Analyst: Apple could benefit with Blu-ray Macs

Nick Spence
17 August, 2009
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Apple might be wise to add high-definition Blu-ray support to the next generation of iMacs claims one leading analyst despite the costs.

Reports earlier this week suggested Apple might add Blu-ray to the next-gen of iMacs while iTunes 9 could also offer Blu-ray support, a move which Apple have previously stalled on due to prohibitive complex licensing.

However Jim Bottoms, company director at analysts Futuresource Consulting, sees the clear advantages for manufacturers of adding Blu-ray to their line-up.

“Our quarterly BD hardware tracker shows European BD player sales, excluding PS3, are running at close to 300 percent up on the equivalent period last year,” said Bottoms. “Retail prices are declining fast and we expect to see players at or below £80 ($A159) by the Christmas selling season.”

“Focusing on the UK, this year we expect both BD player and BD disc sales to more than treble—and this is certainly being borne out by our quarterly player and disc tracking. On this basis, UK disc sales could hit 12 million given the strong release schedule for Q4.”

This week, Toshiba announced it is to start making Blu-ray players, having originally been a prime mover behind the rival and ill-fated HD-DVD format. Bottoms believes Toshiba and others clearly want a part of this potentially lucrative market.

“BD players will approach impulse purchase level very soon, and at these levels people will be increasingly tempted to replace DVD players with the new format. Although paid-for movie downloads are also impacting the marketplace, mainstream adoption will be a much more gradual process, giving BD the competitive edge,” insisted Bottoms.

By 2012, around 50 percent of US and 35 percent of Western European video disc retail sale volumes will be Blu-ray, Bottoms added.

Futuresource Consulting offers research, analysis, strategic planning, and decision making advice amongst a range of services.

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