Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Apple’s three screens opportunity

Of course the three screens idea is nothing new. The importance of TV and mobile phone screens joining into the computer screen fun is something that’s been anticipated, discussed, and written about in mobile circles for years. What is interesting to me is that, perhaps for the first time, there is a company in place that has a reasonable chance to simultaneously capitalize on all three screens: Apple.

Mac sales are doing well. Apple TV has launched. And iPhone has already generated more than 1 million customer inquiries to AT&T three months before it even launches.

If done right, the elegant and simple Apple way, these products taken together represent a tremendous “three screens” opportunity. With iTunes as the digital hub, content can be consumed on any of a consumer’s three screens, when and how they want, at work, at home, and on the move.

One could argue that Microsoft has a similar chance with Windows, XBox 360, and Windows Mobile. The interoperability between the three, however, is not as streamlined and therefore not as consumer friendly as the Apple solutions, which are cleanly tied together through iTunes. And according to news reports, Xbox Live has something like 6 million users versus more than 100 million iTunes users, giving Apple a very significant advantage in the number of eyeballs potentially leveragable across all three screens.

The opportunity is tremendous. I hope Apple fully realizes it by providing developers with the access they need to all three screens.

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