Off to MacWorld for Jobs’ keynote. Rumors are floating about $200 iPods, but price reductions and performance enhancements are de rigeur and therefore not all that interesting. I’m going to predict that Apple finally nudges into the living room with some kind of home entertainment device — a stationary iPod sort of thing networked to MP3 collections throughout the home via Rendezvous (iTunes already automatically and seamlessly finds shared collections and playlists elsewhere on the local subnet). In other words they could end up taking the sliMP3 / SqueezeBox model and making it super-elegant, super-easy, and DRM-integrated. Of course it would be tied into ITMS. The kicker is that such a device would double as a DVR and compete with TiVO et al. So it would be a full audio/video centerpiece ready to tie into modern home entertainment systems.
Basis for prediction: Apple has been positioning the Mac to be the hub of the digital life for a few years now. They’d be crazy not to push all this stuff out of the den and into the living room. It’s a tough category to get right, so Apple has been taking their time to make sure it’s another category definer.
Oh, and it’s got to be as attractive to PC users as Mac, right out of the gate.
I’ll be standing by ready to wipe egg from face.