Apple Doesn't Need an Actual TV: Heres Why
Every couple of months or so rumors start up again of an iTV. They start from a little blog post and grow into a big story published by the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg. Lets not forget about everyones favorite Apple analyst, Gene Munster, who has claimed the iTV is coming about as many times as many times as we've shaken our heads at Apple. Everyone is claiming "They" know Apple's plans for the TV business.Except all of them are wrong and they should be. Apple doen't need an iTV and here's why.
Apple launched the Apple TV in 2007 after a short preview in 2006 and no one really took it serious. It had a large 160 GB mechanical hard drive and launched at a steep $300. It didn't take off and it was left alone until its rebirth in 2010. Although significant improvements were made, not many were sold. This was probably due to the fact that Apple did absolutely no advertising for it. I'll be honest and say that I had never even heard of the Apple TV until the 3rd generation had launched. I dismissed it as an experiment and payed no attention to it until three months later.
At the time another wave of iTV rumors swarmed the tech blogs. I didn't pay attention to them either because after all, look at the previous rumors and were they right? However, as I was walking around an Apple store, I realized something. I was playing around with the stores only Apple TV for the first time and saw that it little black box could be so much more.
Apple doesn't have a whole lot of room any more to expand in the tech industry.This is even why my dad thinks their stalk has fallen so much. They have entered the entertainment, mp3 player, smartphone, computer, and tablet markets. The only two areas they haven't really fully explored are the wearable tech and TV industries. Apple hasn't done anything in the wearable tech department but their have been lots of rumors lately about a supposed iWatch lately. Apple does however, have a foot in the door when it comes to TVs. Although they have no experience making them, they do know how to produce some pretty awesome software.
Apple doesn't really need an actual TV. If Apple made a TV it would be made out of unibody aluminum and have light up Apple logo on it. Is that really enough to justify a cost between $2000-$5000? Of course not! It's not like Apple can make the TV quality look THAT much better than a TV from someone like LG or Sony who have had years and years of experience in making TVs. If you bought an iTV you'd be basically be paying a couple grand for a TV interface you can get for $99.
Not only would it be completely stupid for consumers to purchase an iTV over an Apple TV but it would be incredibly hard for Apple to manufacture these things. Apple had enough trouble to manufacture the new iMacs. I couldn't even begin to think of the supply constraints they would face. Also, consumers don't upgrade their TVs as often as phones or tablets. People generally keep a TV for about 5+ years. Especially now right after everyone just upgraded to an HD TV people wont be flocking to get a new TV already.
Apple does however need to do some upgrades to the Apple TV. Even if it means raising the price by $100 or so. Obviously, Apple needs to open it up to developers. The iPhone skyrocketed after the App Store was introduced and I imagine the same would come true for the Apple TV. Yu could get great apps like Crackle, Pandora, ABC Player and so on. It would be awesome and I know a few people who wouldn't hesitate to get an Apple TV if the App Store was brought here.
One more thing Apple needs to have and essential to any TV is actual channels. Their needs to be a less expensive and more intuitive way to be able to watch all of my favorite shows without paying the outrageous prices for a season pass. Apple needs to do something like Google TV. Wear you pay a small price every month for the channels that they offer. Google's problem with this is that they didn't really try hard enough to get actually good channels that were key to getting people to switch over from satellite or cable. Apple can really learn from this and excel at it.
You see? Apple can make the iTV without making people spend a trillion more dollars. The Apple TV has so much potential. It just needs some water and sunshine and it can become the iTV.