I bet the iWhatever is useless outside the USA to start with

Here’s a prediction or three about the iWhatever, Apple’s new geegaw.

We all know it’s a tablet-y e-reader thing that will do books, newspapers, videos music and the web, probably with some kind of subscription model.

I bet that subscription stuff is not available outside the USA for ages. I reckon Apple has done deals in the USA, probably Disney-centric deals, and that the subscription stuff is limited to start with. So the company won’t bother selling the iWhatever outside the USA until it gets more deals up.

This will demonstrate, yet again, how odd it is that we have a global network to excite people about content but national arrangements for its release and distribution. Apple treads carefully with its content partners, so I suspect the iWhatever will not begin to erode these odd arrangements. But just as the music industry took a while to wise up to digital distribution when the iPod came along, I suspect the iWhatever will start the process of eroding national content fiefdoms.

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3 thoughts on “I bet the iWhatever is useless outside the USA to start with

  1. I’ll make a counter prediction that you’ll be incorrect. The iPhone has been a global success to them, and if anything they know they have such a terrible partner in AT&T that they’ll be making sure it’s just as useful outside of the United States as it is within.

    Of course, until something is announced, it’s just predictions at 20 paces 🙂

  2. This is right on the money. To assume that Apple has learnt from the sour AT&T deal is to imagine that Amazon would’ve seen the Apple – AT&T deal and launched the Kindle outside of the US simultaneously with the same content. Or for Barnes and Noble to have the Nook outside of the US, or for Pandora to operate outside the US, or Hulu, or for /any/ of a plethora of services or FMCE manufacturers and distributors recognise that the interests of the “not in the USA” market segment are vaguely interesting compared to the tonne of money they can sew up in exclusive arrangements.

    Sorry Preston 🙂 You’re assuming that seeing the standard annoyances of business play out in a related sector is somehow a deterrent for either making a mint or avoiding legal wrangling with content creators.

  3. If you look at the example of the Kindle ‘International’, making *the device* available globally doesn’t help if the content owners are unable/unwilling to make the content equally global. Ironically and nonsensically, ebooks are far more territorially restricted than print books, and will remain so until publishers, authors and literary agents (and all their lawyers) overcome their reliance on separate, territory-by-territory, edition-by-edition, format-by-format contracts. Book publishers have been burned by Amazon’s growing market-share and price-setting power and in many cases are actively fighting against making books they own print rights to available as ebooks.

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