Raise your hands! See? It’s almost unanimous. We want Apple to build a TV. We need an Apple designed and built TV. Why won’t Apple give us what we want? What is the company waiting for?
No Apple TV For You!
As much as I hate to be the one to disappoint the masses, mostly because I’ve had an Apple television on my Christmas list for a few years, there’s no Apple TV on the way.
I’m out on my prognosticating limb when I say it, but it’s looking more and more as though the little Apple TV device is all we’re going to get.
How do I know this? I don’t have an inside source, and CEO Tim Cook won’t return my calls asking for an interview.
Why no real Apple television? The key word is Balkanization. Worldwide, and especially in the U.S., the television industry is highly fragmented with multiple fiefdoms vying for the profit slices.
Cable TV operators run a near monopoly status. Why would they cede control of television distribution to Apple? TV show and movie producers want maximum profits for their shows, and while some have multiple distribution plans going on, each must pay its own way.
Television networks get paid by advertisers, collect from Cable TV operators, and share revenue with show and movie producers. All members of this highly Balkanized industry make money. Lots of money.
How can Apple play and prosper among the industry titans? The current Apple TV could be an effective Trojan Horse if Apple could lock down streaming content deals. The Cable TV company that provides high speed internet may not like such a deal. Again, it would disrupt their slice of the overly sliced revenue pie.
What most of us want is relatively simple and doesn’t have a technology problem that needs a solution. We want content on demand, on every device, everywhere, whenever we want to view it. TV shows, movies, news, sports events, very old shows and movies.
Content on demand. Apple is the kind of company that could pull it off if only it could crack the content component the way it did the music industry. Most all of the music you could ever want is available online; click and it’s yours. For a price. And it runs on nearly any device, sans DRM (digital rights management).
Can Apple do the same thing for television that it did for music? In a word, no. The music industry was getting hammered by peer-to-peer file sharing, and needed a savior. Apple stepped in, saved the industry, and became the 800-pound gorilla that owns music distribution today.
Television needs no such savior. And, if they did, they probably wouldn’t want Apple to ride to the rescue.
Instead, Apple is biding its time, waiting with discipline and patience, slowly evolving the Apple TV Trojan Horse, hoping it will catch on with the masses, and planning for the day when there’ll be a tipping point of content providers with streaming media and mobile apps that find a home in Apple TV.
But, an Apple television? No way. What can Apple bring to the TV screen party that Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Phillips and friends haven’t already done?