Apple's iPod Video Conditioning the Market for Cellphone Video

Aug.15.06 | About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

I have always been quite bearish on the "Video on Cell Phone Opportunity" that VCs and entrepreneurs have been shouting about for the last few years. My core issue was the screen size. However, I witnessed something on a recent plane ride that both blew my mind and began to ever so slightly crack open my skepticism on the phenomenon.

I was sitting on a plane and witnessed 4 kids watch full length videos on their iPods. They were zoned in. Why did it make me think that the whole TV on cellphone idea may just happen? iPod, the cultural phenom, is acculturating kids to watching video on small screens. Not just short video clips, but full length films.

Watching full length films on an iPod firmly places personal choice (the video I want to watch) over the convenience of the larger airplane screen with a less compelling movie. In an era of home Hifi theaters with giant screens, I would not have expected that.

Could it be that Apple's iPod Video is conditioning the market to view video on small screens? Might the cell phone vendors and carriers reap much of those rewards?