The Second Coming of Apple TV

“For those of you you’ve been following the stunted evolution of the [Apple TV], you’ve no doubt noticed it’s suffered greatly from the company’s obvious lack of confidence as well as some uninspired marketing. But if Apple plays its cards right, 2008 could be a very big year for Apple TV,” Bryan Gardiner writes for Wired.

“There’s much work to be done, however. In July, the device was almost totally eclipsed by the iPhone launch and ensuing hype. Of course, it also didn’t help that Steve Jobs himself uttered the now infamous ‘hobby’ word at the All Things D conference, when describing Apple’s foray into people’s living rooms. Interestingly, he refused to even call the Apple TV a set-top box, opting instead for: ‘sort of a new DVD player for the internet age,'” Gardiner reports.

“Given those facts it’s not all that surprising to learn that the company has only sold 400,000 units since its debut, according to Forrester analyst James McQuivey…and ‘will be lucky to sell another 400,000 in the year-end holiday rush,'” Gardiner reports.

MacDailyNews Take: So, “only” 800,000 Apple TV units will be sold this year without hardly any marketing on Apple’s part? How many units did competing solutions sell in the past year?

Gardiner continues, “If Apple can line up the necessary deals with movie studios and tweak a few features (a big “IF”), the Apple TV is still poised to go from “hobby” to “hit.” How massive a hit, you ask? Some analysts, like Blackfriars’ Carl Howe, are predicting the company will sell upwards of 7 million Apple TVs next year.”

Here’s a list what could — and in some cases, needs to — happen in 2008 for the Apple TV to assume its rightful place among the company’s star devices:
• Movie Rentals
• HD Content
• Optical Drive
• PVR Functionality
• Larger Hard Drive

Full article here.

60 Comments

  1. Points 4 and 5 are definitely not gonna happen and are the type of requests that come from people who don’t understand what Apple TV is and is supposed to do..

    Simply put, Apple TV is a media playback device for iTunes content.. Nothing more, nothing less. Apple tv will never be an “everything under the sun” device. It won’t incorporate current technologies like optical drives and PVR’s BECAUSE Apple tv is meant to eventually replace those devices.

    It’s a forward thinking device for a content on demand future.

    Furthermore, Apple TV will never offer support for competing video codecs and formats like DivX and others BECAUSE Apple wants to unify video content on the internet to it’s own Quicktime format..

  2. Clearly remember all the media hype that Steve had taken over the living room and nonsense about some other gadget that would change the world or revolutionize how tvs would be watched – crap like that.

    Turned out that the crap was the $300 door stop with still another Apple logo on the top.

    Can’t wait to see how Steve breathlessly declares that it is now truly revolutionary and no longer limited to just showing you what’s on your upstairs PC.

    Either that or nothing at all – making it even more embarrassingly stupid to have launched it in the first place.

  3. I have to agree with MikeK!

    Points 4, 5 and also 3 will never happen. I really really don’t understand why people keep suggesting those. It’s simply come from “people who don’t understand what Apple TV”.

    I mean, what would be the point of iTunes? What’s the point allowing you to record for free what you’re supposed to buy in my store? Wake up guys!!!

  4. Optical drive? What the hell?

    All Apple needs to get a buy from me is the iTunes movie rental service and expansion of their catalog with a lot more studios on board. PVR functionality would be nice but it flies in the face of what they’re trying to do so I don’t expect it.

  5. @Gil

    Even Blu-Ray doesn’t make sense on Apple TV. Why? Because Apple TV really is as Jobs says “A DVD player for internet age.”

    Apple TV is a replacement for physical media and dvd players much like the iPod was a replacement for physical Cd’s and cd players.

    The battle between Blu-ray and Hd-DVD will be stillborn before a winner is ever declared. The next generation format is going to be digital, not physical. That’s what Apple is betting on with Apple TV.

    There is no doubt that Apple will be the first to axe optical drives from it’s computers. With iPods, iPhones and other portable devices, physical media will no longer be necessary.

    Instead of thinking of how Apple tv can incorporate existing technologies, you need to think of how it will replace those technologies.

    It’s got a ways to go yet, but I fully believe Apple tv will become a hit once Apple begins offering the higher quality content that is needed and people begin to understand it’s purpose.

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