Will Apple TV ever go mainstream?

“In 2010, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs referred to Apple Inc.’s efforts in TV as a ‘hobby,'” Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch. “To investors, that meant it’s not a very big business. In fact, Apple still does not break down sales of its little Apple TV box in its financial statements. In its current form, Apple TV is a device, like the Roku player and others, lets consumers stream digital content from the Internet or their Apple devices, on their HDTVs.”

“The topic of what will Apple do next in this arena became an obsession for investors, especially after reading comments by the late Steve Jobs in Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography,” Poletti writes. “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ Jobs told Isaacson. ‘It would be seamlessly synched with all your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Right now, those four sentences that Jobs uttered to Wrong Choice Walter haunt Apple to great effect.

“In 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was talking to cable operators about a set-top box, but it could not negotiate any deals that would let it offer more ambitious programming, including live television,” Poletti writes. “Whether or not Apple TV will ever be among its future industry-changing forays remains a big question.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For more about what’s wrong with Apple TV and what Apple could do to shake things up, read: Steve Jobs’ eye for design isn’t what Apple misses most.


  1. I still prefer my V1 AppleTV. I think Apple ballsed up the AppleTV when they stripped out the storage, I don’t want to keep a Mac on just to stream music and video. I’m not sure why Apple never allowed the AppleTV to use time capsule as a media store.

    Anyway, I hope the AppleTV version 4,1 brings back storage and brings Apps to the platform.

    1. You don’t really want Apple TV to have storage because streaming from a NAS gives more flexibility in terms of movie size and longer lasting drive.

      You can still stream movies to the Apple TV from a NAS via AirPlay through your iPhone or iPad. For example I have a Western Digital My Book Live that I attach to the network switch through which an AirPort Extreme and Apple TV are attached.

      Western Digital has an iPhone/iPad app called My Cloud that allows you to access the contents of your drive and stream that wirelessly over AirPlay to Apple TV.

      Since NAS drives come in 1-4TB sizes, you can store many more movies on a NAS than you can on a drive that is integrated with Apple TV.

    2. They won’t. The original AppleTV did not have nearly enough storage, in fact, when I had mine I never synced my media to it – other than photos.

      What Apple really needs to do is create a separate iTunes media server that all iDevices and Macs can connect to and stream from (even over the Internet). It should also allow multiple accounts and streaming access to all media by all accounts authorized on the server.

      I would love to get all my media off my iMac and just have separate box on my network. It wouldn’t take much for Apple to take their Time Capsule product and build a media server out of it.

  2. Yes it will become mainstream in April when they release the new ATV. Hopefully with the A7, 802.11ac wifi and open it up more to developers to make Apps. And a little of flash storeage would not hurt. Like 16 or 32 GB. For Apple to jump into the TV set market right now can hurt them. It is extremely competitive and with low margins.

    1. Because he was the wrong choice to write SJ’s biography. SJ was not always right.

      As far SJ’s the “I cracked it” statement, he was very ill and had little time left when he made that claim. Being the type of person that he was, I am sure that he wanted to complete just “one more thing” before he had to go. To be fair, he might very well have “cracked it” at a conceptual level. But it can take a lot of hardware and software engineering, negotiations with content owners, and work with regulators before a concept matures into a marketable electronic device. And Apple does not rush these things out the door – the first iteration has to honor the vision for the product.

  3. 1-IMHO the Apple TV with internal HD was a better Apple TV- the hockey puck looks cheap and relies on streaming.

    2-When I can get what I want via IPTV without the Cable Cartel extortion on an Apple TV we will be good. Companies like HBO/Cinemax parent Time-Warner and Showtime parent CBS are leaving money on the table by forcing us to buy a shitload of bundled bullshit just to get a handful of channels worth watching.

  4. Apple won’t go mainstream unless they have content distributors signed up.
    I prefer an approach like iTunes in the car. There Apple work with the car manufacturers to enable their display to show iTunes. The same can be done with TVs or set top boxes.

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