Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

The Hackett File: The Times They Are A-Changin’

When the original iPod scrolled onto the scene in 2001, some of the Mac faithful were concerned it was going to be a distraction for Apple, a company that was still digging out of the massive hole of the 1990s.

When the iTunes Store opened 16 years ago, I think people knew it was gong to propel the iPod to new heights, especially when it showed up on Windows several months after launch.

The iPod and iTunes were, in many ways, two sides of the same coin. They made each other more valuable, both to Apple and its customers.

That symbiotic relationship is right out of Apple’s playbook, and something the company tries to repeat when possible. After all, it’s the combination of hardware, software and services that makes so many of the company’s products good.

That’s what makes Apple TV, and in particular Apple TV+ so interesting.

The company has spent over a billion dollars on creating its own content for the upcoming streaming service. It is here to play ball with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and others. It has a very impressive roster of Hollywood starpower to draw people in, and what looks to be a wide range of content that should all be family friendly.

The old Apple would reserve this content to its own hardware platforms, letting people stream this content to the Apple TV, iOS devices and Macs only.

But this is not the old Apple. On its website, in 80 point font, Apple says this content will be “Coming this fall exclusively on the Apple TV app.”

While that app is on all of Apple’s platforms, it’s also going to be on streaming boxes built by the likes of Roku and Amazon, as well baked into smart TVs like the ones made by Samsung.

That’s right: Apple content, streamed via Samsung hardware.



If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about new Apple, I don’t know what would. Apple is uncoupling its hardware and content, so the latter can spread far beyond the former.

Welcome to the new world.

[Stephen Hackett is the author of 512 Pixels and co-founder of Relay FM.]

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