Apple event: Ping bringing Social TV to mainstream audience?

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AppleTonight (European time) Apple live-streamed their event, where Steve Jobs made announcements on iPods, iTunes, Apple TV and iOS.
It consisted mainly of -impressive- figures and product upgrades.

All tweets that were posted by us on the event can be found here.

Three main points were interesting to elaborate on.
Only two networks have agreed (ABC TV and Fox) to go ahead with Apple TV in partnering up. Not much, but usage of Apple TV could compell networks to go in with a partnership.

The other point was mentioned by Steve Jobs himself.
Apple TV was launched four years ago and since then it did not get the traction they had expected, but nor did their competitors.
Combining this with a minimum of only two networks, the TV game is still wide open. Apple certainly did not disrupt at 'an instance' the TV industry.
Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Hulu and others are still able to be the first who could reach a certain critical mass.

Chicken-or-egg dilemma?
Without content, people won't join, but without a large userbase, networks aren't compelled to partner up.
Who has the solution, that remains to be seen.

Thirdly, and for myself the most interesting scenario/question:
Can Ping become the network that is able to diffuse Social TV and going mainstream when it's further being developed?
Apple has the power, means, userbase and brand to achieve this.


The most important upgrades, product enhancements and business figures mentioned during the event by Steve Jobs:

Apple Stores
* New stores opened in Paris, London and Shanghai.
* In total 300 stores
.
* Stores open in 10 countries.
* One million visitors a day.
* 80.000 one-on-one classes per week to learn the Mac.

Steve Jobs showed pictures of the London, Paris and Shanghai stores, all looking beautiful. Good job of creating the Apple feeling in buildings as well.
I was not aware of the one-on-one
classes, but an good additional value to the product leadership model Apple is deploying. It achieves loyalty and creates a strong ambassadorship.

iOS
* 120 million iOS devices shipped.
* 230.000 activations per day of iOS devices.
* 6.5 million downloads from the App Store.
* 200 apps are downloaded per second.
* 250.000 apps available in the App Store.
* 25.000 iPad apps.

The iOS is a revolution for touch and apps, as can be understood from abovementioned figures.

iOS 4.1
* HD video upload over WiFi.
* TV Show rentals.
* Game Center.
* High Dynamic Range photos.
*
Multi player games.
* Auto matching to other gamers.


Mike Caps of Epic Games came on stage to show Project Sword.
The demo of Project Sword was great, beautiful graphics.
This technology will be available via iOS for third party developers.


iOS 4.2 surprise sneak peak
* All about iPad.
* Printing available.
* AirPlay which streams audio, video and photos via WiFi
.
* Coming in November 2010.

iPods
* 275 million iPods sold.
* All-new designs for every model for iPod.

iPod Shuffle
* Buttons, voice over and playlist.
* Smaller than pervious version.
* $49.

iPod Nano
*
Eliminating clickwheel -> touchbase -> multitouch !
*
46% smaller and 42% lighter.
* Clip, voice over, FM radio and volume buttons.
* 29 languages.
*
$149 for the 8GB version.

iPod Touch
* Most popular iPod.
* Nr. 1 portable game player.
*
Even thinner.
* Retina Display, LED, Apple A4 chip, improved 3-axis gyro and front camera.
* Game Center
* FaceTime (that can be runned between iPods and iPhones).
* HD Video recording.
* 40 hours music playback.


All the iPods looked great, smaller than previous versions and delighted designs.

iTunes
* 11.7 billion downloaded songs.
* 450 million TV episodes.
* 100 million movies.
* 45 million books.
*
160 million accounts.
* Launch of iTunes 10.
*
New logo.
* Simpler interface.
* Cover flow.

iTunes Ping: Social music network
*
See your recent activities.
* Custom chart specified to your network.
*
Social music discovery.
* Follow and be followed.
* Approved follow is an option as well.
*
Post thoughts and opinions.
* 17.000 concert listings.
* Open to 160 million users in 23 countries.
*
Also available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
* Available from today.

Ping looked interesting during the demo by Steve Jobs.
This is a smart move by Apple. A critical mass is key to have a sustainable social network. Apple has a large user base and many Apple fans will make use of this social network instead of other music networks like Last.fm, Myspace etc.

Then Steve Jobs announced that there was one more thing, you can guess probably: Apple TV.

Apple TV
What people want from Apple TV:
*
Hollywood moviess & TV shows.
* Everything in HD.
* Lower prices for content.
* No computer on TV.
* No storage management.
*
No syncing.

Product specifications:
* Second generation is just 1/4 of current of size.
* WiFi.
* HDMI.
* Ethernet.
* All Rentals, no purchases.
*
Streaming, no syncing.
* $4.99 first run movies.

* $0.99 HD TV Shows.
* Largest library of HD movies.
*
Netflix streaming, Youtube, Flickr and MobileMe.
* AirPlay streams content from iOS device to Apple TV.
* $99. Pre-order from today. Available in four weeks.
* Fox and ABC TV.


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