TV analyst predicts Apple will dump Apple TV in 2008

Phillip Swann, president of, is predicting in a video commentary that “Apple will dump Apple TV in 2008.”

Swann says, “Apple will dump Apple TV by year’s end. Despite much hype, the Internet TV set-top has been a bust, selling only about 400,000 units. Apple will try to boost sales in early 2008 by introducing some new features such as high-def video. But it won’t work, in part because Americans have ‘set-top fatigue.'”

Direct link to video via YouTube:

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To clarify: that 400,000 that Swanni quotes is the figure that Forrester Research claims Apple has sold to date this year while predicting another 400,000 units will be sold in the holiday quarter (Swanni left that part out) which makes 800,000 units for a device that has received scant marketing as Apple continues to try to line up (read: fight and drag Hollywood kicking and screaming into the present) real, meaningful content with which to feed it and, presumably, develop other delivery options beyond simple direct sales of content (TV shows and movies) that most people wish to consume only once (delivery options such as rentals and/or subscriptions).

Seriously, can sales of 800,000 units in the first year for a device getting hardly no marketing really be called a “bust?”

And, Swanni, “Apple TV” can’t go out of business. “Apple TV” can’t be embarrassed as it’s a metal and plastic box full of circuit boards, a hard drive, etc. “Apple TV” can’t give up and say “let’s move on.” Swanni, the company is “Apple Inc.” and the product is called “Apple TV” and, hey, if it doesn’t work out, no biggie. Apple has plenty of other irons in the fire.

Please note that Phillip Swann also called Apple’s video-capable iPod a “bust” and predicted, “The video iPod will be Steve Jobs’ folly.”

So, Swann has been iCal’ed. We shall see if Apple TV makes it through 2008. Regardless of the outcome, we will revisit Swann’s prediction on January 1, 2009.

Related articles:
TV analyst says Apple TV will bomb – March 21, 2007
TV analyst says Apple’s video-capable iPod is a bust because he says so – May 03, 2006
TV analyst blows it, says Apple’s 12 million video downloads ‘a big disappointment’ – February 08, 2006
TV analyst’s uninformed prediction: ‘video iPod will be Steve Jobs’ folly’ – October 12, 2005


  1. Lets see….

    400,000 x $300 = $120 million

    That would seem to have almost certainly paid for the R & D so if it is not a loss leader and is making a profit with very little promotion, why should it be cut from the line up?

    Seems like Swann should go find himself another ugly duckling to persecute.

  2. I have decided, whether a rental model is offered or not, to buy an TV in 2008, even if on closeout, just because of this dickhead’s smugness.

    I can afford $300.00, even if I never plugged it in (which I would).

    Some “boisism” to flame about, MacRealPeteR.

  3. “Lets see….400,000 x $300 = $120 million”

    So Apple has Zero costs? iSuppli estimated there were $237 of parts in an Apple TV. That leaves $62/unit before all other costs are subtracted (And those costs are amortization of development costs, cost of shipping the unit from China and to stores, warehousing and selling the unit, costs of store space and staff, marketing costs, and other internal Apple overhead related to the device). So it sounds like there’s very little money in Apple TV to begin with.

  4. What an iTurd. I am just waiting for the 2.0 revision for me to buy one. Why in hell would Apple drop it until at least after they listen to feedback and made some alterations they see beneficial. If nothing comes of it then I can see it but not this early.

  5. … hmmm …. what to do …. hmmm … I need hits so I can buy a Wii for young Bobby …. Eureka!!!! I know, Everyone’s saying the TV will improve, so I’ll say it’s gonna get axed – just after an update! Mwahahaha!

    Wii Wii Wii, all the way home!

    (Think before you click)

  6. Hey, MicroSloth damned near busted a gut trying to sell a million Zunes in its first year (and probably didn’t succeed, at that)! Does this guy have the balls to call the Zune a bust as well? Will he predict the Zune’s cancellation? Doubtful.

    The only thing holding iTV back right now is studio reluctance to cooperate with his Steveness. Let’s see if NBC’s going bankrupt will change their minds, not to mention their negative momentum, any.

  7. All I’m waiting for is a subscription system, and I’m in. I’d also like to see DVR capabilities, but it won’t be a deal killer not to have that since I currently have it through my cable provider. It would be nice though, to be able to cancel my cable DVR, and pay that cost toward an Apple-sponsored service, because quite frankly, my cable company’s DVR is not dependable. Sometimes it simply “chooses” not to record a scheduled program. It’s very frustrating.

  8. “and a ill-conceived business model that expects people to buy TV shows that they’ll watch once.”

    Yeah, I guess that’s why the market for Box-sets DVD’s of TV shows is doing so horribly… oh, wait? What? It’s booming? Oh, never mind then.

  9. Why must MacDailyNews blindly defend everything that Apple does, and try to put a positive spin on everything that Apple does? MacDailyNews, it doesn’t make a different how you try to spin it — the AppleTV is a CRAPPY PRODUCT with ZERO DEMAND and LACKLUSTER FEATURES.

  10. “Please note that Phillip Swann also called Apple’s video-capable iPod a “bust” and predicted, “The video iPod will be Steve Jobs’ folly.”

    So this doofus has already made himself a fool with the ViPod prediction. Yet he’s back to troll for more attention? Okay lets give it to him. As long as we remind him of that idiotic prediction on the ViPod each time we post anything he’s featured that allows commenting.

  11. What a fool. For one thing, Apple intentionally limited the audience for Apple TV by requiring an HD-capable TV. The second self-imposed limitation was to market the device mostly to people who already used iPods and/or Macs (and therefore iTunes). Apple often releases a new type of device to a smaller market as a “field test” with “friendly” customers. Look at the iPod. During the first year, it only worked with Macs that had a FireWire port. The early adopters helped test the hardware and software to make the device better.

    During the next year or so, two factors will make Apple TV ready for a larger market (and more marketing). First, a higher percentage of people will own HDTVs over time. Second, there will no doubt be some type of iTunes Store video rental service and upgrade to HD content, and that will make Apple TV more useful and desirable. Besides, Apple certainly is NOT losing money on Apple TV by selling “only” 800,000 units in the first year; there is no reason to “dump Apple TV” even if sales continued at the current rate.

  12. “Why must MacDailyNews blindly defend everything that Apple does, and try to put a positive spin on everything that Apple does? MacDailyNews, it doesn’t make a different how you try to spin it — the AppleTV is a CRAPPY PRODUCT with ZERO DEMAND and LACKLUSTER FEATURES.”

    800,000 units in a year is “zero demand”? Wow, we must be operating with very different conceptions of “zero”.

    AppleTV is in it’s infancy, but so was the iPod at one time, and there again people claimed it was a dud, doomed to failure, not good enough, crappy, lacking important features like an FM radio, overpriced, etc…

    When will people learn that Apple knows what it’s doing? Better than most of you people do, anyways, unless any of you run a highly successful billion-dollar multinational corporation.

  13. I am with MacBill on this one. I’d have bought it if I believed in Apple TV.
    I live in Canada and they sell Apple TV here while they added TV shows to iTunes only this month. come on, give me a break

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