Thursday, March 22, 2007

Apple TV Gets Raves - Now Watch Cisco

The initial reviews on Apple TV are pretty impressive, and I'll just cite two posts - Om Malik and Cynthia Brumfield's IP Democracy. You can go from there and follow all the good press and reviews Apple TV is getting.

So what does Cisco have to do with this? Plenty, in my view. It's been all good since Cisco and Apple made peace over the iPhone trademark issue, and I think a lot of interesting developments involving both companies will soon follow. The motivation for them to work together - and interop - iPhone with Linksys - both the phones and the routers - is obvious, and no doubt a lot will come from this. As well it should.

That said, I think there's a completely separate agenda - and potentially a much bigger one - going on in the video space. It's enough that these companies have a common enemy - Microsoft - and for very different reasons - the home computer market for Apple, and the enterprise communications market for Cisco. Together, they can mount a pretty formidable counterforce, especially in the battle for the digital home. And it's pretty interesting that both companies recently updated their corporate names to reflect the changing natures of their business - which I see becoming complementary on a few levels.

Why watch Cisco now? Well, I've posted before about this - here and here - and yesterday's Apple TV launch seemed like a good time to revisit this, especially since it was received so well.

So, all I'm trying to say here is that when you take in all the great buzz happening around Apple TV, keep in mind that Cisco is smiling too. And when the iPhone finally arrives, they'll be smiling again, and then I think we'll really see how strong these synergies are poised to become.

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