Apple shies away from Blu-ray

Each time Steve Jobs takes the stage to announce a new Apple iPod MP3 player or MacBook notebook, the tech world pays close attention.  During his most recent press conference in Silicon Valley, he launched several new MacBook Pros, but without the Sony-created Blu-ray format.

When asked about Blu-ray’s exclusion, Jobs said the Sony technology is a "bag of hurt."

"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt," Jobs said during the conference.  "I don’t mean from the consumer point of view.  It’s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex… We’re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the cost of the drives."

Apple shies away from Blu-ray

Analysts and bloggers immediately took to the Internet to discuss Jobs’ comments about Blu-ray, and why the technology wasn’t included in the new line of Apple products.

Apple’s decision to remain on the sidelines until consumer demand increases and prices drop will only hurt Sony as the company continues its effort to get consumers to adopt Blu-ray.  Acer, Asus, Lenovo and other manufacturers either have shipped products with Blu-ray drives, or intend to in the next six months.

Apple also may not be in a rush as it unveiled its own HD movie download service recently, which lets shoppers use iTunes to purchase content directly to their PCs.

Since there are so many new ways for consumers to get high-definition content, it could be time for Sony to try and do something drastic to help boost sales.  As more HD content can be found through most cable and satellite services, and set-top boxes are becoming more popular, a growing number of consumers believe they don’t need to purchase a standalone Blu-ray player at all.

But Blu-ray has several advantages over digital download services and other methods consumers can use to acquire HD content.  The first advantage is the ease of use, as simply putting in a movie and playing it is usually simpler than trying to figure out how to order content over the Internet.

Many consumers also are discovering they don’t have enough bandwidth to download an entire HD movie to their TV or over the Internet to their computer.

Finally, Blu-ray remains the highest quality video, at 1080p, while most digital download services only offer content in 720p.