Two iPhone pieces from Variety
But I failed.
I spent this afternoon working on a piece for Variety about what the iPhone means for media companies and content creators, which is here. I hope it's sufficiently skeptical...since I try to hold Apple's feet to the fire for operating a closed-loop system with the iTunes Store and the iPhone/iPod.
From the piece:
If the phone is a hot seller, that could nudge more media companies to do deals with Steve Jobs' company -- or find a way to circumvent the tight link Apple has forged between its devices and iTunes, its online media marketplace.
Apple's newest product will play a selection of 10,000 free videos from YouTube, as well as video podcasts offered for free on iTunes from outlets like CNN and HBO, plus movies and TV shows sold on iTunes by suppliers such as Disney, Lionsgate, NBC and ABC.
But like the video iPod before it, the device won't play content sold by sites including Amazon Unbox, Movielink or CinemaNow, which offer movies in a Windows Media format that Apple doesn't support. Apple also doesn't allow content marketplaces other than the iTunes Store to sell content "wrapped" in Apple's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology. That restrictive policy guarantees Apple a high degree of loyalty among iPod and iPhone users but has recently brought scrutiny from European Union regulators.
There's another piece, by Michael Schneider, about how everyone in LA is coveting an iPhone as the new status symbol.