Don't expect Apple TV as cable set top box, Apple exec says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Though rumors have persisted for years that the Apple TV might transition from a media streaming solution into a cable box competitor, a new report said an Apple executive "killed that concept."



In its latest note to investors, Caris & Company said Tuesday that its analysts recently met with Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, who gave insight on a number of subjects. Among the topics discussed: the Apple TV, which has been long-rumored to receive some cable box-type functionality, including live TV recording and integration with cable providers. But according to analyst Robert Cihra, Oppenheimer effectively doused that rumor with a clear statement that the move doesn't make sense for Apple.



"While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product, Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business," the report said.



Though there had been speculation that a possible refresh or price drop of the Apple TV could occur at the Sept. 9 event, one report said industry watchers should not expect an appearance by the hardware at Apple's media-centric keynote.



Caris' conversation with Oppenheimer covered a number of other subjects. In one point, the company's research notes states that Apple's chief financial officer implied that the company would continue to lower prices on its Mac lineup -- or offer new products at lower price points. However, Cihra noted that he does not expect Apple to join the low-end PC market.



The report also noted that the popularity of the iPhone has made it difficult for Apple to keep up with demand. Though Oppenheimer did not provide any specifics to Caris, he did say that the company has had trouble keeping its new iPhone 3GS in stock. Caris predicts that Apple will sell 27 million iPhone units in 2009, bolstered, in part, by the upcoming upcoming debut of the handset in China.



"Mr. Oppenheimer said he was simply happy to now be able to 'check that box,' with iPhone's launch into China have been a long-awaited milestone," the report said. "And while the vast majority of China's cell phone market is pre-paid, Apple sees no reason why iPhone should have any disadvantage taking share of pre-paid markets vs. its post-paid success."



The one downside the Caris note mentioned from the company's meeting with Oppenheimer was that supply of components for devices remains "tight," and costs continue to rise. Cihra said he does not see this as a major concern for Apple, but it is noteworthy because it demonstrates that no one in the tech industry is immune to the ongoing component supply issues.







Cihra reiterated his "Buy" rating for AAPL stock and maintains a price target of $200. With iPhone and Mac sales "tracking strong" this quarter, the Caris note said that only tight component costs could hold back Apple.



"We continue to believe Apple has proved itself the single most innovative and profitable consumer technology company in the world and continue to see headroom for growth via both iPhone and Mac (market) share gains."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    After this experience with ATT and the nonsense Tivo HD customers have to deal with to get CableCARDS, who can argue?



    Besides, there are plenty of more-important shortcomings they need to correct.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    By "continuing to lower prices", I am hoping this means that now that Apple has 'dealt' with thier macbooks/macbook pros (and presumably freed up some engineers mid-iphone cycle, and what-not) they could move on to the iMac..



    I'm very keen on buying one - but don't want the existing model - I'm hoping for something with a bit of 'boom'.



    That said, I think Apple have probably adjusted their product cycles slowing the current one down a bit to keep prices down rather than go for the exiting but equally expensive successor.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,923member
    Is it Flash that is holding up iPhone production? I wonder because that could negative impact the roll out of new iPods. I'm really hoping it is an issue with the 3G chipset as this would not be a negative with respect to the iPods, especially iTouch. The last thing we need is another round of 16 & 32 GB touch devices.



    As to lowering the price of it's Macs this should be very easy. If they can't do it then I will offer up myself to replace Ive and take Apple forward with easy to produce and service hardware. As innovative and compact as the Mini and iMac are I'm amazed that Apple can't do better with the layout of the hardware. Especially the iMac which is a bit of a servicing joke. Even the Mini concept is ripe for overhaul.







    Dave
  • Reply 4 of 57
    i have always seen the Apple TV as a way to promote video on the itunes store. so anything that cuts into that (hulu integration etc) is unlikely in my opinion.



    as for the product cycle and such. I have to wonder if they aren't in the process of shifting the calendar. before they did laptops in the fall and desktops in the spring. which to me doesn't make a lot of sense. would it not be better do to laptops in the late spring so the students (or rather parents) aren't griping about ripoffs when a new machine (or at least cheaper) comes out 3 weeks after the back to school ends (the price adjustment/return period being 2 weeks after purchase). and then do the desktops in the fall since the imac is more the 'something for the family to use together' machine. i mean come on they put imacs on their kids game demo table even. they want folks to make that connection.



    and given the june refresh and February's refresh on desktops if they aren't moving that way.



    as for what they might do. I don't see them ever going cut rate on the prices but certainly as component parts drop they will upgrade HDs, drop prices, offer bigger solid state etc. though I suspect that we have probably seen the lowest prices we'll ever see (maybe another $100-200 off but that's it). it will be bigger and better insides. at least for the foreseeable future. but a $200 mini and a $600 imac ain't gonna happen.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    gigigigi Posts: 65member
    ok no set top box for the Apple TV, but PLEASE a refresh tomorrow with full HD support for my full HD camera.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wdowell View Post


    By "continuing to lower prices", I am hoping this means that now that Apple has 'dealt' with thier macbooks/macbook pros (and presumably freed up some engineers mid-iphone cycle, and what-not) they could move on to the iMac..



    I'm very keen on buying one - but don't want the existing model - I'm hoping for something with a bit of 'boom'.



    That said, I think Apple have probably adjusted their product cycles slowing the current one down a bit to keep prices down rather than go for the exiting but equally expensive successor.



    If you want a bit of boom I'd suggest lighting off a few pistol rounds near your eardrums. Otherwise, I wouldn't hold my breath for anything new in terms of Macbooks since they redesigned them with the unibody chassis just last year. At most you might see see a performance boost with newer processors being used and/or faster bus speeds. Also you may see the inclusion of Bluray. I'd bet on desktop refreshes before any changes to the laptop line since the towers and iMac's haven't been updated significantly in a while. All this won't happen until January rolls around which is when Apple traditionally showcases new computer hardware/software.



    My advice to you is to buy a current or previous generation Macbook. If you scan the Apple online store you can generally find a top of the line refurbed unit at a significant discount. On the other hand if you've got infinite patience and are filthy rich then feel free to wait for your dream machine and the premium price it will typically command.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    djintxdjintx Posts: 453member
    So assuming this is true and not just misinformation from Apple about unnannounced products, then here is what I am concluding to not be in a future Apple TV.



    -No cable card slot(s)

    -No TV Tuner

    -Likely no DVR functionality



    Personally, I am fine with no DVR functionality, as long as Apple comes up with some new offerings in the streaming category. I think they could secure some partnerships, with Netflix/Hulu/Boxee or something similar and offer ad-supported free streaming. They could avoid cannibalizing iTunes sales of movies/tv shows by continuing to charge a la carte (or a new subscription model) for the HD quality versions with no advertisements, and then offer the free versions as ad-supported and lower quality (near or just below DVD). They cound just add in Hulu or any of these other services or a combination of them as new "channels" within Apple TV like they do with YouTube. I also think they should add in facebook/twitter support for the social media hounds, and internet radio feeds. They already have free radio feeds in iTunes, so just add it as another channel to ATV, Pandora maybe, or LastFM? Finally, upgrade the hardware with newer more powerful SOCs so that it runs extremely quickly and smoothly, and so that it doesn't generally operate at molten lava temperatures. Maybe even an overhauled UI that takes it to the next levewl and has all the gadget blogs drooling over its beauty and simplicity. Some of these (if not all) are what I want/need to see in an Apple TV to justify the purchase and to know Apple plans to sitck with this product and give it the TLC it needs.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Is it Flash that is holding up iPhone production? I wonder because that could negative impact the roll out of new iPods. I'm really hoping it is an issue with the 3G chipset as this would not be a negative with respect to the iPods, especially iTouch. The last thing we need is another round of 16 & 32 GB touch devices.



    As to lowering the price of it's Macs this should be very easy. If they can't do it then I will offer up myself to replace Ive and take Apple forward with easy to produce and service hardware. As innovative and compact as the Mini and iMac are I'm amazed that Apple can't do better with the layout of the hardware. Especially the iMac which is a bit of a servicing joke. Even the Mini concept is ripe for overhaul.







    Dave



    I believe its the unanticipated increase in demand for the iPhone and the limited supply of components that has strained iPhone production.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    At least he didn't rule out a blu-ray drive or internet access. Locking it into iTunes alone is its biggest mistake. We should pay so much for Apple's jukebox that only wants to take more of your money continually? And the public is supposed to buy into this? Absurd.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    Quote:

    "While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product, Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business," the report said.





    Like duh, the cable companies control the signal type and any encryption, thus they control the device at the receiving end.



    The Apple TV isn't going anywhere in my opinion, because Steve Jobs is on the board of Disney/ABC and so on. You need the content, nearly all of it, so you need a neutral distributor.



    I wish the Apple TV would become like the Roku, a $100 device that lets you stream Netflix's 12,000 movie library to your TV. $15 a month for 12,000 movies, all you can eat, cancel at any time. SWEET!!



    But that's not going to happen. So Apple can only go so far with the AppleTV.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    gigigigi Posts: 65member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post


    So assuming this is true and not just misinformation from Apple about unnannounced products, then here is what I am concluding to not be in a future Apple TV.



    -No cable card slot(s)

    -No TV Tuner

    -Likely no DVR functionality



    Personally, I am fine with no DVR functionality, as long as Apple comes up with some new offerings in the streaming category. I think they could secure some partnerships, with Netflix/Hulu/Boxee or something similar and offer ad-supported free streaming. They could avoid cannibalizing iTunes sales of movies/tv shows by continuing to charge a la carte (or a new subscription model) for the HD quality versions with no advertisements, and then offer the free versions as ad-supported and lower quality (near or just below DVD). They cound just add in Hulu or any of these other services or a combination of them as new "channels" within Apple TV like they do with YouTube. I also think they should add in facebook/twitter support for the social media hounds, and internet radio feeds. They already have free radio feeds in iTunes, so just add it as another channel to ATV, Pandora maybe, or LastFM? Finally, upgrade the hardware with newer more powerful SOCs so that it runs extremely quickly and smoothly, and so that it doesn't generally operate at molten lava temperatures. Maybe even an overhauled UI that takes it to the next levewl and has all the gadget blogs drooling over its beauty and simplicity. Some of these (if not all) are what I want/need to see in an Apple TV to justify the purchase and to know Apple plans to sitck with this product and give it the TLC it needs.





    Forget the integration of Hulu, this web site was created to avoid a total control of iTunes over the video section like Apple did with music.



    Apple does'nt need other for that, they will offer their own solution for sure
  • Reply 12 of 57
    gigigigi Posts: 65member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Like duh, the cable companies control the signal type and any encryption, thus they control the device at the receiving end.



    The Apple TV isn't going anywhere in my opinion, because Steve Jobs is on the board of Disney/ABC and so on. You need the content, nearly all of it, so you need a neutral distributor.



    I wish the Apple TV would become like the Roku, a $100 device that lets you stream Netflix's 12,000 movie library to your TV. $15 a month for 12,000 movies, cancel at any time. SWEET!!



    But that's not going to happen. So Apple can only go so far with the AppleTV.



    forget the integration of NetFLix this is a competitor of iTunes.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gigi View Post


    forget the integration of NetFLix this is a competitor of iTunes.



    Forget everything and anything that competes with iTunes and that includes your own music and videos. Your own music and movies for crissake are listed at the bottom of the menus. The search function is not for your files but throws you into iTunes to buy their crap. I've had the ATV for over 2 years and have only spent roughly $20 on iTunes content. I had no idea that it would have morphed into an iTunes Junkebox. May it die a painful death unless it is opened up and optimized for the owners music and video files now.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    neilmneilm Posts: 468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post


    ...and the nonsense Tivo HD customers have to deal with to get CableCARDS, who can argue?



    What nonsense would that be? My TiVo HD has a pair of CableCards, which were readily available from Comcast, quickly installed and configured, and work seamlessly.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    I can say with almost certainty that IF ATV is refreshed tomorrow it will Dump the P4-M 1.4ghz CPU and chipset in favor of either Atom Z5-- series on an nVidia chipset OR ULV Core Solo. I'm betting Atom Z series on nVidia since that is Low heat, Low power and capable of 720p (and according to some owners of netbooks using these chips 1080p).



    An OS refresh may not see the light of day but certainly the 160gb HD becomes the base and a 250-320gb becomes the high end...



    Why? Those chips and HD's are OUT OF PRODUCTION. And these make logical sense.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post


    I can say with almost certainty that IF ATV is refreshed tomorrow it will Dump the P4-M 1.4ghz CPU and chipset in favor of either Atom Z5-- series on an nVidia chipset OR ULV Core Solo. I'm betting Atom Z series on nVidia since that is Low heat, Low power and capable of 720p (and according to some owners of netbooks using these chips 1080p).



    An OS refresh may not see the light of day but certainly the 160gb HD becomes the base and a 250-320gb becomes the high end...



    Why? Those chips and HD's are OUT OF PRODUCTION. And these make logical sense.



    What difference does a chip set change make if you can only buy and rent from iTunes?
  • Reply 17 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Is it Flash that is holding up iPhone production? I wonder because that could negative impact the roll out of new iPods. I'm really hoping it is an issue with the 3G chipset as this would not be a negative with respect to the iPods, especially iTouch. The last thing we need is another round of 16 & 32 GB touch devices.



    I wouldn't be surprised if it's simply a production volume issue. They have flash chips locked up as to supply and price from what I've heard and it's certainly not distribution.



    Apple seems to prioritise the United States market ahead of everywhere else, and Europe is second in line from what I've heard. Outside of that, 3Gs's are as rare as hen's teeth. I've been trying to get one in Canada since launch day and been on the official waiting list for about two months now. Last word is that in mid September they will finally get some stock and I know of a couple of people in Australia in the exact same situation.



    Apple is probably right to do what they do though, as if they distributed them more fairly, there would be shortages in the States as well and the media would eat them alive. If it's Canada or Australia, no one in the tech media (the US tech media), cares, but if someone in California or New York couldn't get one it we probably wouldn't hear the end of it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    As to lowering the price of it's Macs this should be very easy. If they can't do it then I will offer up myself to replace Ive and take Apple forward with easy to produce and service hardware. As innovative and compact as the Mini and iMac are I'm amazed that Apple can't do better with the layout of the hardware. Especially the iMac which is a bit of a servicing joke. Even the Mini concept is ripe for overhaul.



    I'm guessing you are joking here, right?



    I use and service these computers all day every day and I can tell you there is nothing they can do other than lower the margins that would lower the price of these things. The most common criticism is that they use "laptop" parts or that the parts are somehow sub-standard, so going for even cheaper parts is also a non starter.



    I would agree that the aluminium iMacs are a pain to get inside of, but then one never really needs to. Minis are perhaps the easiest to service, but they are a totally packed cube inside. There's no room to change anything and nothing can be made much smaller than it already is.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    What nonsense would that be? My TiVo HD has a pair of CableCards, which were readily available from Comcast, quickly installed and configured, and work seamlessly.



    I was going to ask the same question. Comcast happily gave me a 2-channel CableCard. The only issue I had was getting it set up right on my account. Once that was fixed (took a couple repeat calls to the help desk over a few days), I've had zero issues. And it was well worth it to rid myself of their crappy HD box. And the TiVo does so much more than the AppleTV: DVR, Rhapsody streaming, streaming music, personal video playback, Netflix, picture viewing Amazon On-Demand, YouTube, etc. Why would anyone want the extremely limited functionality of an AppleTV?
  • Reply 19 of 57
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    I was going to ask the same question. Comcast happily gave me a 2-channel CableCard. The only issue I had was getting it set up right on my account. Once that was fixed (took a couple repeat calls to the help desk over a few days), I've had zero issues. And it was well worth it to rid myself of their crappy HD box. And the TiVo does so much more than the AppleTV: DVR, Rhapsody streaming, streaming music, personal video playback, Netflix, picture viewing Amazon On-Demand, YouTube, etc. Why would anyone want the extremely limited functionality of an AppleTV?



    Does the Tivo have an on/off switch on the box?
  • Reply 20 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post


    I can say with almost certainty that IF ATV is refreshed tomorrow it will Dump the P4-M 1.4ghz CPU and chipset in favor of either Atom Z5-- series on an nVidia chipset OR ULV Core Solo. I'm betting Atom Z series on nVidia since that is Low heat, Low power and capable of 720p (and according to some owners of netbooks using these chips 1080p).



    An OS refresh may not see the light of day but certainly the 160gb HD becomes the base and a 250-320gb becomes the high end...



    Why? Those chips and HD's are OUT OF PRODUCTION. And these make logical sense.



    I don't see how you can "say this with certainty" unless you are actually working at Apple right now.



    They might use an Atom simply because it's almost a stock part at this point, but why would they re-design the hardware with Atom, when they have licenses for ARM hardware that's faster and performs better, and are currently working on their very own chip (rumoured to debut in just months), that makes even those ARM chips look slow?



    Unless they did the Atom redesign earlier this year, or unless it's a drop in replacement that's cheaper by volume, I would bet they would wait until their own chips mature next year and completely ignore Atom altogether.
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