Austin Smith: What about you, Eric? Anything you're watching in the year ahead?
Eric Bleeker: I think that you have to go with television. It was supposed to be the theme of this year. I think it will finally be the theme of next year in some ways, because you've got four companies -- Apple, with over $100 billion in cash -- but then you've got Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. They all see this as the next battlefield.
It's a natural extension of the systems that we love so much. We talk about gaming on a tablet -- you think about how easily that can scale into a living room thing, and you've already got the devices, such as this iPad Mini, to be able to control it. You've got a natural remote controller built in.
The problem with television is, content companies and cable companies -- the telecoms -- they have an almost mutually assured destruction pact, where they're pushing back against someone like Apple, who they're afraid is going to take their lunch money.
I think you really do want to watch this, coming in, because it could be the beginnings of some kind of unbundling of cable. It could be similar to once when you unbundled the classifieds from newspapers. It can be a huge revenue source.
The point I like to make is, the music industry is really small. I think it's like $17 billion a year.
Eric: Well, relatively.
Austin: No, I get it. Yeah.
Eric: The music industry was actually -- the value that adds to Apple through iPhone and iPod sales is significantly larger than the music sales itself. The sales of a television that people really like, an Apple TV, and getting platforms trying to copy that, with Microsoft further extending the Xbox and Android coming in with Samsung. It could be a phenomenal change in the way we've always consumed -- behavior, and fundamentally changing to home entertainment. I think if you're an investor in 2013, the potential value disruption to incumbents, and the potential gains to these companies, it's going to be a battle throughout the year.
If you're not watching it -- there's no better place to watch some disruption in action, potentially, starting this year.
Andrew Tonner: I'll probably be hard not to watch. It'll be a huge storyline.
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Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. Austin Smith and The Motley Fool own shares of Apple and Google. Eric Bleeker, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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