So Apple did something momentous and announced that it will allow outsiders to integrate iTunes into their new TVs. Previously, you had to get an AppleTV box to do this for the princely sum of £179, but take-up has been poor and Apple is gearing up for a push into streaming to take on the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
This agreement means that Apple device owners will be able to stream content to the latest TVs from Samsung, LG and Vizio using AirPlay 2. I think this is a positive and very necessary step for Apple to take if it is serious about moving away from being a hardware company to a more services-centric company and it could give a real boon to this part of its business.
It reminds me of the decision that Nintendo made in the recent past to make its back catalog of games available to developers so that people could play Nintendo games on non-Nintendo devices.
This is a good development for Apple in my opinion. Some may say it’s too little too late, but then again Apple is known for crashing everyone’s party and outshining everyone.
The next thing I wanted to talk about was flexible office space as Japan’s SoftBank has apparently decided NOT to invest $16bn in WeWork as it was expected to do and that it will invest “only” $2bn instead.
SoftBank has made big investments into WeWork both directly and via its massive tech fund called the Vision Fund but some say that its tech investments have taken a pounding in the big sector sell-off going into the end of 2018.
WeWork has been growing at breakneck speed over the last few years but this move by SoftBank is no doubt going to slow this right down.
I just wonder whether other smaller players will panic and exit the business as a result. After all, if they think that WeWork is having a tough time, it is bound to filter down to everyone else. I don’t think this is a complete disaster yet, but this may prompt consolidation in the sector whilst giving everyone else a pause for breath.