Apple’s deals with Samsung and other TV makers shows Apple TV can’t keep pace with its rivals

“[Last] week, Samsung said that its 2019 smart TVs would come with the ability to buy and rent movies and television shows from Apple’s iTunes, as well as stream previous content purchased on iTunes,” Chris Neiger writes for The Motley Fool. “But Apple investors should note two key things from the latest partnership between the rivals: The first is that Apple is essentially acknowledging that its Apple TV box can’t keep pace with its competitors. And second, Apple is dead serious about being a services company.”

“Apple trails Roku and Amazon in the streaming device market, with Roku far ahead of everyone else at 37% and Amazon taking 28%, according to the latest data (from the first quarter 2018) from Parks Associates, an Internet of Things market research firm,” Neiger writes. “Meanwhile, Apple holds just 15% of the market.”

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, we pause to explain that which 15% of the market you hold makes all the difference. If 85% of the market only streams stuff that’s free and you own the 15% that pays for content, you’re winning, not losing. Apple doesn’t play the market share for market share’s sake game. Apple plays the premium customer domination game. Apple sells to the people worth selling to.

“If Apple does launch a content streaming service soon, it’s not going to win in the market simply because the service works on Samsung TVs,” Neiger writes. “It’s likely the Samsung partnership is just an initial test toward adding the iTunes service on another company’s device. Apple will likely have to work with more companies, and possibly even Roku, when its streaming service launches.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It all depends on how (and if) Apple plans on charging for their original content. People who buy the cheapest streaming devices naturally tend to the the last streaming device owners who’ll pay for content.

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  1. As usual, pundits miss the point. Making iTunes available on Smart TVs allows folks who aren’t knowledgeable about Apple TV to gain access to their old iTunes movie and TV show purchases with zero effort. This will lead to further movie and TV show rentals/sales. Eventually, some of these customers will tire of their crappy smart TV interface and will upgrade to an Apple TV. Opening up iTunes also greases the skids for Apple’s upcoming push into original content. Apple loses nothing by doing this. Speaking from my personal experience, I predict that zero existing Apple TV customers will downgrade to a Smart TV interface from an Apple TV. Absolutely none.

    1. The word is “Desperation”. I told everyone on MDN 7-years ago that Tim Cook was lazy (and greedy and incompetent). I guess you all believe me now.

      Let’s look at the markets uber lazy Tim Cook has pissed away to the competition:

      Wireless Mesh network
      Digital home assistant
      Streaming set-top box
      Professional PC market
      Television streaming market
      Home Automation
      AR and VR
      Computer Displays
      Computer gaming machines

      He’s been too busy accepting awards for his social activism, nickel and diming consumers, lining his pockets, and of course keeping his pasty mug in the spotlight.

        1. If Apple is seriously trying to keep pace with rivals TV products, Apple TV is breathing vapors and life support is next.
          What ever happened to seeing fruition of “we’ve cracked it?” (SJ’s statement re: the TV).

    2. Totally agree you certainly have a bigger hand on the rationale of this than the Motley Fool (no change there then). Fact is Apple would need to supply it’s streaming service on as many devices and offerings as possible to make it work ( hey the critics were actually saying that last year) and clearly as Apple intends to make profits from the supplied original content and service in its own right, it actually makes sense to not restrict it to AppleTV. That’s irrelavent to how well that device is doing in its own right. If Apple wanted to restrict its service to that device alone then it would have needed to have launched it (preferably) earlier and at least thereafter to have committed many times the effort immediately into it, rather than the hobby they did, to have ever considered such a plan seriously.

    3. Another hardware screwup courtesy of Progressive Democrat Campaigner Tim Cook.

      Incremental technology updates, decreasing markets share, inflated pricing and lack of ‘it just works’ attention to details leaves the iPhone and ‘services’ products the only things keeping Apple afloat.

      Someone should have told CEO Cook that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer — that anti-1% bullshot he preaches on the Democrat fundraising trail — is an antithesis to overpriced hardware…..

  2. As usual, Apple apologists miss the point.

    Making iTunes available on Smart TVs this late in the game, several years after folks who aren’t knowledgeable about Apple TV have already gained access to Hulu, NetFlix, YouTube, etc with zero effort, is a desperate move after Eddie Cue floundered for years.

    The only way this will lead to further movie and TV show rentals/sales is if Apple has exclusive desirable content or if undercuts the price of the competitors — which Apple has flatly refused to do with iTunes already available from every iOS and Mac.

    Eventually, Apple apologists will wake up and realise that few media customers find Apple interfaces or performance better than their smart TV interface. They will not pay a premium to downgrade to an Apple TV that gets updated every 3-5 years at best. Apple does themselves no service by making it so hard to connect Macs and iOS devices to existing large screen displays and stereo systems. The competition is plug & play; Apple offers Overpriced Dongle Hell.

    Opening up iTunes (which itself is a complicated software that tries to do too much and makes no intuitive sense anymore) also greases the skids for Apple’s upcoming push into original content. However, Apple appears to have no compelling content to advertise. Carpool Karaoke ain’t gonna cut it. If Apple couldn’t get iPhone and iPad users to use iTunes, it’s highly unlikely that Apple, starting in last place, will take over the Smart TV that already has a plethora of competing streaming channels in place. Netflix has awards proving they know what they are doing. What original content does Apple have that you must buy?

    Apple loses billions by paying to be included in competitor products and attempting to become a media producer. Maybe someday they will be competent in media creation, but right now it is a money pit.

    Speaking from my personal experience, Apple apologists always predict that Apple will win anything they attempt to do, when facts staring them in the face show otherwise. There is a reason the expensive, clunky Apple TV remains in last place among streaming media boxes. It isn’t Jobs running the show anymore.

    Adding one more subscription service to your smart TV is not a compelling pitch, pjs.

    1. Yep, MIke. “Interface” is the critical topic in your post, imo. Interface is also inextricably linked to the old motto, it just works” and the interfaces in the Apple TV, iTunes, Podcasts, Music and even the new & revised App Store, are anything but clear. Adding expense elsewhere when customers are being increasingly aware of the kludgy, esp when competitors meet the same need and often better, I think there’s a biz problem.

  3. Honestly, had Apple just created an actual Apple TV integrated in a display, I’m convinced they would have avoided this nonsense. Picture a gigantic 40 or 55 inch iPad like design, but with tvOS and nothing else, no tuner, no other inputs except for hdmi to allow uses to plug in their DVD players to play their physical media. Super thin and light, obviously WiFi enabled. And who would this cater too? First, for Apple fanboys….no brainer, for those who are part of the Apple ecosystem, again no brainer, for those who want a unified and minimalist content experience, it’s for you too. All premium, all the time. If I had the choice between going to BestBuy and choosing between an Apple ecosystem only option vs a ‘smart-tv’, I’d take it. And please don’t comment about the myriad varieties of smart tv’s out there. When you add the security issues, the crappy physical designs and walmart style experience…for people like me, it would be the choice between crappy smart tv one or crappy smart tv two. It’s not too late, maybe Apple could surprise us with a ‘One More Thing’ moment, and give the rest of us a viable Apple option to view our shows and movies on an Apple big screen….I hear there is a new Apple display coming this year…hmm

    1. If Apple had bought Netflix as the company started concentrating on in-house production they could have gotten a huge library, streaming contracts and studio connections without the typically slow track they’re stumbling down now.

      But that’s against the snobbish holier-than-thou Cook that wants to control ‘the message’ in its products.

      Yeah, investors have made billions off their shares…but by ripping off consumers with high prices and and a death-spiral due to betting on one product and ‘services.’ Services…you know…like you get at McDonalds….

      It’s almost as if Mitt Romney had bought out Apple….

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