Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview has made its way to the iTunes Store and is now available to rent more than six months after a sample of the video was teased online. The one-hour, 15-minute video can be rented now for just $3.99, but it’s only available to those in the United States.
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Following the launch of the iTunes Store in an additional twelve Asian countries earlier today, Apple has also begun selling the Apple TV in a number of these territories, too. The set-top box is now available in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Just days after opening the App Store to 32 additional countries, Apple released a press release this morning to announce that the iTunes Store is also extending its reach to another nine countries in Asia today, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.
The New York Post introduced a paywall last year that meant iPad users accessing its website with mobile Safari would be redirected to its official iPad app, and would then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access its content. However, it has now performed a complete u-turn and scrapped that paywall completely.
There’s been a lot of talk over the past year or so about mobile payment systems and the concept of an iWallet. One of the challenges to any digital wallet concept is that it needs several components, most of which are provided by different companies and governed by different regulations. At a minimum, those components need to include on-device hardware, a mobile app or OS that can manage the transaction, a banking or credit card system that actually transfers money from your account to a retailer, support by major POS and cash register systems, and some mechanism for your phone to securely check-in with your selected account(s) to ensure money is available for purchases.
That’s a tall order and a lot of cooperation is needed when you have a different company providing each of those required functions. One way to simplify the process is to have one company deliver all or most of those functions on its own. There are few companies in the world that can pull all those capabilities together. One of them is Apple.
There’s no shortage to information out there about Apple’s HDTV plans, but most of it focuses on specs, designs, and user interface (including coverage from our source who has seen one). With the device being a near certainly, other questions are being raised. Will it be an instant hit? How different will the experience be compared to the existing Apple TV set-top box? How much revenue could it net for Apple?
According to calculations by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, an Apple HDTV would be a huge windfall for Apple. She sees it as likely to double the money that U.S. households spend annually on Apple products within three years.
I can imagine that the reaction you get from mentioning the word “jailbreak” within the Apple camp in Cupertino is almost identical to that you get when mentioning the word “bomb” on an airplane. In fact, Apple hates the word so much that it considers it an expletive, and it’s now filtering it from the iTunes Store.
While there’s been a lot of speculation about Apple’s plans to enter the HDTV market, most of the discussion – including information from our source who has seen the device – has focused on the device itself. The form factor, pricing, manufacturing options, interface, input and remote control mechanisms, which iOS and OS X technologies could be leveraged in a TV – all these are key elements to the story of an iTV or Apple HDTV or whatever the device might be called.
These areas of speculation, however, don’t ask the most critical question: Will people buy an Apple HDTV?
According to tech research firm Strategy Analytics, the answer is yes – and it’s a pretty emphatic yes for iPhone owners.
We all remember the Zune. Microsoft’s failed attempt at an iPod competitor gained about as much traction as Windows Phone 7 has during the last two years. Apple already had its hands around the music industry’s neck with the iPod and iTunes — there was no room for something like the Zune. It wasn’t that the Zune was a bad product, it was just too late to the game.
Former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach was in charge of the Zune division, and in a recent interview he acknowledges that Microsoft made a mistake releasing the Zune in the first place.
Apple recently began prompting users to select three security questions for their iTunes Store accounts. The move helps to ensure that you’re the authorized account holder if you have problems or forget your password.
The idea is well intentioned and a sensible protection for Apple and its customers. Unfortunately, Apple’s way of rolling out these security questions and the questions themselves highlight the old adage about the way to hell being paved with good intentions.