More Apple TV lunacy

More Apple TV lunacy

Summary: The Apple TV stupid, it burns!

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, Mobility
26

Another day, another batch of idiotic Apple TV predictions.

First off, Piper Jaffray's analyst Gene Munster kicks off with three content scenarios for Apple's mythical TV. His three scenarios are so broad as to really encompass pretty much any and every possibility (other than that of there being no Apple TV in the pipeline ... Munster is convinced that this unicorn is on the way):

  1. Basic TV that users buy and hook up to their existing set up along the lines of a TiVo. Munster says this would be the least revolutionary of the three scenarios but is the 'easiest and most likely option.'
  2. A middle-of-the-road approach where Apple would offer access to live TV from network channels in combination with other web-based video services. Content providers would be able to 'appify' the TV.
  3. A full-on approach where Apple would offer monthly subscriptions to live TV packages with content from content providers.

Munster's been talking about an Apple TV now for over four years, and he confidently predicted that a standalone Apple TV would be available in 2011. He also predicted that Apple would be selling 6.6 million Apple TV set-top boxes in 2009 when in truth by 2011 Apple was barely selling 3 million units.

There's also a new Apple patent application uncovered by AppleInsider adding to the fun. This patent is for a touch-based universal remote control that would be capable of controlling a number of devices:

According to AppleInsider 'The remote would include a "discovery mechanism" that would discover available appliances for it to control, negating the need for users to enter complex codes and program individual devices.'

Ummm, excuse me, but how exactly does this work? It doesn't sound like something that will work with my existing stuff and sort of sounds like it maybe some sort of extension onto a technology like Apple's AirPlay. It certainly sounds like something that I'm going to have to put my hand in my pocket beyond the cost of the remote in order to get to work like it says on the tin. That sounds expensive.

Also, wait a minute, wasn't a Siri-like voice control going to be what revolutionized the living room, not a new remote?

As I've said on numerous occasions before, you can't take patents and patent applications as a sign of things to come from a company like Apple (or any other multibillion dollar corporation). These companies literally patent everything and anything they can which might one day give them an advantage over the competition.

Another thing that no one seems to be addressing is where's the market for these overpriced Apple TVs? There seems to be an incredible amount of rabid Apple fanboyism surrounding these rumors that assumes that people will buy anything that Apple makes, at whatever price point that Apple decides. In which case, why isn't the iPad an $800 device, and how come Apple is having a hard time penetrating into the living room with the existing Apple TV set-top box? The problem with these Apple TV rumors is that they all fail to address how the TV will differ from the set-top box (or what the set-top box could be configured to do). It seems to be that the only advantage a TV would offer over  device that connects to any HDMI-capable TV set is that people wouldn't need to figure out where that HDMI cable would have to go. Now how much would you pay for that?

Related:

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

26 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

    A touch based universal remote, wow, I'm impressed, innovation at it's finest
    fwelsh
    • One more time for the slow student...

      it's not what Apple does, it's HOW they do it that makes them innovative.
      baggins_z
      • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

        @baggins_z - Ahhh. Fair point. How about:

        A touch based universal remote in an aluminium case for $800, wow, I'm impressed, innovation at it's finest
        bitcrazed
  • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

    will I be able to develop on it?? What about video games??Atom processing is useful to surf the web, not much else. One of those amd processors with the video card embedded might make it more compelling........
    sparkle farkle
    • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

      @sparkle farkle I think any device they create will run iOS and use Apple's own ARM-based CPUs, which have graphics acceleration functionality built-in.

      Basically, I see them creating an iOS set top box which streams content from the iTunes store and runs iPad HD apps. I see them creating applications for the iPad, iPod, and iPhone which allow you to control that set top box very easily. I -hope- the device is also a cable-card quad tuner box which replaces the existing cable DVRs and makes recording our shows much easier. The DVR functionality would allow you to pick shows to record no matter where you are located by using your iDevice to set it via iCloud.
      BillDem
      • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

        @BillDem That's pretty much what I would like to see them do versus an actual TV. I currently can control my Uverse DVR from any of our iOS devices but it would be nice to be able to watch what has been recorded on the devices remotely. I'll spend a few hundred or more for something like this but it's not likely that I would spend the money on an actual Apple TV. With a set top like the current Apple TV you can very easily move it from room to room if you want, that's a plus. I don't want to buy an additional TV for each room just to have the features.
        non-biased
  • How does Apple make money?

    "It doesn???t sound like something that will work with my existing stuff"

    How would Apple make money if they released things that worked with devices made by others? Just look at iBooks for a perfect example. Apple is trying to put a stranglehold on our education system.

    So AKH, the answer is simple. You will simply need to buy an Apple TV and an Apple receiver to go with your Apple iPad, iPhone, and iRemote.

    Apple didn't get to be #1 by accident. They got there because they are better than every single other company at taking money out of the wallets of consumers.
    toddybottom_z
    • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

      @NonZealot

      They got there because they are better at getting customers to give them money.

      There's a difference between taking and giving.
      msalzberg
    • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

      @toddybottom_z I know you don't actually believe in facts but care to back up your claims with an relevant examples because all my Apple gear works just fine with other existing gear.
      non-biased
  • Let's look at MS with the XBox as an example

    They already have 60 million units out there. So they have market penetration already. MS was looking into offering a live TV streaming service similar to what he talks about in this article. Guess what happened with that? The content providers wanted way too much money, more than they charge cable companies by far, for the live programming. So MS scrapped the project. I have a hard time believing Apple would be able to have better bargaining position then MS just because of the existing penetration of devices MS has.
    LiquidLearner
    • Apple is an 8,000lb gorilla

      @LiquidLearner
      MS has only ever been an 800lb gorilla.

      Content Provider: We want you to pay us a reasonable amount of money.
      Apple: No. If you don't give it to us for free, we will kick you out of iTMS.
      Content Provider: Damn you Apple. I sure wish it wasn't such a sick market. I sure wish we didn't all lose.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

        @NonZealot

        Really? Apple gets all of that content for free?

        http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/ifpi-digital-music-report-2012-global-digital-1005956352.story
        msalzberg
      • In the living room you're wrong

        @toddybottom_z

        MS has a presence in the living room far surpassing what Apple has currently and anything they could get out there in the near future.
        LiquidLearner
  • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

    @toddybottom_z
    That scenario has one problem - most likely the EU will step in and say to Apple they are abusing their power and acting like an abusive monopoly at that point - look at the eBook issue right now. It might be enough to tell Apple enough is enough, you can either have hardware or software but not both.
    stevejg61
  • Oh look

    Another quarter has passed, time for another round of the never tiring "here comes the Apple TV" rumor ;)
    oncall
  • I don't see it happening...

    Apple doesn't control the content, the delivery system, or yet have a superior controller. Apple so far has only delivered a sub-set of all content it has licensed at great expense, delivered over wires it does not own, and controlled at best by an iPad that starts at five times the price of the existing AppleTV 2.

    Apple needs live TV (news weather sports), it's own broadcast (or narrow cast network), and a bundled controller that can play both games and control all the other things we use a TV for (like pre-recorded scripted comedies and dramas as well as films).
    ShockMe
    • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

      @ShockMe I don't see live TV as the killer feature. Sports and news can be picked up over the air in HD. I don't know about most but myself and pretty much everyone I know that has a DVR has all but stopped watching live TV except of course news and sports.
      non-biased
  • it's all about the patent...stupid...

    It's about the patent and not the actual product. Scratch out some crazy flying pig ideas on a napkin, patent it, and then wait for someone to infringe on that patent. Intellectual property, not innovation, at it's best.
    bongoo
  • Lunacy? There's a market for that...

    >>Another thing that no one seems to be addressing is where???s the market for these overpriced Apple TVs?

    Where's the market for Really thin laptops with no Optical drive, Tablets, Smart phones, Personal Digital Music players....?

    If / when Apple deliver a TV - you can bet it will be something far outside the imagination of your average hack. It will be popular, and people will wonder why it took so long to get right.
    randomambling
  • RE: More Apple TV lunacy

    I think the useful TVs will be the ones with a computer built-in running Win 8 and Kinect sensors. That gives you gesture and voice control as well as recognising you personally.

    Currently I have a 52" LCD connected to PC, Cable, Xbox with Kinect and even a Blu-Ray (whch doesn't really get much work anymore). Cable and PC are both connected to the internet.

    If I could replace all that with a single screen with a win 8 PC and Kinect built-in, I'd happily dump the Xbox, cable and Blu-Ray ;-)

    As to Apple's patent for universal remote, pull the other one.
    tonymcs1