The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a time for massive PR blitzes and the fruits of massive technical efforts and trial visions of the our electronics future. Should all the new CES TV technologies and announcements alarm Apple? Are opportunities disappearing?
Concept by Martin Hajek
Let's say that Apple is indeed working on a next generation TV project. Let's further assume that this involves some significant R&D money, the kind that brought us the iPad Air with its low weight and 64-bit processor.
My take is that the furious development of hardware technologies, designed to spur sales and recover from the TV industry's 3D fiasco are also designed to build a protective shield against anything Apple may do next. That's great for making a splash, but not so wise when it comes to competing with Apple.
The history of CES and Apple suggests that while advancing the TV technology is a good thing for the mainstream industry, it won't do much to take the wind out of Apple's efforts -- efforts that we suspect will be in the typical "Blow your socks off" style. That takes time and attention.
There are several things going on here. First, Apple has a core customer base, and they're not going to spring for an off brand HDTV with, for example, Roku, built in. In addition, Apple has such a powerful brand and market appeal that only a small number of customers will jump on these defensive bandwagons. They'll be looking for the Real Thing from Apple.
Also, Apple knows that some of these competitive announcements are a shot in the dark, like putting lipstick on a chicken. Modern high technology companies have the ability to graft various technologies together to create something new, but whether that will be compelling to millions of customers is always an iffy proposition. Apple, on the other hand, creates products that people stand in line for.
We know that when Apple does something new, it will reveal the bankruptcy of vision with other technologies that are simply merged together without too much thought about the human element. They look exciting during the CES grandeur, but quickly fade in the harsh reality of the marketplace.
I don't think it's time to panic. Apple has shown us before how the pomp and circumstance of CES inevitably pales compared to Apple's inspired visions.
If Apple does next generation TV right, and I'm betting it will, waiting for a proper fruition isn't something to fear.