Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Apple Teams up with Airlines


Apple just announced they will be working with select airlines to allow their iPod to be perfectly compatible with the players on the back of seats in airplanes. This way you can take your travel companion with you a watch it on a slightly larger screen. This idea is brilliant, but I think so because of thought of it a couple years ago. I'll admit, my idea was slightly different, but the concept remains.

My first experience with the airplane's small screen was during a trip to Italy. It was a blast watching all the different movies and it really helped time pass. I started thinking about all the different kinds of content airplanes could buy. My first idea was the "ESPN Classics" series. Passengers could watch their favorite games and competitions while traveling. Just imagine watching all the Ali fights on the way to a business negotiation. I liked the idea because each episode stands alone, doesn't take two plus hours and are entertaining. I could easily see this extending to other favorite TV series (Simpsons, CSI, Law and Order, etc). It really was grand hopes for the airline industry. Right now most of them were mainly competing on price and there aren't many winners in that game. This would allow an airline to start competing on entertainment - something business might be willing to pay more if it increases employee satisfaction.

I'll admit, this is a much better idea because now passengers can watch exactly what they want and the airlines don't have to invest millions into new content. Very smart. Good job Apple. Of course, Apple made it a point to partner with so many different companies that it won't lead to a distinct competitive advantage for one company. Hopefully though, it will give them a more overt way to distinguish themselves from low-cost carriers.

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