Apple and the TV market

“There is clearly a viable market for streaming media players like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. However, the bigger opportunity is breaking into the market for Pay TV set top boxes, which today are less compelling products but retain access to the content consumers want,” Pavan Rajam writes for The Rajam Report. “The only way any tech company will be able to pull that off is by having a TV Service to accompany their hardware. Of the companies with streaming media products on the market, only one is rumored to be working on such a service.”

“Unlike its competitors, Apple is playing the long game in the TV market,” Rajam writes. “Apple TV’s long term goal is not about beating Amazon, Google, or Roku in the streaming media player market, it’s about redefining the TV market by building a true smart TV platform. One that seamlessly integrates with the Apple ecosystem and converges all the different functions (gaming, long form video, home automation, and who knows what) we want from our TVs into one product. In other words: the only thing you need to hook up to your TV.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday:

The ultimate endgame is this: Can Apple get Apple TV to be the device on Input 1 instead of 2 or 3? We all have Apple TVs, but for most of us it’s the cable/satellite box that’s on Input 1, not Apple TV. Can Apple TV someday supplant it, giving us universal search across all “channels/networks” and apps – and voice-controlled, no less?

We want to say, “Hey Siri, what’s the weather forecast?” And for our favorite video forecast source(s) – on-demand, ready-togo – to immediately appear along with our favorite weather app(s) for us to choose from. “Hey Siri, who won the game?” And our favorite teams’ scores, highlight videos, condensed games, and apps appear onscreen. “Hey Siri, what’s my day look like?” And boom! Calendar appears. Etc. Mornings would be so much easier!

Apple TV: What features should it offer to users? – September 4, 2015
Why Apple TV is critical; investors shouldn’t underestimate its importance – September 4, 2015
Why Apple needs so much space for their September 9th event: A series of living rooms? – September 4, 2015
Did Apple pick the right or wrong time to unveil reimagined Apple TV? – September 4, 2015
Apple finally gets serious about pushing into our living rooms with new Apple TV – September 4, 2015
Apple dominates pay TV streaming with 61.9% viewership on Apple devices – September 4, 2015
Analyst: New Apple TV platform is bad news for Netflix – September 3, 2015
The new Apple TV’s potential beyond gaming – September 3, 2015
New Apple TV to offer A8 chip, 8/16GB storage, same ports, no 4K, and new black remote – September 2, 2015
New Apple TV will feature universal search, start at $149 – September 2, 2015
Apple TV 4 to focus on extensive Siri control, deep support for gaming – August 31, 2015
Apple TV 4 coming in October for under $200, Apple TV 3 becomes entry level; both get new streaming service – August 30, 2015
Apple TV said to have motion-sensitive Siri-capable remote with touchpad – August 28, 2015
The next-gen Apple TV’s marquee feature – August 18, 2015>

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. > The ultimate endgame is this: Can Apple get Apple TV to be the device on Input 1 instead of 2 or 3?

    Ultimately, Apple wants “Input 0.” That is, Apple wants to make the entire device, not be an “input” for a third-party screen. However, that long-rumored “complete Apple TV” never materialized because Apple could not define a strategy to make the type of profit (per unit and overall) Apple expects from a major hardware product. At least not today…

    So the interim strategy is to make an affordable product, priced for mass-adoption, not high profit margin. Ongoing profit from Apple TV comes from the subscription services, not from selling the “box.” Therefore, I think it can be priced at $99 (with minimal profit), even with an A8 and touchpad remote control. All other improvements will be in software and services, not physical hardware.

    Apple builds a solid base of Apple TV customers paying for monthly subscription services. Once Internet service providers are “compelled” (in one way or another) to economically separate Internet service from cable TV service, Apple gains a higher percentage of Apple TV customers who opt for the “Internet TV bundle.” At some adoption “tipping point,” Apple can re-use iPhone’s highly profitable strategy. Subsidize the Apple-designed TV. By this time, it’s “4K” (or whatever standard comes after “HD”). Using revenue from subscription services, Apple partially subsidizes the cost in exchange for customer’s contract to pay monthly for Apple’s Internet TV bundle for a specified period.

    In this way, Apple’s stylish high-quality TV has an upfront cost that is less than a similarly spec’ed plasticky “dumb” TV from competitors, while being highly profitable. The customer gets what MDN’s Take describes. One universal interface for “everything.” The mini-box Apple TV continues to be available. It can be “free with contract.”

    1. Why is it so difficult to get news and worthwhile content? All I can find is hyperpartisan spin & lies from the likes of Fox on the extreme right and MSNBC on the left, and cotton-candy fluff from E, etc., sigh.

      1. I’ve gotten so sick and tired of the biased, ignorant and worthless crap coming from the American news media that when I want to see actual news I tune to Al Jazeera on cable. To me they are the closest thing to CNN of the ’80s, before they were acquired and destroyed by Time Warner. What a sad state of affairs for this nation.

  2. Most people spend a lot of time in front of their TV. That time apple wants. But they’ll make it more useful as well as more entertaining. Imagine smart controlling your entire home from the sofa? Low on beer? Order it from Siri on ATV. Want to switch if the garage lights? Siri will help. Want to set up schedule for holiday security lighting around the house? Siri will help. All with out leaving the sofa.

  3. I want Apple TV to use some new features coming in iOS 9, like knowing what you watch when you watch it. Like 7pm on Sunday, it turns to AMC to watch the Walking Dead, or if you watch Jeopardy every night after the news, it turns to that channel automatically.

  4. Microsoft had already tried this, and recently exited the market. Currently the XBox One is their last product in this category and as we all know it failed.

    I can only hope that Apple has found the solution, as Steve indicated, from his biography.

    There are way too many problems with mixing gaming and TV. Getting to input 0 is virtually impossible.

    What I want to know, why hasn’t the cable companies tried to get into decent gaming and apps on their STBs? What they distribute is terrible, anemic, hard to get to, useless Java based games and apps that barely run. They charge to access them. Basically stuff for idiots.

  5. Not interested unless there is DVR capable. That is the equivalent of ad blocking on safari . I never watch anything live, I record, watch at my desired time and zip through ads. I do my own replays and stop action as well. Just letting the TV control my schedule ended many years ago for me. I am not willing to go back in time just to save a few dollars.

    1. Totally agree about the DVR. That’s what I need to cut the TV cable. The ability to add an even bigger external hard drive to store more would be the best, but the content providers would NEVER allow that.

      1. Of course they do.
        It’s called ‘buy the DVD’.

        If you are subscribing to a streaming service, the idea is that you never need to store anything and there is less chance of pirating.

        That is the model we are heading to, not the regular ‘timeline’ broadcasting of today.

    2. Record? WTF (why the foobar) would you want to record video that is already on Apple’s servers and can be streamed any time?

      Recording was a solution for broken old school real-time only broadcasting. Realtime + anytime streaming doesn’t leave a hole that needs recording to fill.

  6. Apple should provide one stream customized for each user, with content prioirtized and time shifted into the user’s stream.

    No channels, user-selected content.

    Pay for content, not channels.

    Only pay for content you like, and watch.

    Apple can supplant cable bundles and open a new path for producers to sell content direct to viewers.

  7. on The Vergecast Nilay asked, “Why not just play those apps on your phone?”… What can games on the TV do that games on the phone cannot?

    Bigger screen.
    More Power/Battery Life.
    Better Controls/Buttons.
    Cheaper than Xbox/PS

  8. Seems simple enough to answer. The next AppleTV should have an HDMI IN where you can plug a cable box (if you want to keep one) and that way AppleTV will be on HDMI 1 on all TVs and still give you cable access.

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