Google to screw up Chromecast with an Apple TV clone

“Do you have Android TV? You mean Google TV? No, Android TV. Chromecast? No Android TV! Apple TV?” Gordon Kelly writes for Forbes. “Welcome to the mess Google is about to create . Having seemingly found the future of television leaks to The Verge suggest Google is about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by clubbing it over the head with a relic from the past. Worse still it is something Google has already tried and it failed abysmally.”

“‘We are in the millions now, and it’s growing very actively,’ said Sundar Pichai, Google SVP of Android and Chrome, when addressing Chromecast sales in early March. Chromecast was a US-only product at the time, but has now launched internationally. Neflix, Hulu, HBO, Pandora, Rdio, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Plex and VEVO head a rush of popular apps which have added Chromecast compatibility. Even rivals seem convinced by the concept and set top box veteran Roku released its knock-off ‘Streaming Stick’ within a few months of Chromecast’s US release,” Kelly writes. “And now there is Android TV. Here to repeat the failed Google TV model, split the time and resources of developers committed to Chromecast, confuse consumers and create negative headlines for a product Google was getting right. A typical example is Atlanta Black Star’s ‘Is Google Ditching Chromecast For Android TV?‘ Meanwhile publications run ‘versus’ pieces discussing which Google product you should buy.”

“Self-sabotage is the most idiotic kind of sabotage and, given Chromecast’s enormous first mover advantage, rivals must think all their Christmases have come at once,” Kelly writes. “Yes all the pieces looked to be in place for Chromecast’s long term victory. But should Google go ahead with Android TV it will split developers, confuse customers and both it and Chromecast will fail. Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. By this logic Android TV suggests Google is truly mad.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

People think focus means saying “yes” to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying “no” to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying “no” to 1,000 things. – Steve Jobs

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Google set to launch Apple TV-esque set top box called ‘Android TV’ – April 8, 2014
Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast – April 2, 2014
Amazon launches $99 ‘Fire TV’ hoping to rival market-leading Apple TV – April 2, 2014
Apple TV sales topped $1 bilion in 2013, becoming Apple’s fastest growing hardware – February 28, 2014
Tim Cook and Apple TV: A ‘hobby’ no longer – October 7, 2013
Apple TV dominates digital media receiver market with 71% share – May 29, 2013

13 Comments

    1. Wrong question. The right question is: “What’s the margin on content delivered via streaming sticks?” Rest assured, it’s a wise business to get into.

  1. Stupid article, Google’s plan was always have two tiers regarding their TV plan. Chromecast at the low, just streaming end, and Android TV at the end end, with apps and games. Rumors are that Android TV sill serve not only as a streaming box, but sort of as a google home center piece. Your Chromecast will be built into android tv, and also talk to the rest of you chromecast. Your nest, and what ever home products Nest comes out with will talk to that android tv box, so will all your phones and tablet.

    Google has it right, say you have 3-4 tvs in your house, why would you want to buy 3-4, $99 tv boxes, buy 3 chromecast and one android tv.

    Think of the bigger picture.

    1. I find it telling that an author at an Apple-centric web site is applauding Apple for sticking with one device, and deriding Google for offering choices. This is the general difference between iFans and Google fans (not all of them, but apparently many).. Sure, there are downsides to the number of open source choices you get with Android-based products. Fragmentation (which you can avoid if you get a Nexus or a Google Play edition smartphone), confusion from some customers regarding what a particular product can and cannot do. But there are tremendous upsides–flexibility in what the Android operating system allows you to do, lower cost devices. And don’t tell me “you get what you pay for”. Sure, there are a good number of lower cost Android phones this maxim applies to, but I’d take my $349 Nexus 4 and $239 Nexus 7 over their iOS counterparts any day. If you do a little research before you buy a Google–or more generally, an Android–product, you can take advantage of the upsides and avoid the downsides.

      And the days of Android’s operating system being relatively clunky compared to iOS are gone with its newest versions, particularly KitKat. KitKat is just as polished as iOS, if not slightly more so. Their relative worth now depends generally on what you want in a phone or a tablet–consistency across devices for Apple (for example), or flexibility & more choices for Android. I’ll let Google’s CEO worry about whether or not releasing both Chromecast and Android TV adversely affects sales. They’ll survive just fine either way, and their customers will have more choices.

  2. I’m just noticing that Google is running their public releases as a skunkworks with all of us deciding what product is worthwhile and what’s crap. Then Google occasionally comes around and cancels the stuff that’s crap.

    Apple, of course, do this internally. We never see the crap.

    Therefore, MDN’s quote from Steve Jobs about ‘focus’ is right on target.

    So how do we feel about being Alpha testers of Google’s brainstorms, good or bad?

  3. Whether Apple will ever change this, I don’t know, but so far BBC iPlayer, Plex are still missing. My ghastly Samsung TV has all that and the rest. I guess at some point in the distant future the ATV team will realise they are losing sales and let us install whatever we want.

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