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Apple Inc., usually so open with the public about its products in development, shocked the electronics industry this week by quietly introducing a completely unanticipated new device: the iPad. Some of the new gadget’s many features include a large, high-quality screen and a stated battery life of around ten hours. Throw in the relatively large available storage options and you’ve got a potentially great movie-watching device that—according to at least one analyst—could light a fire under the movie download business.

Richard Doherty with The Envisioneering Group expects Apple to ship millions of iPads in the device’s first year and anticipates a rush of new content license deals in the weeks before the iPad is released. The iPad will wirelessly link with Apple’s iTunes store and allow the browsing and download of thousands of films and television shows. Apple is also rumored to be pushing the studios to drop the price of television episodes in the store from $1.99 to $.99. Doherty feels that studios will be attracted by the power of Apple’s marketing machine and the heightened anti-piracy safeguards the iPad contains. Said Doherty:

“Almost every cell phone has SD cards, and even the iPhone can by synched illegally. . . But it is very difficult to get anything out of the iPad. It is something people in Hollywood have been looking for [for] some time: An eyes-only portable device that could ultimately generate new movie pricing and release windows.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said his company won’t have an app for its streaming service available for the iPad at launch or in the near future. Said Hastings:

“It’s not a huge priority for us because we’re so focused on the larger screens. . . Until we get our TV ubiquity and our Blu-ray Disc ubiquity, and we’re getting close on video game ubiquity, then we would next turn to the small screen. It’s just not a primary movie watching [option]. So it’s something we will get around to, but it’s not in the near term.”

Insiders, what do you think of Apple’s shiny new toy, and do you plan on getting one? Will the iPad help usher in an era of expanded movie downloads? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Home Media Magazine]

15 Responses to “Analyst: Apple iPad Could be Huge Boost to Movie Downloads”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Vernon Dent [visitor]

    64 GB iPad = “MAXiPAD” Does it come with wings? What about heavy flow days? ;)

    iPAD = iTOUCH on steroids.

    Yes, Apple has a winner. Add to TV and movies: books, editorial content and sports.

    Content providers courted by Apple, like the “New York Times”, finally have a client that minimizes illegal access of intellectual property.

    Like iTunes, its the combination of: content, delivery system and client hardware/software that will make this work.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      asdf [visitor]

      Considering the fact the iPad doesnt have flash support, does not have any usb ports, nor does it run OSX…(not even going to mention the steep pricing), I think it will flop. You can get so much more out of a laptop or netbook for the same price OR cheaper.

      The fact that the only content available for it is through iTunes and appstores as well upsets me. If they ran the iPad with OSX I think the pricing range would be fair, and a lot more people would buy the product. Right now, all I see the iPad for is e-reading. Though, all this is tentative.

      • Member [Join Now]
        Cypherdude [cypherdude]

        I agree the iPad is a flop. You can verify this when you read the initial release news stories. There were only about 30 people waiting in line. Some people started waiting up to 2 days just to be ahead of 30 customers! LOL.

        Looking at the product itself, I agree with your assessment of all its deficiencies: No OSX, not enough ports, etc… There’s another critical feature missing from the iPad: NO G3 CONNECTION. Yes, the iPad only has WiFi, a total joke.

        I would much rather buy an HP 16″ laptop with all the ports and a 12 cell battery so it will last 8 hours. It would cost about the same. At least, if I wanted to, I could pull the hard drive myself and replace it with the newly arriving 7,200 RPM Western Digital 750 GB Black hard drive.

        • Administrator
          Michael [administrator]

          I think you might be a little confused. The iPad has been a huge success so far, selling even more units then the iPhone did on its opening day (300,000 units on day 1). Time will tell if it will succeed long term, but I have a good feeling it will. It does not need OS X, or more ports, or anything like that. While I think I would like it if I could install OS X on it, most people simply will not care.

          I have one, and the web browsing experience is second to none – by far the best and fastest experience I have seen on any device. While right now there are not too many apps, that will change very soon. I see the iPad being extremely successful as it will change the consumer marketplace again.

          BTW, the “3G” iPad is coming in a few weeks, but I don’t see that as a necessary requirement anyway. While Apple is not going to support it, having it tether to your mobile phone is fairly trivial and a good option for many (including myself).

          Comparing the iPad to a 16″ laptop is a little ridiculous, don’t you think? It is not supposed to replace a laptop, and the fact that it weighs just 1.5 pounds is a huge factor that gives it a major advantage anyway.

          Back to the point: will the iPad be a boost to movie downloads? I think the answer is yes. It really is a great form factor for watching movies on the go, and with Netflix, ABC and others coming on board, I think the content will be there. Ultimately, the best use for the iPad is probably not even out there yet, but I look forward to seeing what it will bring. Certainly we will see more competition in the tablet marketplace now, and that can only be a good thing.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    milrtime83 [visitor]

    “Apple Inc., usually so open with the public about its products in development, shocked the electronics industry this week by quietly introducing a completely unanticipated new device: the iPad.”

    I’m assuming that is being sarcastic, but it isn’t obvious.

    It’s mostly just a consumption device that is an attempt to get people to buy more from itunes. It may be what the content industry wants to try to keep their outdated business models in tact for a while and it may work because of all the people that think everything apple makes must be good. On the other hand the Apple TV was pretty much a consumption device for the same reason and that didn’t work out too well.

    They kept the minimum price down to $499 to get people to make more of an impulse buy. But then you will most likely end up having to buy the usb dongle, sd attachment, keyboard, protective case, etc for outrageous prices and the cost could easily be $800.

    I heard a good argument for not having flash support. If it has flash, people would be able to watch Hulu and play all the flash games. Apple can’t allow that because it would detract people from buying app store games and itunes tv shows.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      tommierayel [visitor]

      I wondered the same thing about the “unanticipated new device” line! If she was joking is sure was not obvious. Mac rumor sites have been going crazy about it for months and Apple is notorious for their secrecy.

  3. Member [Join Now]

    Since I have an iphone, I won’t get the ipad… it doesn’t really offer anything new for me except a bigger screen. Which is welcome, but not at a $629 price point, plus an additional $30/month charge for unlimited data that I’m already forced into. Let me tether data to/from my iphone and the ipad looks more interesting to me (I don’t want to buy 2 data plans!).

    I’m interested in a tablet pc but not so much a tablet appliance… not at the same price points anyway. This is intended to supplement a primary computer, not replace it. And we’ll have to wait and see if this will sell well or will be relegated to hobby status ala apple tv.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

    When it comes to the iPad, Apple is taking a leap of faith in my opinion. Now I am not knocking Apple in any way, I <3 Apple, but this is risky for them. Starting with the good things: this device is a great carrier of portable entertainment. No matter what your into; pictures, music, movies, or even books!, this device has it in the bag. Very cool boasted battery life, and the screen technology is some of their latest cool stuff! However, this is a dangerous marketing gamble for Apple. People who already have a laptop will probably not consider buying one of these unless they have money to burn, a laptop can do everything this thing can do and more, there is no need for its "supplementary" abilities. The Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader booth surpass this device in the reading field, and with a more friendly price tag. This is basically the awkward lovechild of the MacBook and the iPod Touch. There is no kind of common hardware connectivity (i.e. USB or Memory Card) so therefore it puts up a new defense against piracy. Well don't look now, but a large part of the Mac people world – ARE Pirates! Shocker! Not everyone no, just a significant portion, and if this proves difficult to use in such a way, there goes a large portion of potential buyers. Now I don't know how this thing works, but I am sure there will be people who can make it easy in the next few months, in which case I withdraw my previous comment.
    Bottom Line, It seems too pricey to be a common portable device, and to un-capable to be a mainstream media device. Also, Mac has been advertising this as "the first of its kind" , "a magical new product". Fact is: Tablet PC's have been around for years, and even they out-spec this thing, except in battery life. To be honest though, I cant see myself being in an area without an electrical outlet for more then 10 Hours!
    Nice Try Mac, but this is a gamble you are likely to lose:(

  5. Member [Join Now]

    Re: flash…

    There’s nothing stopping Hulu and other companies from developing an app on itunes to serve as a client for the iphone/ipad… Joost did this as did youtube. I personally would prefer such a solution because flash is proprietary, buggy and insecure. I don’t see lack of flash support as being a problem on this or on the iphone… I see those web sites requiring flash to navigate the site as being the problem.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    vintage fisher price [visitor]

    Apple’s in fashion iPad will eventually blow up after the push time during it’s unveiling. The lack of keyboard and Apple’s potential to fix hardware will begin to make the iTablet a monster in the futuire.

    • Member [Join Now]
      MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

      I’m not sure what you mean by blow up, but I do agree that Apples frequent hardware recalls could cause this product a problem. Especially being the first of its kind from Apple. They tend to have issues when pioneering there products. The keyboard is actually onscreen and pops up when needed, in addition, they manufacture a wireless keyboard that works with this device exclusively. We shall see its destiny soon.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    living room accent chairs [visitor]

    I loved reading it. I require to read more on this issue…I am admiring the time and effort you put in your blog, because it is plainly one great place where I can find lot of useful info..

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bradley Salser [visitor]

    Just landed on this post via Google seek. I love it. This situation switch my perception and I am getting the RSS feeds. Cheers.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    iPad Forum [visitor]

    im loving the ipad personally. what do you think of it now? was it upto your standards?