Speaking this week, he said Apple has no immediate plans to introduce Blu-ray drives inside its computers in the current environment, warning, “You know, Blu-ray is a bag of hurt. I don’t mean from a consumer point of view – it’s great to watch movies – but the licensing is so complex.
“We’re waiting until things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the cost of the drives.”
Apple is a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. However, Blu-ray use would require an additional $30 per Mac sold integrating the technology. There’s also a host of deadly dull issues around DRM.
And, given that the closest most consumers really get to the standard is to intermittently purchase a film to play in the Blu-ray player inside their PS3, it really isn’t clear if the market really wants a replacement for their DVD – despite the hype.
Even in the US, where the hype is at its thickest, Nielsen VideoScan recently released figures that indicates the format accounts for just 8 per cent of the US home video market.
We think: People don’t want Blu-ray, they don’t want to invest in it and are mistrustful of it. Indeed, the next-gen format war between HDTV and Blu-ray made both technologies feel like corporate agendas, rather than liberating consumer technologies. No matter how many women you pay to dress up in stupid costumes at trade shows.
With an explosion in online film services, is Blu-ray really necessary? We fear it will be consigned to history as a technological advance that proved the engineering adage that “better is not necessarily better than best”.
‘Course, we’re happy to be proved wrong.