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. Personally, I’m not going to get too worked up about some guy who actually admits to the nickname of “Swanni”.

    I did, however find his 2006 predictions page

    and his 2007 predictions page

    Here’s my grades on his 2007 predictions:

    1. Sony and Toshiba will settle their HDTV DVD format war.
    = F (still not settled)

    2. The XBox 360-Play Station 3 war will generate more interest in high-def DVDs.
    = F (sounds like he missed the Wii)

    3. HDTV prices will drop even more dramatically next year.
    = F (he’s fixed this in his 2008 predictions)

    4. The HDTV picture quality will become a big issue in the battle between cable and satellite TV operators.
    = D (not that has made it to the mainstream consumer’s ear)

    5. The rollout of 1080p TVs will further the battle over which programming format offers the best picture. And it will create more confusion in the marketplace.
    = D (not that has made it to the mainstream consumer’s ear)

    6. Multicasting will continue to die a slow death.
    = D (too obvious of a prediction to be given a higher score)

    7. There will be an explosion of local stations switching to high-def news broadcasts.
    = F (too obvious of a prediction, since its they must be HD by Feb 09)

    8. New HD-dedicated channels will launch in 2007.
    = D (too vague of a prediction…no metrics)

    9. There will be a boom in commercials produced in HDTV.
    = F (way too obvious of a prediction)

    10. DIRECTV will become the HDTV leader.
    = F (Cable’s still going quite strong)

    Given this kind of track record, I’d not be too worried. Simply iCal him and see if he was able to do the “Blind Squirrel Finds Nut” routine later.


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