Apple is building something bigger than a TV

“Apple is evolving into an ecosystem, a network that connects to and controls everything from your home to your car to your office,” Jason Stein, founder of Laundry Service, writes for CNBC.

“This has the potential to be as impactful as the iPhone and iPad. Today I use iOS apps to control my stereo system (the Sonos) and central air (the Nest). Both work beautifully, and there are more iThings on the way,” Stein writes. “Most of all, I want my television to be part of that Apple ecosystem: a thin glass hub integrating cable series, movies, endless utility and gaming apps, YouTube videos, music, photos, e-mails, FaceTime, social media feeds, and more.”

Stein writes, “Better yet, in the next two to three years, the television commercial model will transition from traditional media buying into a more programmatic ad network similar to the Internet. Ads will not be served to everyone watching a program as they are now. They will be served only to viewers that are in the advertiser’s target market. This will be a more effective approach for advertisers, because it will be tied to all of your Apple devices… So, if you own the Nike Running app, recently looked at running sneakers on, and just Liked a Nike Running post on Facebook, you’ll see Nike’s latest running-related TV spot and perhaps get a push notification about a pair of sneakers.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. First off, the things he want…kind of already exist. I am able to get cable series, movies, youtube, music, photos on my thing glass hub with my Apple TV. If i really want to I can shoot IOS apps or my computer with games and email to that thin glass hub as well using the share screen options. Maybe he is looking for it to be built into the TV….but why spend all that effort, for something that probably wont be that innovative….right now I can control my tv with remote apps on my iphone. I would rather apple focus on getting all the channels in an app on the Apple TV…so we can cut the cord from comcast. and choose what we want.

    But on a sour note….I sometimes fear the option of choice, because I feel like our media will start to get one-sided and we will hear less and less opinions because we have favorites that we are subscribed too. But I do welcome the day when we can just ignore crap like the kardashians and honey-boo-boo.

    1. Let’s hope he’s both sober and correct.

      When I pay directly for a product, especially overpriced bundled media, I sure as hell am not impressed to have to waste my time with advertising. This, in my opinion, was the primary reason the iTunes store was a success. Take away that oasis in a world overflowing with in-your-face advertising on every possible surface, and the distinguishing feature that Apple once had will fade away. Google, as you all know, is working feverishly to copy iTunes, so now is not a good time for Apple to coast.

    2. I remember the promise of cable TV which was NO ADS because it is a paid service. Well, so much for that promise.

      On top of that, why do I want to see a targeted ad for another pair of sneakers after I just bought a pair. That’s effective? It’s a waste. I would be more interested in where to go with my new sneakers – and it wont be the Nike store.

  2. Connect the dots:

    – Jeff Robbin was an Apple system software engineer in the 90s. He left Apple and co-created SoundJam MP, which was bought by Apple and renamed iTunes.

    – Robbin was also involved in developing the iPod, as co-lead of the initial iPod team with Tony Fadell and acting as lead developer of the initial iPod firmware.

    – He remains the lead software designer for iTunes, and as of November 2011, Apple TV.

    – See Jeff demo iTunes U one year ago, and see the future of Apple TV:

    – The App Is The Channel! (..and maybe even the TV too.)

  3. I guess what i can see happening is interactive marketing and commercials on Apple-tv where companies can poll stuff, get ratings and maybe even customer feedback. Direct tv-commercials could also be mini-games or other sorts of engaging mechanics to get potential customers to experience the products in a more engaging way. Possibilities are endless 🙂

    1. I don’t know. Right now nobody knows I’m a dog. With the targeted ad scenario, the machine will know who everybody is. I’m not too sure I like that, slippery slopes being what they are, and all that.

      Imagine the social divisiveness that will happen when people find they aren’t qualified to receive ads for BMWs, just Ford pickups. The world will become screwgoled indeed, not just scroogled. I’m beginning to see targeted ads and ala carte tv as a path to isolation from the world as it is, to a place where we can ignore, or worse, not even be aware of things not of our selection. We’re better off knowing Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians exist, even if we are dumbfounded to explain why.

  4. On targeted ads: If I already love everything Nike, why do I need to see another Nike ad..I already know all about it. I guess in the future I will never be exposed to anything I don’t already know about.

  5. My blu-ray player can’t be controlled from my iPhone, but it’s an early model and I use it less and less. My TV and satellite (SKY) box need to be turned on (taken out of standby), and some of their more complex set-up functions (which I don’t use day to day), but other than that, in daily use I can control everything from my iPhone.

    Although my TV isn’t quite new enough to support ARC, upgrading my amp recently greatly simplified everything as beyond the surround sound amplification it is essentially acting as more of a glorified switching box. My TV now has 3 cables: power, a single HDMI, and an aerial (for the odd time my satellite is down, or if I’m recording multiple things and want to watch something else), but in the case of the latter it’s increasingly only because I can. As such my TV is becoming more and more of a monitor with speakers (which I only use when I don’t want the full on experience of room filling sound).

    Part of me thinks Apple would be better served getting into the Home AV (Cinema) market than the TV market. They’re not going to be able to do away with all the various other things we plug in to TV’s but if they become the hub for everything then the TV becomes just an accessory, you just buy a screen, and let Apple provide the interface. Surround sound and amplification might be a bigger step than providing a screen, but something that brings together all your sources and gives a decent interface for everything is the killer feature.

  6. I want my car to be apart of Eco system. That’s we’re I spend most of my time unfortunately.
    Apple please build a true iCar stereo and I will gladly buy . Think how awesome that would be!!

  7. Still don’t know why folks think Apple has to make a TV set to do all the things they want to do on a TV set. You can get all that functionality on any HD set you want to use, and if a newer/better version comes out, it will only cost you $99 to upgrade. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present … the AppleTV!

  8. Samsung has already been doing this. Samsung is the number one seller of t.v. in America for 7 years running. They make smart t.v. for years now and work nicely with your smart phone (Note2 is quad processor). Also have smart cameras and other home appliances. The apple T.V. will most liikely have adds and apps that you have to pay a high price on. Also the accessories and other things attached to it will have a high price atttached to it as well. On android the apps are more reasonable and most are free. Also you can up your memory, something you can not do with istuff. FACTS, sorry to burst your ibubble.

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