Originally Posted by Cory Bauer
In either of our scenarios, Apple would be selling a severely-crippled computing device, compared to a $999 MacBook. The difference is the iPad can already do 90% of what would be needed in a master device, and it costs half what a "real" computer costs *a fair price for such a crippled device.
That's a weird position. If it can do 90% of the job why is it "crippled" and why is 50% a fair price?
In your scenario, the buyer only saves $200 over the price of a Macbook and has to spend hundreds yet for an HDTV. I don't care what you say, no family would let their television also be the monitor for their kids' computer. They'd tear eachother apart. And few families own multiple HDTVs.
And yet they already allow their kids to play games and watch movies on the HDTV. This is no different. The aTV is really only needed for synching/storage and game playing anyway.
Not to mention, the Apple TV isn't even remotely close to being able to function as a master basic-computing device, meaning Apple would have to spend years rethinking software design from the ground up in the same way they did with the iPad.
All it REALLY needs to do is run iTunes and be able to sync the iPad to new apps, firmware, etc. The rest of the functionality can come.
And for what? So people can spend hundreds more than a Mac Mini for a collection of devices that can do far less? It begs the question...why not just buy a Mac Mini? $800 (without monitor) for a set of devices that does half of what a $600 (without monitor) computer can do...makes zero sense.
If you already have and want a PC then you don't need to use an aTV as the master. If you don't want a PC then the aTV provides just the basic syncing and storage capability for $300.
If you think the iPad makes zero sense in this scenario you likely think the iPad (as a slave device) makes zero sense in any scenario...so really your opinion about this specific scenario doesn't make that much difference does it? Every slave device scenario in your mind is failure.
And that may be the only reason your solution wouldn't cannibalize Mac sales as much.
Sure. It certainly isn't very good from a bang for the buck standpoint. Very few Apple solutions are when you don't consider the value of ease of use.
Making the iPad a master device is not the same as selling an expandable Mac tower for $700. The iPad is a very limited device compared to a Mac Mini or Macbook, and does not negate the existence of more expensive products in the same way a $700 expandable Mac tower does.
The netbook has been shown to have cannibalized notebook sales. Moving the iPad closer to being a high end netbook like the Lenovo S10-3T tablet is something Apple could easily have done and deliberately not done so.
I'm not suggesting Apple sell $2,500 of hardware for $700. I'm suggesting the iPad should function as an independent device considering it costs $200 more than a Netbook.
It costs about the same as a premium netbook. For example the Lenovo S10-3T is $519.
It costs $500 less than a MB...a trade that Apple wants to stay far away from.
The people who would spend $500 on an iPad as their sole computer are the kind of people who were never going to spend $999 on a laptop, meaning Apple would be reaching an audience they otherwise have no product offerings for.
That's not completely true. Folks may pay as little as possible to meet their desires and if that is $999 that's what they'll pay. If they can get a 90% solution for 50% of the cost then that's a likely outcome for them. Since the iPad requires a master device that's less of a possibility.
If Apple won't make the iPad an independent device, then the market I'm talking about are still going to buy $300 Netbooks because it's in their price range and doesn't require also purchasing a $999 master device.
That really isn't a problem Apple cares about. Sales they don't want to lose are those for high end netbooks that are secondary devices anyway. The aTV idea is more of a lifestyle than a cost issue given, as you pointed out, it isn't all that cheaper than just getting a Mini.
The iPhone game library is a joke compared to a dedicated game console; An Apple TV that can run iPhone games in no way replaces even the Wii, whom in of itself is a half-ass game console.
Amusingly that half assed game console is the winner for this generation. And Apple wont compete with game studios in the same way that Nintendo competes with game studios with their own franchises.
That makes an aTV console compelling as a gaming platform IF there's enough sales. Something that is possible if you leverage the app store and iPhones/iPod/iPads ecosystem.