TV analyst who predicted Apple would dump Apple TV in 2008 eats crow – again

Phillip Swann, president of, who likes to call himself “Swanni,” predicted in December 2007 that “Apple will dump Apple TV by year’s end.”

2007 came and went. Apple did not dump Apple TV. In fact, they greatly improved it.

Undeterred by his inability to predict the obvious, “Swanni” tried again a month later. In January 2008, after seeing Apple TV 2.0, Nostradumbass stated, “I stick to my prediction.”

2008 came and went. Apple again did not dump Apple TV. In fact, they greatly improved it throughout the year while continuing to quietly – with little or no marketing – sell units adding to a total that’s likely approaching 2 million units by now, if not more.

And, of course, this past Sunday, “Swanni” predicted, “In 2009… Apple’s Steve Jobs will finally call it quits on his least favorite hobby, Apple TV.” iCaled. See ya next New Year’s Day. [Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ottawa Mark” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has great resources. The company has over $25 billion in cash and is debt-free. Apple can continue improving and tinkering (most importantly, trying to convince Hollywood to relax the content reins) until Apple TV graduates from “hobby” stage.

We continue to recommend Apple TV highly (over time, the device just keeps getting better and better for free) while warning prospective buyers that Hollywood seems to be stingy with legal content (movie rentals especially) for the device. If you purchase an Apple TV to play movie content (the device offers many more features and shines in many of them), you may want to take matters into your own hands if what you want to see is unavailable. Learning nothing whatsoever from the music industry, the Hollywood studios are stupidly encouraging piracy by not flooding iTunes Store and Apple TV with content.


  1. I love my AppleTV although the ease with which my significant other can now choose to rent movies for what I think are pretty harsh prices makes me a little nervous. I do look forward to software upgrades making things even better.

    I assume that the AppleTV could cope with a wifi keyboard and the USB port could allow external hard drives. Maybe the ability to surf the web on the TV could come along…. real soon.

    (And no thanks to any future posters… I don’t want to hack it.)

  2. I like my Apple TV a lot, but it does have a lot of problems. I purchased mine about 9 months after they came out, and there are periods where i need to reboot it almost every night. The process takes about 3-5 minutes. Response to remote signals is so spotty it gets annoying.

    I have successfully HandBrake’d all of my movies (and re-HanBrake’d them after the 2.0 update) and I love not having to mess with physical media but I think Apple really needs to improve this. They need to utilize some kind of WiFi remote that controls all functions of the Apple TV (to eliminate the annoying RF remote). They also need to do something about it’s performance – the crashes/freezes are unacceptable for a product that bears Apple’s name.

  3. Re: MDN Take —

    Let’s keep in mind that, unlike MSFT, which has no problem bleeding money (big time) on non-profitable products for years (X-Box, Zune), sometimes a LOT of money, with Apple, even the lowest-profile ‘hobby’ project, with practically zero advertising budget and smallest fan base is still making profit for the company.

    The self-appointed “Swanni” still has no clue.

  4. I really want a Mac mini with Apple TV software and outputs. Plus Time Capsule software.

    One machine for home server, backup, media server, WiFi router, with full OS X for running third party stuff like Boxee and Netflix.

    I haven’t bought an AppleTV, but I’d buy the Mac Mini Home Media Server the day it’s announced.

  5. @ME-your remote is infrared, not RF. Maybe because you do not understand how it actually works you get “spotty” results. Possibly the “crashes/freezes” are also because you do not know what you are doing.

    As for Apple TV-microsoft, hp, etc. are all trying to engineer boxes for your living room to act as media servers. I don’t think Apple is just going to sit back and give this space away considering the tie in with iTunes, iPods.

  6. my appletv works great (though sometimes sluggish) and the rental movie options are improving steadily. but i think it doesn’t take off because the business-model is a little bit flawed. though it is great for fotos, music, podcasts etc. let’s face it, most people want to watch movies and tv-shows with it. so essentially you have to buy a little box to be able to pay for tv-shows and rentals. that is as if my brick and mortar video-store would charge me an one time entrance fee of 229 $.

    why not actually build a tv? apple is great in bringing innovations to areas that only care about hardware-features (like the handset-industry) and usually apple brings software in the mix. something the tv-hardware companies have totally neglected.

    put the appletv functionality into a 42″ (and 50″) lcd or plasma tv, improve it a little (more internet-channels, safari, better remote), while you’re at it integrate a one box surround speaker system like the yamaha ysp-1100 and voila: all you will ever need in your living-room. you could easily sell it for $1.999 with a healthy margin.

    this area is ripe for innovation, like the mobile-industry two years ago.

  7. I’m sure Apple makes its typical 30% or so margin on every Apple TV sold, so there is no reason to discontinue it unless another product comes around to replace it. There was a rumor that Apple will release the Apple TV software to run an any Intel Mac, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple “replaced” the Apple TV with some low end Mac model.

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