Chief among the Apple TV predictor crowd was none other than Piper Jaffray’s chief stock analyst and executive crystal ball polisher, Gene Munster, the same guy who predicted a few years ago that Apple stock would hit $1,000 per share. After repeated calls to give up the ghost on an Apple television, Munster did.
The problem with following Apple’s every move– those visible in public, and those behind the scenes where the sun don’t shine– is perspective. As a technology goliath, Apple, like Google, spends billions of dollars on research and development. R&D in tech speak.
That means Apple tries many types of products and services that may never see the light of day, but from which rumors grow. Like an Apple television. Munster predicted a TV for years, many of us expected to see one years ago, but then logic and reason kicked in, and most watchers realized there is no money in making TVs and Apple’s money would be better spent elsewhere.
Munster was the last man standing on the Apple TV boat, but finally donned a life jacket and abandoned ship. No Apple TV for you.
Rumors being what they are (crazy ideas that may have a root of truth, but spread like a virus), the latest is that Apple is planning a streaming television service, perhaps alongside a new update for the diminutive and in-need-of-an-upgrade Apple TV. Apple followers expected the TV service to show up this summer. It did not. Now watchers are expecting it to show up this fall.
Munster says… maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it will. But maybe. Like a good TV weatherman who predicts a 50-percent chance of precipitation, Munster predicts a 50-percent chance of an Apple streaming television show service– this year. Or, next year. That’s what you get with 50-percent predictions. They can go either way.
As expected, Munster predicts the Apple service will have most of the major television networks, plus cable TV channels including ESPN, AMC, TNT, and TBS. What? No Comedy Central? Why bother? John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are gone.
Munster mustered up courage to extend is flawless record of wrongly predicting Apple products by expecting the new Apple TV box to be HomeKit savvy and incorporate the iPhone’s Siri to control TV access and connected home devices.
One question that keeps coming up is ‘Where is the money?‘ The lack of an appropriate answer is what killed the Apple television dream. Apple loves gross margins that push 30 to 50-percent. Is that even possible with streaming TV? The entertainment industry is all about sharing revenue to make profit. What if Apple’s new Apple TV device is the only way to get to Apple’s streaming TV subscription service? Or, what if Apple TV is free with the subscription? There are many options in these scenarios, but I’m not sure if there’s much money in it.