Could Apple really carve out a space in the TV market? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been a longtime reader of the boards but haven't posted until now - but I've been talking with David about a story I'm interested in and wanted to see if anyone has thoughts on Apple's potential entrance into the TV space (beyond just the existing Apple TV product). There have been lots of rumors of Apple releasing an LCD (Apple Insider got word it'll be a 55-inch for approximately $2000), and even some speculation as to what it could look like.

One analyst (who is also obviously saying this for attention) went so far as to say "Don't Buy a TV, Apple Is Working on Something Big" and that it's "the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone came up" on CNBC recently.

So... I had a few questions in case anyone has thoughts they could share on this:

1. Is there really an opportunity for Apple to come in and do something radically new or different in the TV space? Could Apple really grab market share (or, hell, even dominate) as it has in the mobile and tablet spaces?

2. What do you think Apple's iTV could really do to differentiate it from the others? Steve Jobs said he "cracked it" -- meaning, he knew how to make a TV that adds substantial new value. What could that be?

3. Would you have any interest in it? Obviously, bang for your buck, it's not going to compete -- but in terms of all the other things Apple does well, would you have any interest in a TV from Apple?

4. What would it take for you to buy one?

I appreciate any thoughts on this - I'm just as stumped and curious about it as many folks.
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post #2 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and here are some links to stories about it:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._not_when.html

http://www.eatapplenews.com/a-concep...uld-look-like/
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post #3 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 11:14 AM
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As a standalone TV (with the current Apple TV built-in), I don't think it is much value if you still have to hassle with the cable/satellite DVR and all the other complexities associated with a normal entertainment center, such as a Blu-ray player, game console(s), and a receiver.

I think their end goal is something along the lines of all content, anywhere, anytime, on any iDevice, including the TV (and also Ipad, IPhone, IMac, etc.)

Assuming they could work out the content deals with all the providers, the main issue is bandwidth for an IPTV type service. With Cable or Satellite, I can have multiple HD streams in the home without impacting my internet service. Good luck trying to get 3-4 HD streams plus normal internet use with any current provider in the U.S. Even without the 250 or 300G limit montly cap, there just isn't the bandwidth available to do IPTV nationally (or even globally in most locations) in a way that can compare to Satellite/Cable TV.

Then, for integration with receivers, blue-ray players, game consoles, they really need to have some sort of simplified experience like what Crestron & AMX have, or better, something like Savant. Not sure how they could do that.

Otherwise, if all the 55 inch Apple TV does is remove the need for the current Apple TV box, and you still need a universal remote of some kind along with a receiver, blue-ray player, game console, cable/satellite DVR, I can't see how that would be such a revolutionary device that would make people want it.

Compared to the TV/Home Enterntainment area, the Iphone and Ipad is child's play, since there is just one device with minimal peripherals (other than say, headphones and a case). The TV/Home Entertainment area is so much more complex and that's while it's taken so long for them to figure this out. If they come out too soon, then it'll just be another boondoogle like the Google TV box.

But, if they can make some sort of TV that can truly replace all other components or integrate in some revolutionary way, then they could really have a winner on their hands.
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post #4 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 11:49 AM
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With the park of fanboys installed all around the world, Apple will sell these like hot cakes.

No wonder.
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post #5 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 11:49 AM
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Yes, they can clearly dominate.

The overlap of products complimenting one another, the overall halo effect of the iPad and iPhone, and the extremely high satisfaction level most Apple users maintain for Apple products is a very powerful combination that, I don't believe, any other manufacturer can come close to touching right now.

Most of us begrudge many of the CE vendors right now for one reason or another (poor quality control, missing or confusing features, poor support), so there is I think a great opening that can be filled.

As IP controlled devices become more prevalent, there will be a tipping point where Apple can begin to offer greater integration with other devices in the home, or introduce devices that manage that. But even at the start, greater flexibility and integration of internal/consumer media in the home will generate great interest (and the iPad as a virtual keyboard and mouse, tied to an internet connected iTV can become a new standard in browsing)

Build a camera in the integrates with iChat and Message applications, along with some other goodies and an overhaul of the current ATV interface, and there's a great opportunity for Apple.

Autos would be next of course, then embedded tech in other manufacturer products...


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post #6 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 11:51 AM
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I still think Samsung screwed up by not making a line of white bezeled tvs. Then they could have either sued Apple for infringement or even prevented them from entering the market! It's not like Apple wouldn't try something like that.
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post #7 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

I still think Samsung screwed up by not making a line of white bezeled tvs. Then they could have either sued Apple for infringement or even prevented them from entering the market! It's not like Apple wouldn't try something like that.

they did have some 4-5 years ago with the smaller models in the 53H series. They were quite sleek and 'apple' looking

and btw, who actually has apple tv??
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post #8 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ll Viper ll View Post

they did have some 4-5 years ago with the smaller models in the 53H series. They were quite sleek and 'apple' looking

and btw, who actually has apple tv??

I have three...


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post #9 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 12:46 PM
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A:
1. I'm sure fanboys will buy one but it will be a small percentage of the market.
2. An iTV will not revolutionize the market as the media keeps saying.
3. No.
4. I won't buy one because I refuse to buy anything Apple, besides I can get get a smart 55" HDTV for less than $1500.
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post #10 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moviegeek View Post

A:
1. I'm sure fanboys will buy one but it will be a small percentage of the market.
2. An iTV will not revolutionize the market as the media keeps saying.
3. No.
4. I won't buy one because I refuse to buy anything Apple, besides I can get get a smart 55" HDTV for less than $1500.

Their success in the marketplace would indicate this is a minority position.


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post #11 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 01:49 PM
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If Apple goes out at $2000 for 55", it's in the sweet spot of the "performance segment" of the market. In other words, it's Apple territory. Will they dominate? No time soon. Will they sell millions of them? Magic 8 Ball says: Signs point to yes.

All this is predicated on the rumors having some basis in reality.

That said, 5 million x $2000 is $10 billion. It won't have typical Apple margins, but it would be perhaps the first product* were a significant chunk of the revenue is expected over time -- think video rentals and sales -- and that's interesting.

* AppleTV actually works this way for Apple, it's just all noise financially even though they will sell 5 million units this year. I actually suspect somewhere near half of the AppleTV's sold are used primarily or nearly exclusively to playback Netflix.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #12 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sipester View Post

As a standalone TV (with the current Apple TV built-in), I don't think it is much value if you still have to hassle with the cable/satellite DVR and all the other complexities associated with a normal entertainment center, such as a Blu-ray player, game console(s), and a receiver.

I think their end goal is something along the lines of all content, anywhere, anytime, on any iDevice, including the TV (and also Ipad, IPhone, IMac, etc.)

Assuming they could work out the content deals with all the providers, the main issue is bandwidth for an IPTV type service. With Cable or Satellite, I can have multiple HD streams in the home without impacting my internet service. Good luck trying to get 3-4 HD streams plus normal internet use with any current provider in the U.S. Even without the 250 or 300G limit montly cap, there just isn't the bandwidth available to do IPTV nationally (or even globally in most locations) in a way that can compare to Satellite/Cable TV.

Then, for integration with receivers, blue-ray players, game consoles, they really need to have some sort of simplified experience like what Crestron & AMX have, or better, something like Savant. Not sure how they could do that.

Otherwise, if all the 55 inch Apple TV does is remove the need for the current Apple TV box, and you still need a universal remote of some kind along with a receiver, blue-ray player, game console, cable/satellite DVR, I can't see how that would be such a revolutionary device that would make people want it.

Compared to the TV/Home Enterntainment area, the Iphone and Ipad is child's play, since there is just one device with minimal peripherals (other than say, headphones and a case). The TV/Home Entertainment area is so much more complex and that's while it's taken so long for them to figure this out. If they come out too soon, then it'll just be another boondoogle like the Google TV box.

But, if they can make some sort of TV that can truly replace all other components or integrate in some revolutionary way, then they could really have a winner on their hands.

agreed, apple tv built into a 55" display is not enough. they're going to need to be able to provide something you can't get from any other display manufacturer or tv provider. if its a souped up vierra browser, not good enough. streaming is limited by the cablecos data caps so only so much you can do there. if they can get the providers to agree to proved custom bundles, then you have something that folks will want. maybe they can buy a satco to be their content provider to get around the data caps. dish with their bb content and afffordable purchase price may be the one.

make the tv the hub for all your ios devices with siri interface, universal connectivity for built in dvr, br, and option of built in av receiver and surround speakers set or connectivity to your current surround setup.

i also think they should offer 55" and 65". 55" displays are looking pretty small today.

screen display should be retina quality at a minimum. be better if they go izgo and try and sell a 4k display. that will get people interested as a cheaper alternative to oled.

can they do it? maybe, but everything has to be perfect

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post #13 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post


i also think they should offer 55" and 65". 55" displays are looking pretty small today.


I would argue the other way, 42-47" are the most popular sizes right now. Many people are constrained by small entertainment centers and money. Of course Apple consumers will pay anything as long as it's shiny and says "Apple" so they can impress their friends.
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post #14 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 02:52 PM
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If we see an iTV it will be an iOS based Smart TV which will take advantage of the Apple app store, will play nicely with iTunes, iPhone, iPad etc, will be of high quality and offer a ton of accessories. Accessories can be things like speakers, blu-ray players etc that will connect wirelessly and be fully integrated with the iTV offering a standard user interface.

I think an iTV can have a lot of potential if they do the above.

The only issue I see is the size. "One size fits all" might be OK for a phone or a tablet, but not for TVs. So Apple shouldn't release an iTV, but an iTV range with sizes from say 32" to 65".

Personally I don't see myself buying an iTV, but I think that the introduction of an iTV would create the competition that is necessary so we can see much better and cheaper Android/Google TV based TVs.
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post #15 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 02:56 PM
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There are so many iPads and iPhones out there. Apple has revolutionized the phone, music, and computer industry. I can only see success out of this. I read a magazine article almost 10 years ago on what apple wanted in the future. Everything from that single article has come true so far including iPhone, and iPad.. now the TV which this article also mentioned. It will change everything.. at least I hope. Take me to next level apple.. I'm ready.. beam me up to the mother ship.
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post #16 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnsmak View Post

1. Is there really an opportunity for Apple to come in and do something radically new or different in the TV space? Could Apple really grab market share (or, hell, even dominate) as it has in the mobile and tablet spaces?

Not if it is nothing more then a large iPad only this time a HDTV. Apple historically has done nothing that is really beneficial to the AV marketplace. Remember Steve Jobs and the apple iPod Hi-Fi where he was pronouncing that it was just a good as a home stereo? With their current AppleTV its certainly doesn't impress anyone used to some of the other digital host receivers. Adding app's to a HDTV, or allowing it access to the iPad/iPhone games means nothing. When Apple comes out with mountain lion this summer finally you can use your AppleTV with your mac to do Airplay Mirroring. (about time)

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnsmak View Post

2. What do you think Apple's iTV could really do to differentiate it from the others? Steve Jobs said he "cracked it" -- meaning, he knew how to make a TV that adds substantial new value. What could that be?

The only approach that hasn't been successful yet is internet based streaming of live TV channels to replace the terrestrial broadcasts. That way you wouldn't be tied to a particular cable and satellite for content. I certainly don't think the current hosts such as Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon are a good substitute to live broadcasts. If Apple is only offering a another me too as a streaming host with app's I will be disappointed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnsmak View Post

3. Would you have any interest in it? Obviously, bang for your buck, it's not going to compete -- but in terms of all the other things Apple does well, would you have any interest in a TV from Apple?

I think Apple needs to be recognize for what they do well, but that they can't do everything well. So until we see if they make a notable contribution to what is a HDTV, its nothing more then speculation by some hoping for something different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnsmak View Post

4. What would it take for you to buy one?

Features that are relevant to a new phase of broadcasting over the internet. Not a another smart HDTV. App's won't do it, Siri won't do it, waving hands won't do it.

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post #17 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 03:42 PM
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Anyone who thinks Apple will release a 55" LED for $2K is smoking crack. It won't be anywhere near $2K, count on around $4K.

This is Apple we're talking about, not Vizio.
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post #18 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:10 PM
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Dear Mr apple. Apple is a company whom I'm surprised hasn't come out with a proprietary version of the Internet that only works on the mac, costs 3 times mores to use it, is slower and doesn't do half the things a home user might want and almost nothing a business would want (nor connect to he normal internet). They would somehow paint it white and spend a billion for marketing on it that gets all the compu-tards out there to worship it. Ill take my Windows tablet thanks. To boot, it will be created by Chinese workers killing themselves over it making $3 a day for the work.

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post #19 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalvatronType_R View Post

Anyone who thinks Apple will release a 55" LED for $2K is smoking crack. It won't be anywhere near $2K, count on around $4K.

This is Apple we're talking about, not Vizio.

Apple, the company who's 10-inch tablet can't be beaten on price/features by anyone? Apple, the company who's cell phone retails for the same $199 that everyone else's retails for?

You are confused about some 20th century version of Apple, not the current company.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #20 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:43 PM
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i may be misguided here, but i really think if apple tv is going to be different in this market they need a retina quality display and content that can be used like their imusic store. for this they either will need to insure quality compressed streaming to stay under caps or control of a satco to bundle packages.

imagine if i can only buy a package with only the 40 cable channels i watch and local tv provided as well.

that would be an apple type move, changing the way programming is sold like the way they changed how music is sold.

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post #21 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:50 PM
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Apple's main target won't be competing manufacturers of consumer TVs. Instead, Apple is looking to revolutionalize the way people receive their content. They want to drive current providers of satellite/cable TV into the dark ages. By targeting the content providers, they will subsequently erode the TV hardware market. That part will take care of itself just as we are seeing with the mobile phone and tablet markets.

Consumers already "DVR" their favorite shows to watch when it is most convenient.
  • Why "DVR" anything when your "iPanel" can queu a show up for you when you want to watch it. Say, every Thursday at 9PM?
  • Why pay for TV channels that you don't watch, need, or are not interested in? If you're paying a SAT/CABLE provider - you're paying for things you don't want.
  • Why worry about DVR storage when your content is stored in the cloud along with your photos and music?

Verizon/Cablevision/Comcast/AT&T et al will be relegated to providing your internet service connection - just like any other household utility. The electric companies are even looking to get into the internet service provider market. Where does that leave the cable companies?

Think about what Apple could do with the NFL. An Apple version of the "Sunday Ticket." All the games...swap a game from your iPad/iPhone to your "iPanel".

While hardware manufacturers are playing catch up in the table and mobile phone markets - Apple has those divisions seemingly in cruise control while focusing it's gaze on the TV content market.

As for the "iPanel" - that's the easy part - it's a bigger, fancier, more expensive iPad. FaceTime on the iPanel? Take a family photo standing in front of the iPanel on your living room wall? Call your iPanel from your iPhone? I can already imagine the marketing of these features. Regardless, Apple won't release any TV product until the content delivery system is developed.

I wonder if they'll come up with an "iProjector" next?

My two cents...
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post #22 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:51 PM
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If an Apple TV might change the way I use a television like the way my iPhone changed the way I use a mobile... I think this is something to be excited about.
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post #23 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:55 PM
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I'm hedging against Apple being as successful in FP retail space. The primary reason being that they'll have no cost advantage. Apple has a cost/profit advantage with ipads, and iphones, but they won't have that advantage with TV's because the CPU will represent a small marginal cost relative to the total BOM.

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post #24 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Apple, the company who's 10-inch tablet can't be beaten on price/features by anyone? Apple, the company who's cell phone retails for the same $199 that everyone else's retails for?

You are confused about some 20th century version of Apple, not the current company.

If you step outside their competitive iPhone/iPad pricing they do very well on their margins.

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post #25 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 05:00 PM
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Apple is great at refining the user-interface and making it seamless and for creating eco-systems to support their products. The problem in the case of television is that there are tremendous dependencies that Apple can't control. So Apple either has to make a deal with every cable/satellite MSO so they can replace their box or they have to make a deal with every content company (the cable networks) so they can eliminate the cable companies and move towards "I can stream any show from any channel whenever I want it" and away from appointment television.

In spite of the fact that Apple is now one of the largest companies in the world, I don't think they can accomplish either. In the end, the current AppleTV box has very little content.

Even though Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, "I've cracked it", he's also quoted as saying that it's impossible to deal with the set top box issue because there are so many cable companies.

In addition, Apple's approach to Zen design frequently means taking choices away from the user. So I would imagine that an Apple TV would have few ports and it would have minimal controls. My bet is that you won't be able to calibrate an Apple TV.

What I think an Apple TV will do is have seamless integration with other Apple components: computers, iPhones, iPads, etc. I think they'll make it so it's trivial to playback content from any (Apple) device to the TV. The question is whether it will also be trivial to playback content from any non-Apple device unless that device is running an Apple application. Somehow, I doubt it. And I think Siri will also play a role. The question is whether that will be a great experience or a slow and frustrating one.

I'm of two minds when it comes to other equipment, such as receivers, BD players, etc. Either Apple will make believe that they don't exist or Apple will find a way to automatically recognize and control them from whatever cool device becomes the remote control for an Apple TV.

But in the end, it's hard to imagine what Apple would bring to a TV that would give them a large share of the market. If it's just a very stylish version of a typical TV with the AppleTV built in, I don't think that's going to be enough to have any impact on the market.

The other issue is that Apple deals in high-margin products. TV is a low margin product. Most TV manufacturers, including Sony and Panasonic are in deep trouble. Sony might get out of the TV business entirely and if they don't, most of the line will probably be made and designed by others, except for the badge. So then the question becomes how can Apple make an Apple TV a high-margin product without having to price it so high that it becomes only a niche product.

Also, if you think about Apple's biggest successes, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, these are products for people on the go. A TV is about the opposite. Does Apple really want to go there?

But having said all that, what if Apple had a TV that:
- skipped over current tech and had very high resolution - 4K or higher right now
- on the day of release had a store in which you could download/stream 4K movies and TV shows
- created an SDK for apps that could run on the TV and anyone could create and sell them, just as they can for iOS with the usual 70/30 income split.
- used Siri for a large part of interface and control.
- was absolutely seamless when used with other Apple devices.
- automatically recognized and controlled every connected and available device
- had a remote control that seamlessly integrated every other device
- automatically brought or streamed content from any other device to the TV
- instead of isolating each different type of content from a UI perspective, integrated it. So it treated your music library or photo library just like a TV channel.
- had an integrated videophone app with a camera that actually made you look good.
- had a UI that displayed multiple live TV images of different channels - sort of like "Top Sites" in Safari, but with live content.

That and other functionality that I haven't thought of yet might (just might) be enough added extra value to make an Apple TV a success. But the other manufacturers, especially Samsung, would copy them very quickly.
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post #26 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 05:01 PM
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That said, 5 million x $2000 is $10 billion. It won't have typical Apple margins, but it would be perhaps the first product* were a significant chunk of the revenue is expected over time -- think video rentals and sales -- and that's interesting.


That's a good point that I didn't consider. I might add that Apple might be able to create a TV with superior integration (device and media). If they could actually tame some of the A/V jungle with a slick UI that's easy to use and easy to connect, they may have some success.

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If you step outside their competitive iPhone/iPad pricing they do very well on their margins.


They're iphone/ipad margins are healthy because they designed/own the A4-A5x SoC; and they own ~10% of PowerVR.

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post #28 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 05:35 PM
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I've been a longtime reader of the boards but haven't posted until now - but I've been talking with David about a story I'm interested in and wanted to see if anyone has thoughts on Apple's potential entrance into the TV space (beyond just the existing Apple TV product). There have been lots of rumors of Apple releasing an LCD (Apple Insider got word it'll be a 55-inch for approximately $2000), and even some speculation as to what it could look like.

One analyst (who is also obviously saying this for attention) went so far as to say "Don't Buy a TV, Apple Is Working on Something Big" and that it's "the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone came up" on CNBC recently.

So... I had a few questions in case anyone has thoughts they could share on this:

1. Is there really an opportunity for Apple to come in and do something radically new or different in the TV space? Could Apple really grab market share (or, hell, even dominate) as it has in the mobile and tablet spaces?

2. What do you think Apple's iTV could really do to differentiate it from the others? Steve Jobs said he "cracked it" -- meaning, he knew how to make a TV that adds substantial new value. What could that be?

3. Would you have any interest in it? Obviously, bang for your buck, it's not going to compete -- but in terms of all the other things Apple does well, would you have any interest in a TV from Apple?

4. What would it take for you to buy one?

I appreciate any thoughts on this - I'm just as stumped and curious about it as many folks.

My 2 cents is this: like when iTunes came along, it took a lot of kicking and screaming to convince the labels to go along with the idea of not only offering their catalog for download through iTunes (and even more to break up albums and sell individual tracks)! If Apple really has cracked the code on making a game-changing HDTV, it will have to lIve or die on content deals. That's not sexy, and none of us want to see that sausage getting made, but it's the truth.

Without the content deals, all it will be is an Apple Display, and we've seen how poorly they've sold.

Some will say the Apple TV will have to have apps to be a success, but that is shortsighted, as apps are a space that APPLE has largely made incredibly successful as a commodity, but ultimately, it's a cycle that will run its course. Then what? I think it's the "then what?" question that will be more interesting next year, but for now, I think the Apple TV will have apps at some point, but the device won't live or die because of them.

Some say the Apple TV will have to have a Siri-like voice control to be successful, and while there would likely be aspects of it in any Apple-branded TV, it won't fail if it doesn't.

I think giving people the ability to buy or rent their content ala carte or subscription (like they do with Netflix) will be what makes any Apple-branded TV a success, so that I can cut the cord, yet still be able to get - for example - an HBO go app for $8/month for the same stuff I have to pay DirecTV over $100/mth to watch "Game of Thrones" and "True Blood" in HD when they air new. Why not? Now, this will certainly disintermediate cablecos and satcos, unless Apple can help them see the light in how they choose to make money from us.

I can hope.

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post #29 of 169 Old 06-01-2012, 05:37 PM
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they did have some 4-5 years ago with the smaller models in the 53H series. They were quite sleek and 'apple' looking

and btw, who actually has apple tv??

I have one.

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