Apple, Mobile Me, And Disney

    January 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

A new trademark caps a week of Apple glee as the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco ends, and we theorize what the next “one more thing” will be from Steve Jobs.

File this under speculation, gentle reader, but please note we theorized Disney content would be available on a future video iPod in July. Of course, we guessed movies rather than “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” but hey, we were close.

Lots of chatter has been circulating about Apple’s trademark filing for the phrase “Mobile Me.” The best account probably is the report at the always excellent Ars Technica site. There, Eric Bangeman noted Apple has filed for the term to cover “telecommunication services for the dissemination of information by mobile telephone, namely the transmission of data to mobile telephones” along with “music players,” “digital video players,” “MP3 players,” and “software related thereto.”

Bangeman later noted the possibility of Apple entering the mobile phone market, both as a hardware provider and a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). That could be more likely due to one factor not mentioned in the article: the Walt Disney Company.

Disney has designs on the mobile space itself, with ESPN-branded handsets from Sanyo soon to be followed by a Disney wireless service, complete with handsets designed with a Disney look and feel.

With Apple/Pixar CEO Steve Jobs buddying with Disney CEO Bob Iger on the video iPod and content from Disney’s ABC available through iTunes, it’s not hard to imagine that partnership yielding a sleek, user-friendly Apple-designed handset.

And it’s equally easy to imagine Disney theme parks, websites, and associated retail outlets selling Disney-themed skins for them, along with the Disney Wireless service selling content. Make those Apple mobile phones the exclusive hardware for receiving that content, and Apple gets a very powerful brand boost for its new line of phones.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.