Apple vowed to revolutionize television; currently prepping an unremarkable 4K Apple TV instead

“Earlier this month, Apple Inc. poached the chief of Amazon’s Fire TV unit to run its television operations. Timothy D. Twerdhal brings hardware and content experience to his new gig, and his hiring suggests a renewed focus on the Apple TV set-top box,” Mark Gurman reports for Blooomberg. “Twerdhal’s arrival comes as the company tests a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. Internally codenamed ‘J105,’ the new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors, according to people familiar with the plans… Those enhancements alone probably aren’t enough to turn the gadget into a groundbreaking, iPhone-caliber product.”

“Early on, the Apple TV was going to replace the clunky set-top boxes from the cable companies and stream live television. It never happened,” Gurman reports. “Apple has essentially settled for turning the television set into a giant iPhone: a cluster of apps with a store. ‘That’s not what I signed up for,’ says one of the people, who requested anonymity to talk freely about internal company matters. ‘I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary.’ Gene Munster, who covered Apple for more than a decade as a Piper Jaffray analyst and now runs Loup Ventures, echoes the criticism. ‘Apple TV begs the question: Why does Apple do hobbies?’ he says. ‘Either do it right or don’t do it at all.'”

“Apple had a backup plan if it wasn’t able to replace the existing cable box—the much-ballyhooed ‘skinny bundle,’ a stripped down web service that would let viewers choose channels rather than paying for ones they don’t watch,” Gurman reports. “But the two sides stumbled over cost, the composition of the bundles and negotiating tactics. The media companies blamed Apple’s arrogance; Apple blamed the media companies’ inflexibility. In the end, the talks fell apart…”

“Some engineers initially believed the current set-top box should be capable of streaming 4K video, which offers about twice the resolution as the previous generation of high-definition TV. But 4K requires a faster processor, which would have pushed up manufacturing costs,” Gurman reports. “That would have forced Apple to accept a lower margin or charge more than the market would bear. Apple settled for a lesser chip that debuted back in 2014—and no 4K.

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: All of which is just a small litany of we’ve been saying for many years now.

In fact, as we wrote just yesterday:

Beyond the pathetic inability to get content deals signed (while Google and others manage to do it), the #1 thing that Apple TV broadcasts to the world today is Apple’s embarrassing lack of vision.

Maybe now, with some new blood, we’ll finally see an end to baby steps, pulling the string, bad design, aimlessness, and the rest of the incompetence drowning Apple TV.

Amazon and Netflix 4K content looks amazing on our Sony 4K TVs. (There’s no Samsung-labeled crap here and there never will be.) A 4K-capable Apple TV would be most welcome. In fact, it would have been welcome last year, yet it’s inexplicably AWOL this year, too. In TV, Apple certainly doesn’t lead. — MacDailyNews, November 28, 2016

One more time: Which Apple VP is in charge of Apple TV among other chronically glitch-prone services that are uniformly saddled with Microsoftian UIs?

Therein Apple’s problem lies.

A jovial, fun-loving nature wrapped in unbuttoned shirts is no substitute for execution, quality, taste, and signed contracts, Tim.

Beloved by all, yet failing the company. It’s a conundrum that needs to be solved.MacDailyNews, November 3, 2016

Apple TV: Still not ready for prime time – February 15, 2017
Apple hires Amazon’s Fire TV head to run Apple TV business – February 8, 2017
Apple’s new TV app shows just how painfully behind Apple is – December 14, 2016
Are you ready for 4K TV? Apple TV isn’t. – November 28, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016
Here comes á la carte programming – without Apple – July 13, 2016
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015


  1. I will never buy an Apple TV. To hell with 4K at this point they might as will put 8K in it. Always late to the party and incompetent. The app system is a disaster and the route remote looks like it was made by Samsung. It is so obvious Apple does not even know what they’re doing with Apple TV

    1. I’m waiting for 16K and then 32K and still won’t buy until 64K. Of course 128K will be the real sweet spot that will really only hold us over unti 256K.

      The ONLY real way to be future proof is to never buy anything. Then, you’re never stuck with yesterday’s technology and you can always long for tomorrow’s which never comes!

  2. it is shortsightedness for apple to underestimate 4k and gave short end stick to their customer for fooling them for 1080p content and charging them more money than competition. If roku can sell its 4k streamer for $129 with expansion memory how can ATv is more money with less feature.

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