Steve Jobs right after the iPhone’s launch in June:
We’ve got two strong legs on our chair today — we have the Mac business, which is a $10 billion business, and music, our iPod and iTunes business, which is $10 billion. We hope the iPhone is the third leg on our chair, and maybe one day Apple TV will be the fourth leg.
With four million sold and an SDK on the way, the iPhone has turned out well for Jobs and Co.
What of the fourth leg, Apple TV? Does Apple have a chair yet?
It might. Compared to Take 1, Apple TV Take 2 actually does something. Take 1, I think I can say, sorta stunk: it was nothing more than a wireless bridge from your computer to your TV. With enough cable, you could have easily accomplished the same task. Take 2, now $70 cheaper, may well become that One set-top-box pundits have been predicting for some time now; it may may hasten the end of the HD format war. Good.
Obviously the improved iTunes Store, complete with movie rentals from all the major studios, is key to Take 2’s success. Apple only needs to be weary of other companies pulling what NBC Universal did, launching some silly Web site in a huff because they don’t get “their” slice of the action (and neither do the striking writers, by the way), leaving it with no content to sell. (The Xbox Live Marketplace notwithstanding, the Xbox 360 is still looked at as a video game console. Don’t be surprised to see Microsoft pumping up its multimedia capabilities even more now, though.)
So maybe Apple doesn’t have a Corbusier chair just yet; maybe it’s only an Ikea “just moved out of the house” chair. But, compared to last summer, the chair looks a hell of a lot sturdier.