We may have to wait for Apple to unveil its much-rumored and allegedly revolutionary television set, or even the next iteration of the iPhone, in order to see how the tech giant hopes to rock the infotainment world. That’s because, at first glance, Hollywood execs and analysts say that the new iPad is virtually a non-event: It says more about Apple’s desire to protect its share of tablet sales from rivals including Amazon and Samsung — or upcoming devices built around Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system — than it does about any plan to shake up media. “There’s nothing game-changing” about it, says one Hollywood exec. To be sure, people say that iPad’s new HD screen and 4G broadband should improve the video-watching experience for consumers. The enhancements also will help iPad to remain the supplemental device of choice. “It will accelerate the development of the dual screen world, and the end of the set-top box” as pay TV providers try to shift TV control capabilities to tablets, says independent analyst Chris Dixon. But the updated tablet is still dinged as being too costly, and having too little memory, to qualify as a stand-alone entertainment device for a mass audience. What’s more, studios aren’t just looking at technology. Their biggest concerns with Apple involve the licensing terms it wants for their movies and TV shows. “The content owners are balking at the money Apple is asking for,” says IMS Research senior analyst Paul Erickson. Still, he and others note that it’s usually a mistake to look at the tech company’s announcements in isolation. “There’s always a larger scheme afoot when you’re talking about Apple,” Erickson says.
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