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Apple positioned to introduce connected HDTV within 2-4 years - Page 4

post #121 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think he's right to suggest that Apple has a huge opportunity in this market. That's all he's done, really. The problem we're seeing here is that some seem to want to take his broad generalities and spin them into specific products.

Apple would do about as well in the HDTV market as they did in the home stereo market; remember the iPod Hifi?

Yes, the home theater market is a mess and there is some major room for simplification. There is some severe incompetence on the part of the CE manufacturers that fuels consumer confusion; blu-ray players come bundled not with HDMI cables, but RCA cables. Audio receivers have fourteen-hundred different pointless options and effects settings. Televisions come out of the box with the most terrible picture settings possible. But Apple's solution that Munster outlined in this article doesn't solve any of the issues; instead, it would take everything away and replace it with an overpriced LCD that only allows you to watch content supplied by Apple and games built for iPhones. That doesn't do anyone any good, except Apple.
post #122 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Apple would do about as well in the HDTV market as they did in the home stereo market; remember the iPod Hifi?

Yes, the home theater market is a mess and there is some major room for simplification. There is some severe incompetence on the part of the CE manufacturers that fuels consumer confusion; blu-ray players come bundled not with HDMI cables, but RCA cables. Audio receivers have fourteen-hundred different pointless options and effects settings. Televisions come out of the box with the most terrible picture settings possible. But Apple's solution that Munster outlined in this article doesn't solve any of the issues; instead, it would take everything away and replace it with an overpriced LCD that only allows you to watch content supplied by Apple and games built for iPhones. That doesn't do anyone any good, except Apple.

Since there's no evidence for anything you've said, the only reply necessary it to point that out.
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post #123 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Since there's no evidence for anything you've said, the only reply necessary it to point that out.

How thought-provoking. Exactly which points of mine are you seeking evidence? Since only a fraction of it is speculation on my part, I can't imagine you want sources for all of it.
post #124 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

How thought-provoking. Exactly which points of mine are you seeking evidence? Since only a fraction of it is speculation on my part, I can't imagine you want sources for all of it.

Munster did not actually outline any "solution," for a start. He is really only suggesting that Apple has an opportunity in this market, as they are uniquely good at hardware, software, and content delivery -- which is true. Second, how Apple could "do" in this market has no earthly relationship with the iPod HiFi, and I can't imagine why you think it would. Third, he did not suggest that such a product should be "overpriced" but rather that he believes Apple could deliver one "competitively priced." Fourth, whether it's good for any given person, is up to that person -- just as it is with any product. Munster also said that he believe Apple can "move the needle," meaning change consumer expectations in this market. Also a fair analysis, since they've done that a few times already.
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post #125 of 137
I must say that I agree with Dr Millmoss that people here are getting way to caught up in details are are not seeing the big picture.

It seems to me that Apple are trying to shift the computing paradigm away from the traditional laptop and desktop. With the iPhone they have shown they can be very successful when they do this. Moving into the home theatre area makes sense because Windows isn't entrenched here. No one has a strangle hold of this market. Does it surprise anyone that Google is interested in this as well? They see what Apple sees as well.

The hardware may very well be unimpressive. I would expect that Apple will try to distinguish its product with software. That's their current recipe for success. My guess is that Apple will try to make the experience more interactive. For instance, with shows like American Idol, Apple could develop a way for users to vote instantly with a touch screen remote. I also see lots of possibilities for advertisers. For instance adds might have text that appears on screen that says 'for more info' and if you touch this with a touch screen remote information on that product is emailed to you. With a biometric reader perhaps you could instantly buy Ginsu knives with the touch of your thumb. There are lots of possibilities.
post #126 of 137
L
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't see it.
  1. TVs are updated in different cycles than the perhipeals they're usually connected to. TVs with optical drives have never been widely popular.
  2. There is no on-size-fits-all philosophy that will work with TVs. What if I want 20" version for the bacthroom, or 30" for bedroom, etc.
  3. Outside of size, there are just too many styles and types to fit too many home settings.
  4. The margins on TVs are typically thin.
  5. Apple will severely limit it's sales potential in this already difficult market by making a few models of TVs with AppleTV software built in. The best option seems to be an appliance that connects to any TV and/or a licensing deal with a company like LG for AppleTV add-on for their TVs, similar to HP's MediaSmart TVs.

Why even worry or discuss this now? $2000 grand buys a lot of tv now let alone in 2-4 years.

With regard to ipad and business, I don't think so. At least not in it's current formand ironically Apple may be gearing up all the advertisements only to have other machines come out with more features. Nothing good out now. The Courier, if true looks intersting. The article nonetheless goes with what I'm hearing from a lot of hardcore mac users. Dumping the mb and mbp for ipad and iMac. Will be intersting to see how apple deals with this. Thus the lack of video and other items. Found on a laptop only not to mention all the programs. But in the end, I see this trend of ipad iMac becoming the new thing unless the courier is real, that could affect the market somewhat, perhaps not. It could end up that the mbp unless 4-8 cores arrive, that they lose traction and many get the ipad, courier and iMac and take what you need for the day. Besides, you'll always have the iPhone for those courier days. Then again new win mobi looks preety cool.

Awesome time for consumers and perhaps the creatives very soon!!! Exciting times
post #127 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

iTV ...

Is unfortunately a trademark in the UK with 30+ years providence. i.e. Mr Jobs isn't going to get the trademark by strong arming people. I'd also guess that it is probably one of the most likely reasons they now call the AppleTV such. Especially as Steve slipped up numerous times and called it the "iTV" in the keynote where they introduced the AppleTV.

http://www.itv.com/
post #128 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

How thought-provoking. Exactly which points of mine are you seeking evidence? Since only a fraction of it is speculation on my part, I can't imagine you want sources for all of it.

I'm going to bold every point you made that is pure speculation at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Apple would do about as well in the HDTV market as they did in the home stereo market; remember the iPod Hifi?

Yes, the home theater market is a mess and there is some major room for simplification. There is some severe incompetence on the part of the CE manufacturers that fuels consumer confusion; blu-ray players come bundled not with HDMI cables, but RCA cables. Audio receivers have fourteen-hundred different pointless options and effects settings. Televisions come out of the box with the most terrible picture settings possible. But Apple's solution that Munster outlined in this article doesn't solve any of the issues; instead, it would take everything away and replace it with an overpriced LCD that only allows you to watch content supplied by Apple and games built for iPhones. That doesn't do anyone any good, except Apple.

In other words, everything that pertains to Apple. The iMac features video in, so why wouldn't an Apple branded TV? Given that some components would would be contained internally, the need for cables would be lessened, and it couldn't be faulted for peripherals not made by Apple not containing HDMI cables. How can you suggest that $2000 for an undetermined size of TV using undetermined display components is overpriced? You may be able to be plenty of 40"+ LCD TV's for under a grand, but LED backlit 3D HDTV's are still closer to $5000 and we don't know where we will be 4 years from now. Lsstly games would obviously be made for the TV, not the iPhone.
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post #129 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Munster did not actually outline any "solution," for a start.

Really? Because there's a picture in the article that shows a stack of LCD, blu-ray player, cable box, DVR, audio receiver, and game console on the left. And on the right is an LCD running the Apple TV software; that implies that Munster feels everything on the left can be replaced with what's pictured on the right. I'm pretty sure Munster's idea of an Apple-branded television is nothing more than a 40" iMac body running the Apple TV software with an App store to bring in games. At least, that's what the provided image implies. And since we know from Apple's past product offerings that they have no interest in offering DVR or Blu-Ray capabilities — two products that compete with their precious iTunes Store — we can pretty much conclude that an Apple-branded television would be exactly what I outlined; an overpriced LCD with an Apple TV built in, plus the ability to download iPhone-quality games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Third, he did not suggest that such a product should be "overpriced" but rather that he believes Apple could deliver one "competitively priced."

His image also includes a price: $1,999 for a 40" LCD, regardless of the software inside, is way damn overpriced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Fourth, whether it's good for any given person, is up to that person -- just as it is with any product. Munster also said that he believe Apple can "move the needle," meaning change consumer expectations in this market. Also a fair analysis, since they've done that a few times already.

This product would only be good for people who are too dumb to plug an HDMI cable — one cable — between their television and devices. I question how those people could mange to turn their television on at all if they can't figure out how to connect one cable. And again, the picture implies that one could do away with all of your home theatre equipment in favor of a single device provided by Apple; this isn't moving the needle, but rather simply limiting all of your content options to only those provided by Apple's iTunes Store. One could create that kind of simplicity for themselves today just by not hooking anything up to their wi-fi enabled television and just using the built-in Amazon Video On Demand widget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

In other words, everything that pertains to Apple. The iMac features video in, so why wouldn't an Apple branded TV? Given that some components would would be contained internally, the need for cables would be lessened, and it couldn't be faulted for peripherals not made by Apple not containing HDMI cables. How can you suggest that $2000 for an undetermined size of TV using undetermined display components is overpriced? You may be able to be plenty of 40"+ LCD TV's for under a grand, but LED backlit 3D HDTV's are still closer to $5000 and we don't know where we will be 4 years from now. Lsstly games would obviously be made for the TV, not the iPhone.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that this Apple television wouldn't have HDMI ports, I'm sure it would. The point was that in Munster's world, this Apple television only makes financial sense because it can magically replace all of your other home devices. And his picture implies that it's a 40" Apple-branded television running the Apple TV software for $1,999. And for the record, anyone who spends $5,000 on one of those LED-backlit 3D HDTVs is equally crazy; you can get an ultra-thin 50" 3D HDTV Plasma television for $1,799.
post #130 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

The hardware may very well be unimpressive. I would expect that Apple will try to distinguish its product with software. That's their current recipe for success.

The thing is thus far people have been reluctant to purchase televisions based on software; how the picture quality looks to them is probably 95% of the deciding factor for people when buying a television (as well it should be). Just like people buy cars based more on looks than anything else,
few people would buy a TV based on the built-in menus. They expect to take it home and hook it up to their game console, satellite dish, and DVD player. Convincing someone to do away with all of those things and instead buy all their TV, games, and movies from Apple would be a very tough sale, methinks.

The smartest thing Apple could do is get iTunes streaminig built into current manufacturers' televisions in the same way that Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, and Vudu have already. Netflix is built into TVs, Blu-Ray players, and all three game consoles. Apple has more or less already lost the fight for the living room because of this.
post #131 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that this Apple television wouldn't have HDMI ports, I'm sure it would. The point was that in Munster's world, this Apple television only makes financial sense because it can magically replace all of your other home devices. And his picture implies that it's a 40" Apple-branded television running the Apple TV software for $1,999. And for the record, anyone who spends $5,000 on one of those LED-backlit 3D HDTVs is equally crazy; you can get an ultra-thin 50" 3D HDTV Plasma television for $1,799.

I'd focus on the competitive comment more than his $2000 number. He just picked a number that would be relevant today, and like I said, we don't really know what display technologies will be dominant four years from now and how much a TV will cost. Current technologies will get cheaper, but new, more expensive technologies are always being developed. Perhaps OLED TV's will become affordable and the norm in 2-4 years. The cost of a TV might not go down much in 2-4 years, but the TV you would buy woulld be much better than today's TV's.

This last post is a lot more rational than your previous one (iPhone games on a TV? Come on, iPad and iPhone apps aren't even the same.), I would agree that an Apple branded TV would have to be competitive with other televisions out there. At the same time I wouldn't discount the value of a good ecosystem. The ecosystem is a major reason why the iPhone and iPods do really well and why the current Apple TV fares relatively poorly.

Quote:
And again, the picture implies that one could do away with all of your home theatre equipment in favor of a single device provided by Apple; this isn't moving the needle, but rather simply limiting all of your content options to only those provided by Apple's iTunes Store.

Then again. Why do you keep saying limit if this TV wouldn't limit you since you could still plug other things in if you wanted to or needed to???

Edit: I kind of see where you are coming from now that I've seen the picture. I often just read the text in the comments. To be fair though, he showed a Wii which isn't exactly a beast hardware wise next to a PS3 or an Xbox. The rest, with the exception of the receiver for a select few could be integrated into a TV with virtually no consequences to the end user, You don't need to change cable boxes or DVR's very often. Munsters view may be idealized, but the concept itself has a lot of merit.
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post #132 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

The thing is thus far people have been reluctant to purchase televisions based on software; how the picture quality looks to them is probably 95% of the deciding factor for people when buying a television (as well it should be). Just like people buy cars based more on looks than anything else,
few people would buy a TV based on the built-in menus. They expect to take it home and hook it up to their game console, satellite dish, and DVD player. Convincing someone to do away with all of those things and instead buy all their TV, games, and movies from Apple would be a very tough sale, methinks.

PQ is important. I just doubt that an Apple TV will have the best in class picture. I think it'll be good. And I really expect it to have HDMI ports and the like so that all the TV peripherals that consumers currently have can be connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

The smartest thing Apple could do is get iTunes streaminig built into current manufacturers' televisions in the same way that Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, and Vudu have already. Netflix is built into TVs, Blu-Ray players, and all three game consoles. Apple has more or less already lost the fight for the living room because of this.

That's very 'me too' in thinking. I doubt Apple would stop there as that would be very easy for other pc vendors and TV set vendors to duplicate.

IF Apple enter this market they will have software that distinguishes it from other TV set makers. They aren't going to compete on price and commoditize their product.

Here's another thought I have about how this could work. Say you're watching 'Lost' and get tired and decide to go to bed. You decide to record the episode. The Apple tv then gives you the option of syncing the episode with your iPhone or iPad so you can watch it on that device the next day while on the subway or at lunch. That would take some cooperation with the networks and studios but if they can offer new interactive ads or if Apple makes it so that ads can't be skipped then it might be worth it to the networks/studios to do this.

See how the iPad is evolving into new platform for advertising? An Apple TV could might try to do the same.
post #133 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Really? Because there's a picture in the article that shows a stack of LCD, blu-ray player, cable box, DVR, audio receiver, and game console on the left. And on the right is an LCD running the Apple TV software; that implies that Munster feels everything on the left can be replaced with what's pictured on the right. I'm pretty sure Munster's idea of an Apple-branded television is nothing more than a 40" iMac body running the Apple TV software with an App store to bring in games. At least, that's what the provided image implies. And since we know from Apple's past product offerings that they have no interest in offering DVR or Blu-Ray capabilities two products that compete with their precious iTunes Store we can pretty much conclude that an Apple-branded television would be exactly what I outlined; an overpriced LCD with an Apple TV built in, plus the ability to download iPhone-quality games.

All from the articles (of which there have been many), all from interpretations by others, not from Munster's note to investors itself. What Munster said was far more general. It was about Apple's opportunities in this market, not about specific product designs. If you stick to what he actually said, I think you'll find it to be a useful insight into what Apple's next big move might be.
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post #134 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I'd focus on the competitive comment more than his $2000 number. He just picked a number that would be relevant today, and like I said, we don't really know what display technologies will be dominant four years from now and how much a TV will cost. Current technologies will get cheaper, but new, more expensive technologies are always being developed. Perhaps OLED TV's will become affordable and the norm in 2-4 years. The cost of a TV might not go down much in 2-4 years, but the TV you would buy woulld be much better than today's TV's.

This last post is a lot more rational than your previous one (iPhone games on a TV? Come on, iPad and iPhone apps aren't even the same.), I would agree that an Apple branded TV would have to be competitive with other televisions out there. At the same time I wouldn't discount the value of a good ecosystem. The ecosystem is a major reason why the iPhone and iPods do really well and why the current Apple TV fares relatively poorly.



Then again. Why do you keep saying limit if this TV wouldn't limit you since you could still plug other things in if you wanted to or needed to???

Edit: I kind of see where you are coming from now that I've seen the picture. I often just read the text in the comments. To be fair though, he showed a Wii which isn't exactly a beast hardware wise next to a PS3 or an Xbox. The rest, with the exception of the receiver for a select few could be integrated into a TV with virtually no consequences to the end user, You don't need to change cable boxes or DVR's very often. Munsters view may be idealized, but the concept itself has a lot of merit.

There's two major flaws with Munster's idea of Apple succeeding in the home theatre market. The first is it's impossible to replace all of those devices with a single one that negates the need for the others; now as you pointed out, why does it need to? Well because if it doesn't, then it doesn't solve the issue that is the complexity of home theatre equipment, and also makes the value of the Apple-branded television far less. If the consumer still has to make it play nice with his receiver, blu-ray player, and xBox 360 then it hasn't simplified the home theater setup; either a person knows how to run an HDMI cable or they don't; since all devices now use HDMI (a single cable), and if a person is competent enough to hook one device up, why would they pay a premium to save themselves the 2 minutes it would take to connect the remainder of them?

The second major issue is pricing in the the HDTV market; new models come out in the spring for $1,799 and by November you can pick them up for $1,050. You know as well as I do that Apple would be fully reluctant to discount their products in this fashion, which means they'll be collecting dust at the end of the isle while people walk out of the store with bigger TV's that look just as good or better for half the price.
post #135 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It was about Apple's opportunities in this market, not about specific product designs. If you stick to what he actually said, I think you'll find it to be a useful insight into what Apple's next big move might be.

I really don't think there are any opportunities for Apple in this market, though. Their Apple TV product is a dud; at $229 it's way overpriced and largely redundant. I don't see how strapping an $1,800 screen to it would make it more attractive to consumers.

Now, if Apple had a means of providing live television, was willing to include DVR and Blu-ray, and bundled an Apple-branded audio receiver with wireless surround sound speakers, then we'd be talking. But a product whose ease-of-use stems from simply limiting your content options to those of a single provider is not a game-changer; it's just a TV for Apple loyalists.
post #136 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

I really don't think there are any opportunities for Apple in this market, though. Their Apple TV product is a dud; at $229 it's way overpriced and largely redundant. I don't see how strapping an $1,800 screen to it would make it more attractive to consumers.

Now, if Apple had a means of providing live television, was willing to include DVR and Blu-ray, and bundled an Apple-branded audio receiver with wireless surround sound speakers, then we'd be talking. But a product whose ease-of-use stems from simply limiting your content options to those of a single provider is not a game-changer; it's just a TV for Apple loyalists.

You're entitled to think so, but at the same time you should recognize that all of these details are your interpretation of the concept. They don't necessarily bear any relationship to what Gene Munster was suggesting and they certainly don't reflect on any approach that Apple might take in this market in the future. I don't see where "strapping on" is an approach you should anticipate from Apple, as if this is what they are known for doing. Your punch list of things it must do or be Product Fail is not only arbitrary, it's extremely premature.

FWIW, I agree with Munster on the general principles, which is that no company has a better opportunity to change this game. Apple has unmatched skills in hardware, software and content delivery. If anyone can solve the "chain of pain" we're experiencing now, it's Apple. Beyond speaking to the concepts, I'm not sure what else there is to discuss, since concepts are all we've really got now, and the timeframe is ages off.

Also, I think a lot of people get confused about why analysts bring up these subjects. They do it to advise their clients on the long-term prospects for a company. Investors might well be thinking about where Apple goes for its next trick. Munster thinks it might be this way. I think he might be right. At least I can't think of any good reason why he's likely to be wrong.
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post #137 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

.. Their Apple TV product is a dud; at $229 it's way overpriced and largely redundant. I don't see how strapping an $1,800 screen to it would make it more attractive to consumers.
.

You don't think they know that as well?

Its easy to predict that as a failure. But I really doubt that that an Apple TV set will *just* be a ATV bolted onto a display.
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