Apple TV and the trojan horse strategy

“The untapped opportunity for the large piece of dumb glass sitting in hundreds of millions of consumers living rooms and bedrooms is to create the ultimate entertainment platform,” Ben Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “This is a big deal if you think about it. Today most platforms are computing platforms where things like entertainment are secondary to things like productivity, communication, etc. This is what has always intrigued me about game consoles. I have felt from very early on in my digital home research that game consoles were the ultimate entertainment platforms which would evolve into trojan horse entertainment gateways for more than just video gaming. With many of the updates brought to both the Playstation and the XBOX, it is clear that this is exactly what is happening. In fact, I believe that the value of game consoles for today’s and perhaps even future consumers, will be less about gaming and more about other entertainment services.”

“That being said, gaming is an important part of living room entertainment,” Bajarin writes. “That is why I believe Apple is betting seriously on gaming across all of the screens in which they compete. Game Center for Apple becomes the glue tying consumer gaming experiences together and the foundation of a gaming service akin to XBOX Live. A holistic video game strategy both immersive and casual is key to the future of Apple TV as an entertainment platform.”

Bajarin writes, “I will believe that Apple is making a large piece of glass when I see it. In my opinion the current strategy with Apple TV is that it is a small, yet powerful, set top box and is their best plan of action. Mainly because there is absolutely nothing that can be built into a large piece of glass that can not also be accomplished with a small, yet powerful, set top box. If Apple wants to sell hundreds of millions of Apple TV’s it will accomplish this with a set top box not a large, and expensive, piece of glass. Even if Apple does decide to sell a large piece of glass in the shape of a TV, they would still have to employ the Apple TV set top box strategy in order to provide an identical experience to the hundreds of millions of consumers who already have large pieces of glass and don’t intend on buying a new one any time soon.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple considered investing in Sharp to aid development of television – April 13, 2012
Why TV fears the Apple iBroadcast revolution – March 23, 2012
Piper’s Munster on Apple iTV: ‘It will be the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone’ – March 1, 2012
PC Magazine reviews new 1080p Apple TV: Editors’ Choice – March 20, 2012
Strategy Analytics: With 32% share, Apple leading ‘Connected TV’ market with ‘hobby’ Apple TV – December 12, 2011


  1. Would you prefer a Mac mini or an iMac? From my personal experience, Mac mini is preferable to not having OS X at all, but once I got an iMac I was able to fully enjoy the Apple experience.

    I think Apple TV vs. “iTV” will be the same situation.

    1. People already have multiple TV’s already. Far easier to buy Apple Tv’s for all of them than an expensive, albeit no doubt brilliant Apple Television to replace each one. Since people will generally still need other boxes for dvd’s, tv services, and games consoles, Apple aren’t going to get everybody to adopt an Apple only solution. It seems like they’d be better served getting the content side sorted for their existing solution and then sell a Television sorted later. Content deals are going to be key, and spending fortunes making and trying to sell hardware as well as trying to get a comprehensive content service seems a complicated way of doing it. I’m certainly not going to upgrade my TV any time soon no matter how gorgeous an Apple Television might be.

      1. No doubt there are a lot of people that hold the same opinion as you. I won’t be in the release-day line-up for the iTV myself. But, it’s a product I would likely purchase in the future.

        Apart from the power cord, no wires. That would be awesome. Very nice for the bedroom, too, where you don’t want a cabinet to hide a bunch of boxes and wires.

        1. Sure it would be nice down the line, but only when I both need a new Television AND when there is the content to back it up. The problem for most of the world is that if all content is internet based then there simply isn’t the bandwidth to support it. I can just about download an HD movie on Apple TV whilst the rest of the house surfs on the various other internet connected device we have. On many days we have TV’s on in the background for hours at a time watching a sporting event, and often there are multiple tv’s on. My internet can’t support that via an internet connection so I still need external boxes, or at least a decent wifi networked solution to pipe those things to a television. There are so many other things they need to sort out first before bothering with what boils down to being a monitor. Personally I think Apple TV, and other iOS devices in combination offer a great solution as is.

  2. Don’t forget about the 3d technology they have been working on for years. If they DO release an apple branded TV it will use this technology. There’s no benefit to putting out a Samsung screen with an apple badge on it for sure.

      1. 3D sucks almost as much as the over-the-hill producers that promote it, especially the ones tryin’ to milk stale properties for more shekels, think James Cameron and definitely old man George Lucas

  3. Here’s what we’re all missing: if apple does make a physical “tv” it will ONLY happen so they can include a technology that no existing TV’s have – something nonset top box can provide. Bet.

  4. A ‘replacement’ tv is useless, I have nice large flat screens as it is. I have oodles of macs, iPhone-age, iPads with the wife and 3 kids – so I buy apple products.

    I *WOULD* buy an apple tv if it allowed me to customize the channels I receive – for a set monthly price. I add specific channels, the price goes up, I remove channels, the price goes down – yet I buy each and every channel ‘a-la carte’ – and not ‘groupings’ of them.

    We currently do not have satellite or cable, pulling the plug a year and a half ago – and seriously have *NOT* missed it at all – I wish I could get some other news channels, but I get my news via web mostly anyway.

    I do have a macmini hooked up to the TV and surround sound, so I do get some streaming content (I like tour de france – I found that)

    If I could find any organization that allows me to only get the channels I want (and not pay for a myriad of others) then they have my business.

  5. My experience buying a flat screen TV a couple years back was not a fun one. Too many choices, whacky sales zombies, creaky plastic frames.

    Since I have had a great shopping experience buying a little screen and a medium screen from Apple (iPhone, iPad) then next time I buy a big screen, I would prefer to go to the Apple store and save myself a Best Buy downer.

    Now, not everyone shops at the Apple Store, but if everyone who does (and they their name is legion) then that market alone will make the venture very profitable for Apple.

    Apple has covered all the aspects of my digital life – except one. Please Apple – pull the trigger and ship some big screens! If there is an Apple TV built in and some great content deals, all the better, but not necessary in my mind.

    1. Same reason you “dial” your phone.

      (BTW, some of us had a TV with a flat top a lot more recently than you, apparently. I only got a flatscreen within the past year when my CRT died.)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.