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Still More Victims Caught in Apple’s Wake

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It’s inevitable. Each Apple (s aapl) event now changes the industry: sometimes for the better; other times… well, depends on who you ask. The latest Apple event may not be as obvious a game changer as others this past year, but its effects will be felt nonetheless.

Dead or on Life Support

It’s been a little over a month since the last Apple Media event. The aftershock in the tech industry from that has yet to be fully felt, and there are some additions to the casualties I listed in September.

If Apple and Facebook can work things out regarding Ping, the final nail in MySpace’s (s nws) coffin may be struck. Some of the new features in iTunes, like the artwork viewer, make certain add-ons like Sophiestication’s CoverSutra a little less appealing. Rogue Amoeba is sitting on the fence waiting to see if it’ll be able to participate in the updates to iOS 4.2 regarding Apple’s new AirPlay. While competition is still healthy among GameCenter’s competing services, iAd is starting to pick up some steam as it continues to innovate in the smartphone advertising space.

Next in Line for Execution

That’s what happened last time around. Here’s a short list of what’s on the chopping block after yesterday’s revelations:

The End of Disks (and Discs, Too) — A Timeline

See the pattern? Hard drive manufacturers sure do.  Western Digital has warned investors that with the advent of the iPad and the decline in low-end notebooks, the hard drive market is slowing drastically.  The MacBook Air announcement couldn’t have helped matters much.

Online Software Version Trackers for Mac

As developers flocked to iOS, many OS X development efforts were left high and dry. There was a notable dearth of new titles on the market, and bundle programs like MacHeist started offering wholesale pricing to boost sluggish sales. App discovery, purchase, download, install, and update are what Apple sees as missing. Yet that’s exactly what I use MacUpdate for. We’ll have to see how quickly developers adapt to Apple’s Mac App Store, and also what value-add sites like MacUpdate and CNET’s (s cbs) (formerly Version Tracker) can offer in order to stay afloat.

Apple Desktop Widgets

This one isn’t quite as clear as it could be. It appears as if iOS apps or something like an iOS app could run in some capacity on OS X. Changing the paradigm and allowing for multi-touch gestures and full screen apps could spell the eventual end of dashboard widgets as we know them today on OS X.

There’s a good reason everyone pays attention to Apple when they decide to speak to the media. Apple’s successes spell success for other companies as well. Samsung, a major flash supplier, no doubt benefits. And LG (s lpl), supplier of the iPhone’s Retina Display, makes out pretty well. But not everyone comes away a winner when Steve Jobs opens his mouth. For some businesses, in fact, Apple’s idea of progress marks the end of the line.

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14 Responses to “Still More Victims Caught in Apple’s Wake”

  1. Ames Tiedeman

    Flash memory chips outduels hard drives, WSJ reports
    Makers of flash memory chips are riding high as disk drive manufacturers see companies such as Apple (AAPL) drop the disk drive option, reports the Wall Street Journal

  2. Ames Tiedeman

    Does this mean that more expensive memory sticks for the USB drive will be used more in the future? I receive disks with new products and things on them. I use my drive for them, obviously. The only other way is to put the data on a memory stick unless some new technology is coming. A memory sick is more expensive than a disk..I cannot see a diskless future quite yet..

    • It took almost ten years for the floppy disk to be completely removed from existence. The point is that Apple is systematically removing all incarnations of disks from their products, and that is affecting the industry that makes disks. The industry that makes flash memory on the other hand is doing quite well.

  3. Two points
    1 I like to keep my data where I am responsible for its safety, not in some anonymous cloud that may die, go out of business or lose track of it. That means putting things on hard drives and optical discs. I think many others feel the same way.

    2 There has appeared on the web,, a list of Apple’s criteria for allowing Apps in the new App store.
    it is quite a list that pretty much outlaws any App that alters or adds to the OS. Read no more haxies!!
    I don’t know about you, but that means no App store for me.

  4. betcha we will see iOS apps replacing widgets in Lion next year. i think Apple is holding this back to announce WWDC in January, or maybe with the iPad 2 release in early spring. also expect to see a new class of 16:9 iOS apps coming to Apple TV in the same cycle (and the ability to run iPad apps too). Apple would be crazy not to integrate all these hot components of its iOS ecosystem within Lion. it would sell a lot of Macs to iPhone/iPad owners.

    if you noticed, at the Wednesday event Jobs really emphasized the touch UI of the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and glass trackpad. with these Apple has laid the hardware foundation to run touch UI apps on Mac OS X.

  5. i dont agree that this is the beginning of the end for disc based products. first and foremost, youre always going to have people who want a physical copy, it doesnt matter if it’s a cd for music, or backing up to an external hard drive, etc. people like something they can hold. Second, it’s a proven technology thats been around for a bit and will compliment the cloud. Third, the app store is a good idea for small programs, but most peoples larger programs, i.e. final cut suite, adobe programs, etc won’t work well in the mac app store due to their size. Personally, I like disc based media and I don’t believe the cloud is the future. I’ll be an even happier filmm student when Apple choses to support blu-ray.


      Physical is a dead 20th century construct. It’s not exactly green friendly either. Unless you happen to still use DSL downloading final cut isn’t a problem. Heck I bet you snatched it off of a torrent. Hence jobs real reasoning of the Mac app store to make it more difficult for the average schmuck to get pirated software. Look at iLife 11 it’s already in the wild!

      • actually i paid $650ish for it at school, like all the other purchased pro software ive bought with my student discount (adobe production premium, logic, etc.). personally, i dont use pirated software or media of any kind. i also could care less about being ‘green’. nice try slamming me though, to bad it’s all mute points.


        The point was that the state of broadband downloading large apps from a Mac store is definetly viable for software distribution. Torrent sites have proven that it works. There is no need for physical software media anymore especially with all the incremental updates. If you have to reload from bare metal wouldn’t make more sense to load the most updated app then to go back to ground zero and patch up to the current revision? It’s not a mute point. It screams. It’s not moot either. It’s makes practical sense to go only download only media. Enterprises have forgone physical media for quite some time in fact if a company requests physical media they are charged extra for it. It’s about time consumers caught up.

    • Even though Apple stopped using floppy drives in 1998, news of the death of the floppy drive still lingers on even through 2010 (

      I happen to be one of those people buying several 1-2TB HDDs every six months. I use a NewerTech Voyager ( and treat each 1TB HDD as a floppy disk. I also seem to have a continuous stream of blank DL DVD+Rs from various sources online as my MacPro has dual SuperDrives. But I am not the norm.

      The ‘norm’ will likely start using more and more cloud based storage and larger thumb drives. That does mean that somewhere there will be HDDs spinning on our behalf, just not in as many consumer devices. And that will affect the HDD market.

      I’ll believe that Blueray is coming to Mac (from Apple) when Verizon has the iPhone. I have seen OWC offering Blueray solutions for Mac Pros that I have been tempted to purchase.