Tim Cook fiddles while Apple TV burns

“Apple TV is a weird product. It started out as a ‘hobby’ for Apple, but then got its own spot on the Apple.com store navigation bar. But Apple has been very slow to improve the Apple TV’s hardware, and the device is definitely starting to show its age,m” Jim Lynch blogs. “It also lacks an app store and the ability to play games.”

“It’s insane that the Apple TV still lacks an app store after all these years. It’s a fundamental part of Apple’s other successful products. Can you imagine the iPhone or iPad with no app store? And if you don’t have an app store, you can’t provide games for your customers,” Lynch writes. “Playing games on a TV should be a basic function of the Apple TV, but they are still unavailable to Apple TV users.”

Read more in the full article here.

50 Comments

    1. I have a hunch you’re right. Aside from yet another blogger’s rant (quite easy to do), my hunch is that Apple is holding back not because of hardware, but having to deal with the comb-overs who run the TV networks and motion picture studios. To make TV in the vision of what Steve Jobs alluded to before he left us, my gut tells me that it comes down to getting the fat cats to make a deal with Apple.

      Yes, I would like newer hardware. Yes, I think an app store would be great. But more than anything else, it’s CONTENT that is what makes TV compelling (or, in the case of having 300 channels of crap to choose from on cable). And to secure content in a new way that makes TV a better experience requires getting the power brokers to sign on the dotted line. We’re not privy to that, but I can only imagine how frustrating and difficult this can be.

      Just look at how long it took to secure a deal with China Mobile for the iPhone, and multiply that by the number of major TV networks, movie studios, cable carriers and other content holders. It’s easy for some blogger to rant. But it must be a nightmare, even for a company as powerful as Apple, to herd the kittens so to speak.

      That said, I think and hope that you are right.

      1. Apple sits on products like it is with the Apple TV either to let them whither and eventually die or to make the launch of the new and/or upgraded product seem a much bigger leap forward and do as not to fore warn the opposition. I guess it is aiming for the latter but unless limitations dictate it ends up as the former there must be a big move first half of next year. It can’t go on as is with the opposition overtaking and actually offering some of the options pencilled in for the ATV for the last two years or so. If a big re launch doesn’t occur in that time frame and with the iWatch it hardly seems ideal then one presume they will still have to upgrade it substantially to just keep it relavent in the market place which then raises the question why not incorporate those partial upgrades already. Difficult to read the runes here I have to say nothing about Apple’s treatment of the product seems to make sense so only time will tell I guess.

  1. It’s a bummer that I agree with all of these sentiments (truths?). Apple can’t continue to treat the AppleTV as a hobby, or whatever. Time to get serious with what is a pretty good piece of hardware and make it downright awesome!

    1. at the very least, i’d like to see AppleTV hardware reduced to a “stick” like Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV stick. can’t believe that hasn’t been done yet. wall plugs and their big fat adapters should already be dead for anything that connects to a TV.

        1. The Roku stick can run on USB, which most TVs have now. IN addition, the new HDMI spec has power over HDMI. It would be appropriate for Apple to support this spec.

  2. Blah, blah, blah. TV is a placeholder until Apple is ready to release its TV-consumption paradigm shift device. There hasn’t been a significant TV update because Apple is working to get Jobs’ idea to revolutionize TV to market, which may be taking awhile because of hardware issues, software issues, content issues, or some combination of the above. When its ready, Cook will release it.

    1. That’s great, but in the meantime Apple could’ve sold a ton of Apple TVs, and developers could’ve sold a lot of apps and accessories for it.

      BTW: Apple uses “Apple TV” in text. You’re trying to create the logo using text (and doing a bad job).

      1. You’re correct about Apple’s use of text vice  when addressing Apple Pay in print. I’d bet they do that so users getting their Apple news on non Apple devices can read it.

        However, this is an  forum, so let us have our fun, please. Our character set supports the  icon just fine.

        1. They do this in printed materials as well. In print or in digital, Apple never, in text or in graphic, has it as TV. That’s just entirely wrong for multiple reasons.

            1. 1) It’s a lowercase “tv”.
              2) It’s a different font
              3) It’s a different weighting
              4) There’s more n-space.

              Really, it looks nothing like the product logo other than the Apple itself.

      2. Apple is the only company I can think of—the only one I can imagine—that has design, production, and sales meetings where managers DON’T sit around saying “We’re leaving money on the table.” Probably, Steve Jobs shot down every single utterer of that statement on the spot, establishing a now-hallowed principle through brute force reduction.

        1. Bit of a shame they didn’t have do wonderful say it re the iPhone. If the opposition had been able to excel the iPhone 6 family might have found winning back customers rather less of a breeze. You can’t presume success is a given as and when Apple decides to launch or upgrade a product late.

    1. Well there are certainly lots of morons in the world but, ….

      While Apple and Steve stated mini tablets were too small to be useful, Android mini tablets became hugely successful. Eventually Apple shipped an iPad mini which was also hugely successful.

      While Apple and Steve stated that larger phones were not usable, several large Android phones did very well at high price points. When Apple release the 6 and 6+ they blew the doors off the smartphone market and are still doing so.

      When customer beg for something, like an Apple TV that is a full iOS citizen for games, apps, room-wide FaceTime (would be awesome for visiting with remote family during the holidays) and other features, Apple just waits…

      If history repeats, Apple will only waste opportunity temporarily and then will come out with something great. But it is tough to wait for what will be an obvious winner.

      In contrast, Apple was ahead of mainstream customer demand for the original iPhone, original iPad and Apple Watch.

        1. I read that yesterday, as well, but I suspect careful data mining to come to that conclusion. Five percent doesn’t seem anywhere near accurate in the consumer arena. I see them everywhere. My spouse even swapped to a mini for its convenient size. I’m sticking with the full size iPad because of my failing eyes.

  3. Completely agree. The living room computer is totally doable and within reach and a market waiting to be tapped into. It completely fits in with Apple’s vision and product matrix.

    1. App Store = Apps geared for TV with a gaming portal
    2. Siri for voice activated content search and navigation
    3. Apps as channels that you rent each month: build your own programming on the cheap: no extra junk

    Apple already has all of the infrastructure to do this relatively easily. In typical Apple style, they’d likely launch a UHD TV with a great design and Apple TV guts built in. I know the one thing that Jobs was hesitant about was the lack of quick turnover on TVs.

    While it’s a good point, it’s hardly, in 2014, a reason to not do this. An Apple TV would completely disrupt the cable industry, gaming industry, and TV industry. Zillions would buy a beautiful Apple TV with all the above functionality. And Apple would upgrade it over time and give people a reason to buy new ones. The content would fly off the App Store shelves and it would be a halo affect sucking more and more people into their ecosystem.

    At this point, it’s hard to keep making excuses for Tim Cook. He hasn’t launched a single new category of product save for the very late Apple Watch. Remember Jobs said he cracked the code of the TV years ago to his biographer. We’re literally 4 years after this comment was made and nothing. Remember also Apple has had its Apple TV going for many years as a hobby and has likely done a ton of R&D and development regarding a TV.

    I can only imagine if Apple released a TV: more supply constraints so hardly anyone can get one Cook?

    1. The “living room computer” is called an iPad.

      For many the iPad is a “couch device”. My wife say’s she IS watching TV while playing games, surfing, emailing and texting while sitting on the couch. At this time we really don’t need another TV device. If anything the TV part is slowly not being used except for sports. That’s my house at least but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a killer product in Apple’s future to go along with the iPad.

    1. There are apps. It’s in your iOS and Mac devices. AirPlay is good. Presations are good and IBM is going to open the business market. It can be a lot better. When lag is solved it will be a badass gaming device. You already can to 4 players. Not to mention great

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