For some time now, rumors have ebbed and flowed around the idea of Apple building a television set. While many praise the idea, I downright detest it. The core as to why I’m against an Apple manufactured TV has all to do with it just doesn’t fit their business model. As well, building a television set is not forward thinking on Apple’s part. Actually, it’s lazy. It’s copy cat. Thing is, anyone can build a tele. Call Samsung, order some displays and add in your GUI. Mix. Serve.
Okay, so there’s more to it than that, but here’s the thing, Apple is known for creating eco-systems. A classic example is the iPod. Consider that while there were very few music players when it dropped, it created new market categories. Numerous SKUs of cases, ear buds, headphones, adapters, chargers, holders… the list goes on! It’s one of the reasons the iPhone became a huge success. There were multiple sub-markets that catered to it.
But now consider a lowly TV built by Apple. Sure, there are many who would flock to the set for no more a reason other than it has Apple’s name on it. But I already have this in the form of an AppleTV connected to my Samsung display. And seriously, what’s an TV by Apple going to be other than a Samsung display with Apple guts?
Now, with a TV, what sort of aftermarket can be expected for it?
You can’t put a case on it, nor does it need a charging base. Okay, maybe we can hook up some AirPlay speakers but that’s only going to work part of the time (and this from an Apple Fanboy – neither my Sony receiver, nor my Bose Soundtouch can keep the music going for more that a couple of hours tops). So what else can third party accessory makers contribute to the party? Not much.
The current-gen AppleTV needs help. A global search has been sought out for a number of years by many. Some Pie-in-the-sky ideas I imagine include a revision of AirPlay, the broken Sonos-killer. Or let’s say they copy what RogueAmeoba is doing with AirFoil. That would kick ass. But, still that just leaves us with nothing more than a TV meet’s AppleTV meets AirFoil.
Thanks but while I’m certain Apple would sell a ton more TV’s by Apple then Google TV, I’ll save my money.
No, for me, I would like to see something bolder from Apple. Some thinking that is seriously different.
I once read something by a Silicon Valley tech genius that went along the lines of, ‘look for outdated technology that can benefit from being reinvented’. I’m sure I butchered his thought, but the gist of it is, look to reinvent shit that people use just because that’s the way it’s always been done. It’s this strategy that generates the biggest payoff. ApplePay is a great example. Square, before it, is another perfect example.
As I look at the living room, there sits a device that is so outdated, so in need of a makeover that it just blows me away that Apple hasn’t noticed it. There have been hundreds of attempts to reinvent it. All have failed. Even the industry responsible for them has attempted to incorporate new features like Bluetooth, AirPlay and NFC playback. Yet not so much as one has become the game changer.
No other device in the living room today has so many things attached to it. It comes with a built-in eco-system that can be greatly enhanced by offering wireless version of its primary output.
Yes, it’s probably pretty obvious by now.
That black box that receives AM/FM has been doing the same basic job forever. It can be unwieldy to configure, the interfaces are varied, as are the terms describing the same feature across different brands. It comes in a variety of sizes, some with clocks built in, others with large alien-esque speakers and handles. The lowly stereo receiver should be the object to which Apple should affix it’s target.
So now imagine a device that ingests the AppleTV, can drive any speaker in your home via AirPlay, allow you to setup a wireless home theater that uses Bonjour for self-configuration, has a built-in 802.11ac (or whatever the latest spec is) wireless router, doesn’t need HDMI because it streams video to your TV via AirPlay – and can stream it to multiple TVs in the house so long as an AppleTV Mini is connected to it. Best yet, we would use our iPods, iPhones, or iPads to control the whole sha-bang. Need more? It would be open to apps and connect to HomeKit so that you could make the house appear like there’s a party while you’re out on vacation.
Think of the eco-system that would develop around such a beast.
Me, I’d back up a Brinks truck to get one.
What are your thoughts. Share them below.
(This post has been edited to correct grammatical errors and typos).