Why Apple should build a TV; Big problems need a fearless company like Apple

“While I don’t believe it, to many, it appears that Apple has already won the smartphone and tablet wars, so the next logical conclusion is ‘what’s next,'” Patrick Moorhead writes for Tech.pinions.

“Many articles about the Apple in the TV business rumors (not to be confused with the ‘hobbyist’ Apple TV) focus on what a lousy business TVs are or questioning if Apple could add enough incremental value given cable and content companies have the power position,” Moorhead writes. “These are good and pragmatic reasons, but then again when has Apple been pragmatic? I see nothing pragmatic about expensive MP3 players at 2X the price of others, paid music downloads or app stores 10 years ago. I personally would like to see Apple enter the TV market.”

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Moorhead writes, “Let’s face it, TVs aren’t very easy to use, especially when they are connected to a set top box (STB). Most of us tech-heads forget just how literate we all are with technology. Just ask a less tech-literate person to change inputs on the TV to go from the set top box to the DVD player… How about a set top box from a cable company? Mine takes almost a second to change the channel. And why do I keep running out of storage when I have TBs of secured storage in other parts of my house? I know what you are thinking… too complex, too many companies involved with too many conflicting agendas. Well, I’ve heard that same short-term thinking before with digital music… Big problems need a fearless company like Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. “I see nothing pragmatic about expensive MP3 players at 2X the price of others, paid music downloads or app stores 10 years ago. I personally would like to see Apple enter the TV market.””

    Sign of an idiot. — Why would one buy a Mercedes when a Pinto is so much cheaper???
    Why pay for gold when you can spray paint lead with gold paint for so much less???

    To fix TV, just get an Apple TV version 3 that allows all other input to be plugged in (cable,sat, dvd, etc,) and run everything thru an Apple control with Apple TV 3.

    Coming to an Apple store near you soon.

    Just saying.

    1. En,

      You just invented a traditional “solution”, which would not sold a fucking thing. The solution is simple. Build a tv with two plugs on it. Ethernet and power inside it is apple tv and wireless n. iPads, iPhones, Macs and Windiws iTunes can connect to it. It connects to iCloud. That’s all 95% % need. Geeks and dorks will want to connect ther game console and STB, DVD, Blu-Players and might as well have those connections for them, but make the rest so fucking seamless, they may never switch inputs again. I retired cable TV a year ago. Just AppleTV with NetFlix. All I need. July would be nice, but no biggie.

      1. Mr. Moorhead:
        Like the OP, I also found that snippet: “I see nothing pragmatic about expensive MP3 players at 2X the price of others,” having a negative jab towards Apple and that immediately turned me off from reading the rest of your points.

        I’m glad that you were here to clarify/defend your writing. Maybe you didn’t mean it to have a negative connotation, but I hope you realise where some might not get your sense of “complementing Apple” there.

        Many of us don’t see Apple products unjustifiably expensive. Their products are more than often are well thought of and integrated with real value (not a laundry list of features) when the competitions tend to cut corners only to offer price advantages. You may call Apple pricing expensive, you’re entitled to your opinion, while me and a growing legion of Apple consumers worldwide would find you lacking insight.

        If you feel, some of your sentences didn’t represent/convey your feelings well, you might want to rephrase them then to avoid confusions like these in the future.


        1. I didn’t take it as negative. I thought the author was demonstrating how he and every MP3 player maker would have laughed off the idea, but Apple had the guts and the brains to pull it off. He seems to be hoping the unobvious solution to crappy TV human interfaces might be tackled by Apple, too.

          1. Sure. It’s just that I consider myself as an average and ordinary reader, and the author’s intended tone of compliments was apparently lost on me; and that’s the point.

      2. “Complement” means to fill out, supply what is missing; “compliment” means to praise. The mnemonic is that “complement” comes directly from Latin, same root as “plenty,” “plenum.” “Compliment” comes from the same root but via Italian. Italians are polite, “Italian” starts with an “i.” (BTW, I thought your original point was clear and well put, and I fully agree with your whole argument. Apple is perfectly positioned to be the solution to the TV mess. Can’t wait!)

  2. How about a STB that takes FIVE MINUTES TO BOOT UP????? DirecTV, I’m talking about you.

    See, it’s the bottom of the ninth, Jeter at bat, 2 men out, 2 men on and behind 5-4. Power drops for a second and you watch the stupid thing go through its leisurely pace in getting its act together again. When it comes back you’re looking at a commercial.

    1. Uninterrupted Power Supplies are cheap, and work just fine with STBs and DVRs. Don’t need an expensive one. One of the $40 dealies will do just fine, and save you a world of headaches.

  3. Apple has evaluated the TV market for over a decade and has the “numbers” down solid alone with their hobby AppleTV.

    They need the right numbers to make it pay and my guess is Apple will do it when they see true opportunity.

  4. I own an iMac as well as a mini + Cinema display. The iMac is nice, but, if truth be told, the mini + cinema display setup is nicer to use and easier to deal with (less noise in your face, easier to move about, easier to service if something’s wrong), and it would be nicer overall if the mini had the same processing power as the iMac. So, I don’t quite see the value of full integration. An apple tv hub + tv/monitor (Apple or otherwise) connected to the hub with a single HDMI cable would be a better and more flexible solution overall. The trickier business is actually handling the audio (decoding, amplification, connection to cinema speakers etc.), more than anything else; if Apple could centralize audio functions within an Apple tv hub, i.e. if Apple could come up with a combined Apple tv+AV receiver appliance, with more elegant and easier to use software than current AV receivers, that would really simplify things for lots of people who find home cinema setups hellish to deal with.

    1. This has been my thought all along. Why enter the commoditized TV market when the better solution is an Apple A/V receiver with slick on-screen Setup and Usage menus?

      One connection to the TV (HDMI), and ports clearly labeled on the back for DVD, BluRay, etc, and a step-by-step walkthrough of the Setup of any added device. The in-screen Usage menu simply asks you what you want to do, rather than presenting you with a list of A/V Inputs and Surround Presets and the like.

      It would be taking the simplicity of a Harmony remote and amplifying it tenfold (or more).

      There *is* margin in A/V receivers, and no one has quite gotten this right yet. Apple could easily redefine and simplify this market. With integrated Apple TV features, this could be the next must-have product…

  5. sure, in essence Apple could stick Apple TV inside a Thunderbolt Display with an elegant iOS app UI. it would be the best TV ever.

    but it would still be a “hobby.” because the medaicos and cablecos will never let go of their tight grip and offer what consumers want most: a la carte subscriptions to individual channels instead of
    mandatory high priced bundles.

  6. I don’t see Apple entering the TV market anytime soon. I do see them investing in content delivery and licensing AppleTV internals that other TV makers can build into their sets.

  7. Apple doesn’t want to get back into the display or printer markets. So, building a HDTV with an Apple logo on it gains them no advantage in the USA or internationally. I could see a high end AppleTV with recording local or cloud recording for on demand playback. However, they would have to let a 2nd party give you the ability to skip or strip the commercials. If I have already seen a commercial once, there is no reason for me to see it 50 or 100 times. Once was enough and often to many at that.

  8. In time, anything can be unbundled.
    iTunes Store unbundled music and people buy only the tracks they want.
    Popular TV content producers may find that they have a larger market (including global sales too), if they include Apple in their mix, along with cable and satellite operators.
    Why pay for a service when you may only use it occasionally?
    The idea of people being enabled to cherry-pick their own TV playlists/schedules, based on free choice, has great appeal to all consumers imo.

  9. I see an “Apple App TV” as a mechanism that will ultimately allow me to watch ANY program from ANY country ANY time I want to.

    I just pay my few cents as I go – I should be able to buy a season or single ep, I can cherry pick what I consider the best shows from around the world (foreign shows dubbed into my language) everything held within my video “library” in the cloud.

    An iTunes Store market place where I can choose all of my programmes.

    I might want to choose every single show individually or settle for a recommended list or just mix and match.

    The possibilities seem endless.

    While iTunes intrinsically left the major labels in control of the artists, I think “Apple App TV” will democratise the monetization of future production, allowing a new breed of financial backers, producers, production houses and other businesses to cut out the existing cabal of gate keepers.

    “Apple App TV” will fundamentally change the existing hierarchy of American television production commissions and sales with seismic repercussions.

    — Its 0330 where I am at this point, and I spent 12 hours in hospital yesterday which ended with a lumbar puncture, so I can’t quite string my thoughts out as I would like to … Meh.

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