Apple to dominate the home, say analysts

Apple is to embark on a quest over the next five years with the ultimate aim of world lounge domination. This is from James McQuivey of Forrester Research, who recently had his hand in the authoring of a report with the ambiguous title, ‘The Future of Apple Inc.’

The report looks at Apple’s past and present; puts two and two together and speculates on where the company is likely to expand in the next few years and, apparently, the home is where the heart is.

Predictions for Apple’s next move include the release of a home server, an all-in-one remote to control all audio within the household (including iPods, hi-fis, computers etc), the expansion of Apple TV into HD, installation services for its products and a revamp of Apple Stores to reflect this emphasis on family living.

These predictions haven’t simply been plucked out of the air. McQuivey, speaking to PC world, assures us, “Clearly [Apple] has bigger ambitions than just the Mac base, so we started thinking about the ways it could get there, and then how they could do that by going to the next level, and then the next level after that. The home is the most likely path for Apple, given the other alternatives.”

If we only see a handful of those predictions, it will be a huge step forward for Apple in terms of shoehorning its way into households. A major trend, reflected by other products such as the PS3’s media servers and Play TV; along with the BT Home Hub (if you’re in the UK), is toward integrated entertainment technology. I have experienced firsthand the trials and tribulations of making several devices sing from the same sheet and while some salivate and get all jittery at the thought of spending a weekend wiring up their home so they can play MPEG-4 files from their microwave, I prefer things to just work with the minimum amount of fuss.

McQuivey continues, “Apple has never been about only selling technologies. What it’s really interested in, at least since Jobs’ return, has been in having a love affair with consumers. And there’s no better place for that love affair to culminate than in the home and the living room.”

I don’t think that could be any truer. The iPod was never the most convenient of flexible MP3 player but romance of the brand, combined with its unique ultra minimal and now iconic aesthetic has set it light-years ahead of the competition.

What Apple’s next move will be no one really knows yet for sure. But, if you want my advice, I’d clear just a little bit of space in your living room under your TV.