Yes, But Will Anyone Actually BUY an Apple HDTV?

Apple TVWhen Apple decides to build and market a new product, the product has to be a quality product that stands on its own and has value. However, Apple may have moved to a new place in the minds of customers, and that would weigh considerably on the success of the rumored Apple HDTV.

The iPad was a logical extension of the iPhone. The iPhone was a logical extension of the iPod touch. If there had never been an iPod or an iPhone, customers would not have seen an out-of-the-blue iPad as fitting into a familiar family. Without infrastructure, services and products, the iPad in 2006 would have been one of those head scratching products: “What do I do with it?”

Of course, that’s exactly where many competing tablets are. They’re not a coherent part of a family of products with the identical look and feel of the OS.

So when we ask ourselves about the prospects of an Apple HDTV, we have to consider not only the price, the picture, and the presumed new way of interfacing to an HDTV, the UI, but we also have to include the notion that this new product will be a familiar friend. If you know how to operate an iPhone and an iPad, the Apple HDTV will be a no brainer to use.

That will be a huge factor when it comes to making a personal buying decision.

Another factor will be the irritation customers have with their current TV service providers and the interfaces. The TV industry imposes on us in ways that get under our skin. For example, I remember when I had my Standard Definition Replay TV unit from 2002-2007, it would skip forward 30 seconds instantly. Poof. Right now.

However, my DIRECTV DVR does a fast scan on those 30 seconds on purpose. Why? Because there just might be a flicker of an image in the commercial, perhaps an attractive woman, that will draw me back to watch the commercial. Another example is how customers are used as pawns when a technology that looks like it will serve them is really developed as a weapon to be used in negotiations with content providers. There are more of these kinds of issues, but I’ve made the point.

So when we think about the prospects for success of an Apple TV, we have, of course, to look at traditional factors that influence customers:

  • Price.
  • Screen size.
  • Quality of the display. (contrast, black values, off-axis view, reflections, etc.)
  • Warranty.
  • Value compared to competing products.

These items are what analysts have been looking at, and some are not optimistic because of the cut-throat mentality in the already huge and powerful TV industry. But. Now we have to take into account the Apple Mentality Factor.

  • It’s (again!) beautifully integrated into the iOS family.
  • We’ll automatically know how to use it. (Just how a remote screen will achieve that? We shall see.)
  • There’s the pleasure of using a fine Apple product.
  • Many have a cord cutter mentality.

When you ponder those additional factors, it’s easy to see why the sales of a possible Apple HDTV could be a lot higher than one would expect from the price alone, and the prospects for success will be a lot better than the nay-sayers might guestimate.

And that leads up to the theme article for this discussion by Ryan Faas: “Analyst: Nearly Half Of All iPhone Owners Would Buy An Apple HDTV.” All of a sudden, the reaction of iPhone owners looks rather sane and highly motivated instead of just being ridiculous fanboi stuff. That’s what Apple knows right now but a lot of other nay-sayers do not.

Tech News Debris

If you love business analysis and the forces that make our industry tick, here’s a great story. “How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.” It’s a long article, but the more you read, the more tickled you’ll be with the insights. Think of it as great story telling, like a epic movie.

Ever since Apple started the consistent theme of naming OS X versions after big cats, we’ve pondered what will come next. Apple pulled, forgive the mixed image, a rabbit out of the hat with Mountain Lion. What’s left? Cult of Mac’s John Brownlee lays it out in a light-hearted way: “Why The Next Version Of OS X After Mountain Lion Won’t Be Named After A Cat.

Here it is, 2012, and programmers are still writing silly, limited algorithms to answer our questions. Why do we insist on having computers tell us how to think?

Google seems to have figured out why Apple customers are attracted to a coherent family of products instead of a mish-mash of products and technologies. But can the search company pull it off? “Google’s grand Android plan: Finally, it all makes sense.” Related: Google has gotten itself into a fine fragmentation mess, and something has to be done.

Is that a Linux computer in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? What could one do with that!? I’ll bet Michael Westen could figure out some cool uses.


Finally, some of you may have noticed that you won’t find me on Facebook. LinkedIn, yes. Twitter, definitely. But not Facebook. I have my reasons, but I figured that with 800 million customers, I was just being inordinately stubborn. Then I read this: “As Facebook grows, millions say, ‘no, thanks’.

I feel much better now. Thanks.