I usually avoid wading into rumors, especially one like the iTV, which has been rumored for several years. However, this is not only a rumor that continues to arise, but one that could mean significant changes to many segments of the high-tech and entertainment industries if Apple is successful.
I say ďifĒ because entering this segment is likely the most challenging Apple has faced thus far. Unlike Smartphones and tablets, where the markets were in their infancy and the product offering were poorly defined, the TV is a well-established industry that was recently transformed by the digital age.
In addition, the television industry has worked diligently to transform the products and devices beyond a passive viewing experience to no avail. TV manufacturers have tried just about everything, including interactive software, 3D, and integrated solutions like hard-disk drives, cable cards, and even full-blown processors that essentially provided the same functionality as a PC.
With the exception of internet connectivity, all these attempts have failed to garner wide-spread interest. So, the first question is why could Apple succeed?
Apple has many things going for it if it chooses to enter this market. The most important is the Apple user experience. Although the user interface differs between Apple products, the company still provides the most intuitive and fluid user experience of any electronics OEM.
Apple controls the experience by closely coupling the user interface, applications, and with the operating system and hardware platform, and in some cases even develops the microprocessor. Even though Apple does not control the service connections for its existing devices, the company does work closely with select service providers to influence this important part of the value chain as well, especially in the mobile segment.
Apple also has a strong and growing worldwide brand that stands for both quality and consumer appeal. And finally, Apple has something no other electronics OEM has today, the ability to charge a premium for its devices. This is important because increasing the functionality means increasing the cost of building the TV, and this has been a major pushback by consumer in this highly competitive and price sensitive segment. When you combine this with the industry leading content and applications available on Apple products, you have the potential for a winning scenario. If this happens, however, the iTV could have significant ramifications for the rest of the electronics and entertainment industries, much like the iPhone.
My 2 Cents.
Now they are selling their Apple TV box as a separate stand alone. They most likely make a decent profit and target the entire TV market; I imagine development is a fraction of the cost they spend on Ipads/Iphones.
TV's have a longer life span then cell phones/tablets and itís a bit harder to get people to buy a new TV every year. Itís a hell of a lot easier and more profitable to get people to buy a new little black box to put under their TV though. Logically they will focus effort in making this device easier to integrate into the "Apple" user experience, bring a "new" model to market periodically to drive sales. As well as pushing their market place.
Building their own TV is a bit silly if anything they would brand license to a partner and have them integrate iOS (or just the Apple TV hardware) into the display. Pretty much the direction manufacturers will be going with Andriod and WindowsRT. Doing this though will cause better integration of Andriod and WinRT which will then hurt their standalone box sales. (Bit of a vicious circle). I don't have any numbers to look at but I don't think the profit margin is there to justify this level of effort.
The current lead manufacturer for displays is Samsung. Itís not likely Apple would be able to make a superior first round product which ultimately means they would be hurting the image of their brand. Giving Samsung the chance to push their brand image and possible get some apple converts.
In the end I think Apple seeís this and will avoid jumping into this space.
Many companies have been working hard for so many years to glue together the devices inside and outside the home. The goal is to offer consumers ah-ha experiences which they didn't before realize being possible. TV is only one of the devices inside and outside the home. It is arguably the dominant device especially in the living room which is in the center of a family. If Apple ever wants to become truly dominant and has a lasting legacy, it has to control TV or become the gateway to the TV. As a consumer, I don't want to limit my choice, hence a dominant player is no good. As a technologist, Apple is simply not qualified because they don't create audio and video contents, they don't have server technology, they have very limited range of CE products, they are not in tune with the pulse of entertainment. Sony is much more qualified, albeit it does not have a visionary leader.
Those chanting for Apple TV are simply pushing hypes for the benefit of the greedy CEOs, the skin-deep analysts, and the Wall Street bankers looking for the next big gamble, but not for the benefit of the consumers. If history is what we can reliably lean on, the out-flow of such hypes will not stop until the group of fortune tellers find the next big money spinning machine.
TV market is a crowded market. Japanese brand has dominated the market for a long time. Now, there comes Korean. Everyone has been trying to innovate the TV. There have been changes here and there. Yet, it lacks a Ah-Ha from the market. If Apple is able to do it, they will extend the unbelievable story of Apple. Regardless of my doubt, I will keep my eyes open and tune to the channel.
So many naysayers here. I would expect that when Apple finally takes the plunge into TV, they will offer some compelling surprises in UI, content integration and cloud leverage. The bigger question is how much margin can an Apple TV command.
As far as Apple TV is concerned, Apple is going to offer something with a twist or a slightly better combination of whatever exist today, but that something are going to cost the taker almost an arm and a leg for very little value. Didn't we already know most of the technologies/features exist today: gesture control, augmented reality, voice control, network streaming, wireless connectivity, wired connectivity, remote control through mobile devices, media hub, NFC, 10-ft projected UI from computer, games, apps, etc. In honesty, what can Apple TV give us beyond all these? Business models, I dare Apple is willing to give consumers a truly pull model, or content/video on demand (i.e. le carte model) instead of the current fixed # of channels model!
Please stop propagating the rubbish which do nothing but give Apple the credit which they don't and should never deserve!
I am afraid that this article is more b.s. than anything!
Many companies have tried over since 1990s to offers different kinds of connected devices in a "connected homes". Nobody ever succeeds. Anyone who expects Apple to succeed should better stop day-dreaming. A good analogy is home network. In the past many years, we saw analysts proclaiming home networking based on homogeneous interconnect HomeRF, HomePNA, WiFi, MoCa; audio video connectivity through DVI, then HDMI (more b.s. than real substance because source materials are always pre-compressed!). What do we have now? Home Network is based on heterogeneous protocols and interfaces/wirings.
Apple always wants to monopolize the market and take no prisoners if at all possible, as evident by their lawsuits over Samsung and others over the tablet design, by their demand of US$1 royalty per port for IEEE 1394 (a brain damaged thought from Steve Jobs) technology. At the end of the day, consumers purchase different brands of products at different times. Given that Apple almost always want to work with nobody (today, Apple still refuses to adopt the MOU regarding Harmonization of Charging Capability for Mobile Phone made in Jun2009), we can never trust Apple to give consumers what truly benefit consumers. Likewise, Apple will try to reap as much profits from its partners, hence service & content providers should always be cautious at the motives of Apple should it approaches them for business alliances. Given the lesson of iTune, nobody should be so childish to believe that Apple is treating them equally!
I tend to agree with tb1 in his observation. What can Apple TV offer that has not already been exceeded by others?
Convergence of individual devices into one "super device" is the emerging trend and Apple is still hinging their strategy on single purpose devices. Granted, they have a following that swoons over any new product which will guarantee sales whether it's good or bad. Brainwashing aside, I believe that multipurpose devices will eventually win out in the end.
The PS3 & xbox360 are trending towards the future in that their respective devices not only play games, but they also stream video & music as well as offer web browsing and social interaction. So the most common aspects of a home computer have essentially been bundled into one unit.
EDIT: after some research, I see that appletv plays games as well ... but only if streamed from another iproduct ... that's great if you already drink Kool-Aid, but I don't need to spend another $600 just to play games.
I'd be more impressed with a Sony PS3 TV with built in game and BluRay or a Microsoft XBox TV.
You could play games, either alone, or across the Internet with your friends. You could watch Netflix movies, DVDs. With the Microsoft you could even use gestures for remote control.
I'm not sure what Apple offers other than better menus.
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