Shouldn't Apple forget about map and TV and worry about music?


Shouldn't Apple forget about map and TV and worry about music? I just wrote a Japanese column on Nikkei Business Online about Apple's map app problem.  In a nutshell, I wrote that the trouble was caused by their lack of expertise in "cloud" and "big data".  It is not due to the absence of Steve Jobs - they already have a bad track record with MobileMe and Ping - the latter being shut down yesterday.

Pachinko Gandum

There has been a lot of rumor about Apple's entry into TV, and I would imagine they have a capability to produce a beautiful piece of TV set - or rather, in my world, iPad is already one.  But if they try to eliminate Netflix from the equation and do it on their own, I guess the same "map" type problem would happen in streaming service.  They pioneered video distribution service on iTunes Store, but after that breakthrough, their iTunes service has not been improved so much.  Netflix, on the other hand, is working SO HARD behind the scenes to brush up their big-data-based recommendation skills, and I believe that is the heart of their success.

Apple is working very had to catch up, aggressively hiring cloud/big-data engineers.  But it will take years to accumulate data and the expertise to turn it into a viable products.

So if they have to work so hard on this area, I wonder why not start from their roots and strength, which is music service.  They already have so much data in music purchases of their huge number of registered users.  The report says that they are delaying "Pandora" type streaming music service due to the right negotiation problem with Sony, but even if that does not exist, I wonder if they can provide good enough interface, given they are still on the learning curve in cloud and big data.