It’s the ‘what’s next‘ game. The ‘one more thing‘ parade of rumors, ideas, secrets, and fantasy that lay a trail straight for the future, with excitement and disappointment.
This Fool’s Game Is Fun
Just look at the littered trail of Apple products that never were, and compare it to products that truly are (often available, and both exciting and disappointing).
Remember the iPod? Apple revolutionized the portable media player industry, and became the largest seller of music with the iTunes Store. Who saw that coming?
The Mac? Apple said goodbye to PowerPC, and hello Intel Inside (minus the crapware stickers prevalent on Windows PCs). Who saw that coming?
Apple upended the mobile world with the iPhone and iPad and became the largest and most valuable technology company on the planet. Who saw that coming?
Predicting Apple’s future is obviously an insane endeavor, a fruitless game we love to play. So, with billions in the bank, a few hundred stores, a few hundred million customers, what’s next for Apple?
The Apple television, right? Not so fast. If everyone is predicting an Apple television in the future, isn’t that a good sign there’s no television in Apple’s future?
Why not? Just because we want Apple to produce a television doesn’t mean the company should. And, why should it?
The industry is ripe for revolution but it’s more complicated than an Asian ground war, Afghanistan, and the Balkans all rolled into one. Despite Samsung telling the world that theirs is smart, TVs are still big, dumb screens. They’re commodity items whereby few manufacturers make any money (Sony admits to losing money).
Why would Apple get into a cutthroat, low margin business? They won’t. Instead of making a television, Apple has an opportunity to change the television industry. Think about the answer to this question.
What do we want from television?
The answer is easy, but the process to deliver it is far more complicated. We want content on demand. All of it. Whether viewable within apps or ala carte or through an onscreen menu, we want to watch what we want to watch exactly when we want to watch it, right?
Forget the DVR. Put every TV show and movie online and available on demand. Make it an app with a price tag, or a season pass, but make it available when we want it and all will be right with the world.
The technology isn’t the issue. The internet is already here. So is Apple TV, a diminutive box that could serve as the conduit for content. The problem is not technology. It’s human. Everyone from networks to cable companies to TV stations to content producers to movie producers wants (and gets) a slice of that profitable pie.
Does anyone believe those vested interests want Apple to get involved? Well, they do. But only if they each get more money. That means Apple needs to make money, too. An Apple television just isn’t going to happen, despite what the analysts and tech pundits say. There’s no money in televisions. There’s money in television content, and, except for iPhone and iPad apps which stream to a television through Apple TV, Apple is locked out.