DVD-RW/BR all-in-one reader/burner.)
People should be prepared for a mini-based media hub that reads BR disks to cost in the $1500 neighborhood.