Nowadays, whenever there’s a load of hype about a product that doesn’t exist yet, you just know Apple have played a part in it.
Considering they’ve had so much focus placed on their iPads and iPhones and other general portable devices, maybe it is about time Apple shifted focus and invaded the one place they’ve not yet achieved world domination – namely, the lounge.
1. The Existing Apple TV
This has been the ‘hobby product’ of Apple for a staggering 6 years. It’s got a rather small user base and it’s lacking in content so it would seem that Apple has yet to throw its financial might at the television box.
At the moment the Apple TV is a box you plug into your existing TV, this leads some to think that Apple are holding back the release of this current technology until it’s developed into a full television set.
The question is what then becomes of any future firmware updates and the current support for the users of the old Apple TV? Will it become obsolete?
2. Competitive Marketplace
The Apple TV is likely to launch with a premium price tag, the same as all the other Apple products.
The current range of TV displays available for Mac start at $999.00, this is for a 27 inch model – compare this to the price of a HDTV of a similar size and there is a significant difference in price!
So, would Apple have to subsidise their screens in a contract structure with on demand ad insertion such as that offered by Softel to generate extra revenue?
I’m not saying that an Apple TV will have the same function of the Thunderbolt monitor in this event, but surely Apple would have to match the quality of their existing screens if they release a dedicated television set?
In any case and whatever they release, it is sure to be compared to the screen of an iMac or iPad.
3. Content is King
iTunes is the unsung success of the Apple Empire.
When people talk about worldwide innovation and changes in our technological culture, the iPod is often first to be mentioned. But iTunes has turned what would have been an innovative invention into an empire in its own right.
But would Apple be in this position if they had failed to capitalise on their capacity to provide a lot of people with a lot of media content?
Apple it seems, came up with the perfect business model, they gave users the tools to listen to music and watch films, then made it increasingly more difficult/less likely for users to buy that material elsewhere.
With this in mind, a launch into the television market could be pretty risky.
This isn’t because of competition from other hardware producers, but because of the competition provided by the content distribution that’s behind every major show produced.
Apple have to make strong connections with major film studios and distributors for their content to be available on iTunes, but then what happens when Apple (likely) wants to step into their own back garden and broadcast live content?
4. A Slower Product Cycle
At the current rate, the Apple product cycle is relentless. But the pace that people buy TV sets at is not – if anything, could the TV be on the way out seeing as so much can be accessed via the internet now anyway?
The iPad had a whirlwind launch, and enjoyed outstanding sales across the globe. The iPad however, had also entered an untapped and unsaturated market.
The competition up against an Apple TV release would be monumental. So another interesting question is, would Apple release a high risk product with no guarantee of a mass take up, especially when they already have a low cost alternative on the market?
I mean, the Apple TV has already been out for 6 years and has barely caused ripples in the electronic sales market.
In the end, I’m sure the world would love to see an Apple television released, and I’m sure that Apple would create something of complete beauty and unparalleled functionality.
But a successful product is not judged on how good it is – it is how well it sells.
Image via: Flickr
About the Author: Gavin Harvey is a dedicated personal trainer whose thirst for adventure has taken him around the world. After a gap year in Australia he developed a serious case of wanderlust and is always searching for the next adventure, as well as the latest gadget. He is currently renovating the home that he shares with his partner and two cats.
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Personally, I’d love to see an Apple TV and I’d totally buy it! Even if there is a lot of competition, Apple has such a great following and reputation I’d don’t think they’d find it hard to create their own niche in TV sales
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