About the only gripe I have with Apple is the price, and when you consider TCO (total cost of ownership), even the company’s stellar prices become a non-issue because used Macs, iPhones, and iPads command a premium price, further reducing the overall TCO.
In this one case I hope Apple’s notorious product discipline extends to televisions. If Apple builds a television then we know the company officially has jumped the shark, and it’s time to look for another place to buy cool gadgets.. Why? The television industry is made of multiple disparate components and the one that could harm Apple the most is the hardware side– building an Apple branded TV.
For most manufacturers, even Samsung and Sony, televisions are a black hole where capital expenditure and profits are sucked in never to be heard from again. That’s not Apple’s style. Televisions have notoriously low margins and Apple prefers premium margins. Televisions, relative to iPhones, sell in small numbers at the premium end. In other words, making a TV is a huge risk with little reward, and even an Apple television would not fix the problem we have with television.
To paraphrase the wise, ‘it’s the content, stupid.’
That doesn’t mean I’d like to see some extra PEDs stuffed into Apple TV. It could use a DVR, for example. What Apple does best– amalgamate existing technologies into a tasty pudding of an obviously superior user interface– carries no weight with the television, which is nothing more than a pretty screen attached to an ancient backend; a morass jungle of competing interests which drive up prices and hyper conflate the distribution of content.
Apple TV would sell more if it did more, but it can’t do more because the entire television industry seeks to maintain a status quo which doesn’t treat newcomers well, an industry that will not give up an ounce of distribution control without a corresponding pound of profits.
Stay away from televisions, Apple. You can’t win.
Instead, fix Apple TV. Add a DVR and storage option and interface that makes Tivo appear like something designed by the committee of artistic chimpanzees that launches new versions of Windows every year or two. Then, cut some deals for content distribution over the internet.
TV as we know it is changing, but not fast enough. Only Apple can bring the television industry kicking and screaming into the future. But not by building a television set.