With Macworld not too far away (January 14-18), analysts are making some of their final predictions. Saw Wu of American Technology Research believes Apple will announce its Blu-ray allegiance at the expo, but this doesn’t seem reasonable.
Why doesn’t it seem reasonable? Well, it’s not the source. The info comes from a Fortune Magazine Apple blog, Apple 2.0, but Wu’s source is "unnamed." No, what’s unreasonable is Wu believes Apple will also announce plans for downloadable movie rentals and a better version of the Apple TV.
Why can’t all of this happen at once? If Apple wants to push its own video-on-demand service, its unlikely it would compete with itself by introducing Blu-ray playback capabilities in its products. The company would give its customers a reason to avoid the Apple TV and to stick to more traditional, disc formats. Other than piracy, disc formats are likely the iTunes Store’s biggest competitor. What makes this even more unlikely is that Wu believes Apple may introduce a combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive.
But anything’s possible nowadays, so why would Apple add Blu-ray capabilities to its products? Apple’s products are commonly used in video and music production. Blu-ray is a huge part of that, and it would make sense to give content creators a first party solution to Blu-ray authoring. Furthermore, Apple’s known to purposely cripple its products. It could add a Blu-ray drive without adding playback capabilities, or the company could charge a small fee for "unlocking" playback functionality.