Apple’s iTV will be much more like an upscaled iPod than a downscaled PC

“Steve Jobs described the iTV as Apple’s entry into the living room, as if it were a strategic move in a larger game plan,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted. “But with several wireless TV extenders already on the market, why will Apple’s be any different?”

Eran writes, “One could have asked the same question of the iPod in 2001, when there was a similar variety of music players already available. Early reviews suggested Apple’s product was simply nothing new, that it just had a bigger price tag. Why did the iPod clean up the market? For starters, it leveraged some key Apple assets:

•Well designed hardware specifically tailored for its intended use.
•An uncluttered, simple, and easy to use interface that works well.
•Software integration and mature media support based on Quicktime: The Secret Weapon Inside iTunes

“Engineering vs Marketing: This is another example of how Apple competes as a technology company: it finds what users need, then engineers a product designed to meet those needs, often in innovative ways. Apple’s approach can be seen in the design of the iPod, but also in software, from its iLife apps to pro apps such as Aperture,” Eran writes.

“The public is so used to me-too style copying that Aperture was quickly dubbed a Photoshop rival until people realized that Aperture wasn’t a new Photoshop at all, but rather represented a new workflow tool for photographers; the two products share little overlap,” Eran writes. “There’s simply not much point in trying to mimic successful, established products unless it’s possible to effectively compete on price. In order to deliver sales, a new product has to add significant new value. If the value is already being delivered, where’s the opportunity?”

MacDailyNews Note: See Microsoft’s Zune.

Eran continues, “…iTV will be much more like an upscaled iPod than a downscaled PC… In its first year of iTV, Apple isn’t going to deliver a magical $299 box that replaces the Tivo, Media Center and other DVRs; Netflix, other DVDs rentals, and DVD sales; broadcast TV; or the Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii. Apple doesn’t need to ‘kill’ any of those products in order to be wildly successful. In fact, iTV will offer the most value to consumers by integrating well with the products they already use.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s iTV: Where’s the DVR? – September 27, 2006
Intel’s Conroe-L the brains behind Apple’s iTV? – September 22, 2006
Cringely: Apple’s iTV strategy is iChat on steroids – September 22, 2006
The Motley Fool examines Apple’s iTV victims – September 22, 2006
Disney CEO Iger: Apple’s ‘iTV’ has ‘small hard drive on it’ – September 19, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
The most exciting feature of Apple’s ‘iTV’ may be its USB port – September 15, 2006
Cringely: How Apple plans to own your living room – September 15, 2006
LA Times: With iTV+iTunes Movies, Steve Jobs stumbles over the last 100 feet – September 14, 2006
BusinessWeek: If anyone can make bridge the great divide, Apple can with ‘iTV’ – September 14, 2006
The Beeb asks: Would you buy the Apple iTV? – September 14, 2006
Three markets that are different today after Apple’s ‘It’s Showtime’ event – September 13, 2006
Cramer: Apple’s ‘iTV’ all about ease-of-use; Apple shares are going higher – September 13, 2006
Apple + Living Room = Logical Marriage + Boon for Stockholders – September 13, 2006
The Register: Apple event more like ‘No Show’ than ‘Showtime’ – September 13, 2006
The Telegraph: Steve Jobs’ genius making people desire gadgets for which they have absolutely no use – September 13, 2006
The Guardian: Steve Jobs needs ‘a charisma download, Apple risks being left behind’ – September 13, 2006
Mark Cuban: Things that are special about Apple’s announcements – September 13, 2006
Apple’s ‘iTV’ strategy – September 13, 2006
How will Apple’s ‘iTV’ work? – September 13, 2006
Apple eyes living room market with device codenamed ‘iTV’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple gives sneak peek of ‘iTV’ set-top box to debut Q1 2007 (with images) – September 12, 2006
Apple’s QuickTime stream of Steve Jobs special event now live – September 12, 2006
NFL and Apple team up to offer 2006 NFL game highlights via iTunes Store – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006


  1. As processors become more powerful than anyone needs at every moment, iTV may someday replace your standard desktop. Simply connect the iTV to your computer monitor and keyboard and communicate with your central “XServe Express” server.

  2. “Apple doesn’t need to ‘kill’ any of those products in order to be wildly successful.”

    Oh well. I suppose our Mac-loving, MS-hating bloodlust will have to be sated some other way. Let’s get back to Zune bashing. I haven’t heard enough brown jokes yet!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Here it comes. Fresh from the Ballmer innovation list. <drumroll>

    The all-new, innovative, groundbreaking iWebTV ! ! !

    (with iWebTVcast subscription service featuring free MSNBC news feeds, an extensive Weather Channel archive and the Best of the Golf Channel)

  4. iTV (or whatever it ends up being called) will have its functionality expanded gradually over time and probably even more so with its launch than we already know about now. Think about the first gen. iPod and what today’s iPod can do.

    You forgot about the “Chair Throwing Channel” and the “Microsuck’s Greatest Error Messages of All Time Channel”.

  5. LOL, Cubert!

    I seem to remember a Windows error message that stated that the keyboard could not be recognized. It then instructed you to press any key to continue. Now which one is the “any” key?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

    (Doesn’t Spike TV already have a Chair Throwing Contest?)

  6. Brown joke Alert:

    Bill Gates meets Hugh Grant at a Hollywood party. They are talking and Bill says, “I’ve seen some great pictures of Divine Brown lately, I sure would like to get together with her!”

    Hugh replies, “Well Bill, you know … Ever since our incident, her price has skyrocketed. She’s charging a small fortune.”

    Bill said with a chuckle, “Hugh, money’s no object to me. What’s her number?”

    So, Hugh gives Bill her number and bill sets up a date.

    They meet and after they finish, Bill is lying there in ecstasy, mumbling, “God…now I know why you chose the name Divine.”

    To which she replies, “Thank you Bill…And now I know how you chose the name… Microsoft.”


  7. “As for Macs, I am midway in my plotting to get my wife used to the idea of a new 24 inch iMac.”

    Make it a surprise! Nothing like a new Mac to keep the romance alive. (add a dozen roses wallpaper pic!)

  8. “”Apple doesn’t need to ‘kill’ any of those products in order to be wildly successful. In fact, iTV will offer the most value to consumers by integrating well with the products they already use.”

    Like integrate with their PC and their Xbox 360. Hang on. If they have a PC and an Xbox 360 they can ALREADY do today all iTV promises to deliver.

  9. Ampar, are you aware of the fact that Microsoft support, as of the time surrounding the Win95′ release, had an enormous amount of questions regarding the infamous “any” key? It went so far that, by the time of the Win98 release, they seriously considered adding an “any” key to the keyboard.

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