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Apple pursues interest in micro-acoustics, Hi-Fi successor

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Despite mediocre sales of its iPod high-fidelity speaker system during its first year on the market, Apple Computer is proceeding with plans to build a family of micro-acoustic devices for the living room.

A recent iPod engineering job listing posted to the company's website seeks "an acoustic engineer who will be responsible for the design and development of many aspects of consumer loudspeaker systems such as Apples Hi Fi."

Apple says the position will entail "loudspeaker enclosure design, passive and active filter design, transducer design, and design validation." More generally, the company said ideal candidates will be responsible for growing a team's "overall capability in the micro-acoustics field."

Earlier this year, it was rumored amongst insiders that Apple was prepping a smaller cousin to its $349 iPod-dockable Hi-Fi speaker system. The device, which was to cater to the sub-$199 iPod speaker market, failed to proceed beyond the test build phase, some said.

Since its introduction in February, the iPod Hi-Fi has garnered an approximate 8 percent share of the iPod speaker market according to NPD Group, good enough for fourth place behind similar but less costly solutions from Bose, Logitech and i-Fusion.

iPod Hi-Fi "mini" concept rendering

But when it comes to revenue share, Apple's Hi-Fi places second to only Bose, which sells a similar system for $299. That means the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is generating a steady stream of incremental revenue from sales of the rudimentary device.

When it reports results each quarter, Apple lumps sales of the Hi-Fi into category labeled "Other Music Related Products and Services." During the 2006 fiscal year, sales revenues from that category grew some 71 percent.
post #2 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Despite mediocre sales of its iPod high-fidelity speaker system during its first year on the market, Apple Computer is proceeding with plans to build a family of micro-acoustic devices for the living room.
Since its introduction in February, the iPod Hi-Fi has garnered an approximate 8 percent share of the iPod speaker market according to NPD Group, good enough for fourth place behind similar but less costly solutions from Bose, Logitech and i-Fusion.

But when it comes to revenue share, Apple's Hi-Fi places second to only Bose, which sells a similar system for $299. That means the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is generating a steady stream of incremental revenue from sales of the rudimentary device.

When it reports results each quarter, Apple lumps sales of the Hi-Fi into category labeled "Other Music Related Products and Services." During the 2006 fiscal year, sales revenues from that category grew some 71 percent.

i'm not sure how this qualifys as mediocre sales.

Is Apple expected to vastly outsell every other product every time?
post #3 of 44
"Peruses?"

I think you mean "Persues."

You can't peruse interests...

-Clive

(damn. missed first post. I was being too much of a smart-ass.)
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post #4 of 44
If they can incorporate their airtunes inside the iPod Hi-fi

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

this will be a great idea. You can play all your song you have in iTunes wirelessly. This will be an advantage on competitor.

Also AM/FM of course.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi

Also AM/FM of course.



Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

i'm not sure how this qualifys as mediocre sales.

Is Apple expected to vastly outsell every other product every time?

My thoughts exactly.

Only introduced 9 months ago, it is already number 4 overall and number 2 behind Bose in the $300 range. People have seriously unrealistic expectations of Apple products.
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post #7 of 44
I can see Apple coming out with a 5:1 and a 7:1 sound system that is wireless. If "iTV" can do wireless video and audio via 802.11, certainly Apple can come with a wirless Home Theather speaker setup to complete the experience.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

i'm not sure how this qualifys as mediocre sales.

Is Apple expected to vastly outsell every other product every time?

I totally agree with Mel. I think having second place in revenues for this category is great. Especially since they are going up against other products such as those made by Bose which are more well established. Also, Bose has a better reputation for designing awesome speaker systems. It's not fair to compare unit sales of a $350 device with those at the sub $100 price point. I'll bet Apple is making more profit selling less of its device than most of the competitors are by selling many more.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel

Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to switch over to listen to the game for a bit, or catch the news at the top of the hour.

I am in the market for a reasonably portable (lugable?) speaker solution for the iPod. Im not sure which way I am going to go, but if I am going to shell out $250 for a honkin' piece 'o plastic, I wouldn't mind the radio option...
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post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel

Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?

That dominates but there are non-Top 40 stations, and several non-music oriented stations. NPR is a good one.

"24/7" internet access isn't everywhere.
post #11 of 44
The ipod dock on top design sucks. You cant put it on a shelf without clearance and toting this thing around with your ipod sticking out of the top is out of the question. Apple needs to design speaker system that has a front loading feature so the ipod is displayed on the face of the speaker and also functions as the navigation system.
post #12 of 44
It's about time they put some real thought and engineering into their own branded solutions. They lose money on an add-on or accessory every time they sell an iPod. Plain crazy.

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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five

"Peruses?"

I think you mean "Persues."

You can't peruse interests...

-Clive

(damn. missed first post. I was being too much of a smart-ass.)

what does "persues" mean? the same as "pursues"?
post #14 of 44
The Hi-Fi (which I own) is an excellent speaker product, but the size and price of the thing precludes of from being truly mass-market. The Hi-Fi mini product concept would probably be popular with the masses, though.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi

If they can incorporate their airtunes inside the iPod Hi-fi

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

this will be a great idea. You can play all your song you have in iTunes wirelessly. This will be an advantage on competitor.

Also AM/FM of course.

Can't see it. The iPod dock provides a way to get your music to the box. Adding wireless access to your iTunes collection would be confusingly redundant.

At any rate, Airport Express adds this functionality to any stereo, without tying the expensive electronics to one box. Sort of like how it wouldn't make any sense for Apple to built a flat-screen display with iTV built in.
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post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintel4me

I can see Apple coming out with a 5:1 and a 7:1 sound system that is wireless. If "iTV" can do wireless video and audio via 802.11, certainly Apple can come with a wirless Home Theather speaker setup to complete the experience.

Except who wants to either have to plug in or change batteries on each little speaker in a compact 5.1 or 7.1 system?
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post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny

The ipod dock on top design sucks. You cant put it on a shelf without clearance and toting this thing around with your ipod sticking out of the top is out of the question. Apple needs to design speaker system that has a front loading feature so the ipod is displayed on the face of the speaker and also functions as the navigation system.

Exactly. C'mon Apple, no one wants their iPod precariously placed (or looking like it's precariously placed, for that matter) on top of a speaker.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Can't see it. The iPod dock provides a way to get your music to the box. Adding wireless access to your iTunes collection would be confusingly redundant.

True only if you have an iPod. I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

At any rate, Airport Express adds this functionality to any stereo, without tying the expensive electronics to one box. Sort of like how it wouldn't make any sense for Apple to built a flat-screen display with iTV built in.

It'd be nice to have it all in one box using one cable or even on batteries and building it in would be cheaper than having an external unit. A wifi module isn't very expensive these days either. You can buy PCMCIA cards for about £10. I'd be surprised if it'd cost Apple any more than $5 to add wifi access to the HiFi.
post #19 of 44
But what's "microacoustics"?
Is it a term for a reeeally small speaker enclosed in a really small plastic cabinet?
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium

what does "persues" mean? the same as "pursues"?

If you use a Mac, there is a program called Dictionary in the application folder that you can use to learn the difference.
post #21 of 44
Dictionary app won't help you, because "persues" isn't a word, and that's what admactanium was getting at.
post #22 of 44
Ok Apple. Give me iHTiB

(iHomeTheaterinaBox)

5.1 speakers (Wireless rear surrounds)
Control unit with 40GB hard drive and HDMI and Coax outputs. iPod recharger and
Front Row+ remote with more functionality. Offer a couple of legacy inputs and include 5.1 Digital amplification and charge $499 for this puppy.
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign

True only if you have an iPod. I don't.



It'd be nice to have it all in one box using one cable or even on batteries and building it in would be cheaper than having an external unit. A wifi module isn't very expensive these days either. You can buy PCMCIA cards for about £10. I'd be surprised if it'd cost Apple any more than $5 to add wifi access to the HiFi.

I could see a WiFi enabled HiFi (WiHi?) without the iPod dock, but not by Apple. And I still don't think Apple would include both (I imagine that would figure that the number of people that wanted to stream iTunes but had no iPod would be vanishingly slight).

A WiFi card is cheap, but you then also need to include the capacity to decompress the digital audio stream and some way to toggle to "Air Tunes".

I mean, how much do you figure a cheap ethernet NIC, audio out and USB port is adding to the cost of the $130 Airport Express?

I just think, parts cost notwithstanding, Apple would charge enough of a premium for a WiFi enabled audio playback device that the Express would look like the better deal.
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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison

Ok Apple. Give me iHTiB

(iHomeTheaterinaBox)

5.1 speakers (Wireless rear surrounds)
Control unit with 40GB hard drive and HDMI and Coax outputs. iPod recharger and
Front Row+ remote with more functionality. Offer a couple of legacy inputs and include 5.1 Digital amplification and charge $499 for this puppy.

So you would be cool with routing AC to the rear speakers? That just always struck me as a real deal breaker when it comes to-on wall installation, which is pretty typically what people do.
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianMojo

Exactly. C'mon Apple, no one wants their iPod precariously placed (or looking like it's precariously placed, for that matter) on top of a speaker.

I agree. I thought Apple's iPod Hi Fi was too expensive for an all-in-one speaker which does not have that good a sound reproduction. I read various reviews on different ipod speakers and the iDeck by Monitor Audio, which I bought, came out better than Apple's Hi Fi speakers and better than most others. Theirs is an elegant design with a central console housing the iPod, with two remote speakers.

The iPod is positively supported on all sides, leaving the front clear for manual input control, say at start-up or switching off, and there is a great remote control, which works equally well in other rooms.

From what I remember of the reviews, it is a comparable performance to the Bose, but significantly cheaper. Bear in mind that none of these speaker systems compare to a full blooded Hi Fi system, but the iDeck in my opinion is excellent value for money and cradles the iPod neatly and securely. Obviously it is not designed as a portable unit, having separate speakers.

Try the link below -

<http://www.i-deck.co.uk/>

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

If you use a Mac, there is a program called Dictionary in the application folder that you can use to learn the difference.

wow, maybe you can look up the word "irony" in the dictionary app.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

It's about time they put some real thought and engineering into their own branded solutions. They lose money on an add-on or accessory every time they sell an iPod. Plain crazy.

Yeah but a healthly 3rd party ecosystem is a huge plus for the iPod, I can't see them going after too many iPod accessory products.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Can't see it. The iPod dock provides a way to get your music to the box. Adding wireless access to your iTunes collection would be confusingly redundant.

At any rate, Airport Express adds this functionality to any stereo, without tying the expensive electronics to one box. Sort of like how it wouldn't make any sense for Apple to built a flat-screen display with iTV built in.

A lightweight iTV would make sense (and Apple a lot of dollars) but how would you navigate your full iTunes library from another room with the displayless IR remote? It's not like using a shuffle.

Maybe a flash-less, wireless nano directing the traffic or a wireless full-nano (who's library extends to the full iTunes one when in range) and allows you to select headphone or remote speakers?

This starts to hurt my brain (without having anything to do with the original subject)

McD
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post #29 of 44
What I think the next generation needs are two things:

1. A built in Airtunes speaker.

2. A wifi remote.

That would pretty much put Sonos out of business right there.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel

Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?

Sports, some talk radio, NPR and the emergency broadcast system are not crap.
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post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel

Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?

I was going to get the Hi-Fi to put in my parent kicthen, only I didn't because no FM Tuner with no 6 preset buttons. My parents can't use computers, their ignorant of them, so I could get rid of their existing stereo/radio because no FM tuner.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel

Or even better: Skip AM/Fm altogether! Who needs ad ridden airwaves that mostly play Top 40 crap anyways when one has 24/7 internet access?

I was going to get the Hi-Fi to put in my parents kicthen, only I didn't because no FM Tuner with no 6 preset buttons. My parents can't use computers, their ignorant of them, so I couldn't get rid of their existing stereo/radio because no FM tuner.

/and please nobody come back and say there's a hack, or you can get this add-on, or do this, do that. Apple needs to put in an FM Tuner into their next Hi-Fi, if they do, they'll sell better. It's that simple!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintel4me

I can see Apple coming out with a 5:1 and a 7:1 sound system that is wireless. If "iTV" can do wireless video and audio via 802.11, certainly Apple can come with a wirless Home Theather speaker setup to complete the experience.

Despite the fact that many people will tell you that you're wrong making that judgement, I feel as I have said many times, that Apple will do all of that. Wireless speakers, Apple all-in-one TV (it's not a computer), etc. etc.

Besides; http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.ph...of_operation1/
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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

It's about time they put some real thought and engineering into their own branded solutions.

Agreed! (iTV, then TV etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

They lose money on an add-on or accessory every time they sell an iPod. Plain crazy.

Please tell me you didn't say that?
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Except who wants to either have to plug in or change batteries on each little speaker in a compact 5.1 or 7.1 system?

That's where they may think of something original, like hamsters included?
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post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

So you would be cool with routing AC to the rear speakers? That just always struck me as a real deal breaker when it comes to-on wall installation, which is pretty typically what people do.


My buddy just bought a house with his wife where the previous owner installed AC jacks up high on the walls to attach some lighted signs. At first it looks odd but they pretty much dissappear. But AC is the thing that is keeping wireless surrounds from blossoming.
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post #37 of 44
I've really been waiting to see Apple enter BIG into the Home Theater market where it should be dominant. Out there now is only Win Media Center, which is a sorry fact. There's just such an abundance of software for Wintel driving the graphics card, changing resolutions etc, software players and more and so embaressing little for the mac. I really want to go mac ALL the way!
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

If they can incorporate their airtunes inside the iPod Hi-fi

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/

this will be a great idea. You can play all your song you have in iTunes wirelessly. This will be an advantage on competitor.

Also AM/FM of course.


I would buy one in a second. I would have the option to use my computer, or if I wanted to I could plug in my iPod. I would use the iPod as an alarm clock.

Macaddict16
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macaddict16 View Post

I would buy one in a second. I would have the option to use my computer, or if I wanted to I could plug in my iPod. I would use the iPod as an alarm clock.

There are already several alarm clock radio units on the market. The iPod itself also has a built-in alarm clock which you could feed into a stereo or computer line in.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

There are already several alarm clock radio units on the market. The iPod itself also has a built-in alarm clock which you could feed into a stereo or computer line in.

Well i really love my Hi-Fi. Even though it has some issues in the
high frequency field, because the Hi-Fi is lacking decent tweeters.
But i can cope with it.

I'd buy another iPod Hi-Fi instantly in a heartbeat,
IF Apple adresses this issue and
IF Apple integrates wireless streaming capabilities.

Also, i don't care, if the Hi-Fi becomes slightly larger.
Or If Apple goes the route Teufel went.
This beast is gorgeous, really.Teufel
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