Originally Posted by Newtron
People without cable are a tiny niche market. Apple does not serve tiny niche markets. Not anymore.
They aim straight for Mr. Average, but they are even more acute: They want Mr. Average who has extra bucks to spend, wants convenience, and is not inclined to check out cheaper or higher quality alternatives.
You are not the type of person Apple counts as a potential customer.
There are roughly 115 million households in the US. According to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, about 61 million households have some level of cable TV. So, you're saying close to 50% of the american population qualifies as a "tiny niche market"? Don't forget, for reference, Apple has about 150 million iTunes users registered. And regardless, I'm afraid you've missed the point...what percent of those 61 million cable TV subscribing households would love to get rid of that expense?
I personally have gone from $120/month for comcast standard digital cable (NO HD) and internet to $45/month for just HSI (Actually $19.99/month intro for 6 months). I was already paying for netflix ($8.99), and will continue to. Most of my viewing is movies and intelligent tv series from netflix, and occasional primetime network stuff. I will now be able to get all the major networks in HD for free OTA (since I don't have my coax taken up by a stupid comcast cable box) and the rare TV show I can't get from netflix, hulu, free download, or OTA, I might rent for 99 cents from Apple.
I'm not saying everyone is in the same boat as me, or even close, but there are _many_ compelling use cases for the AppleTV now. For instance, all you folks talking about using your PS3 or Xbox 360 for streaming...how does that compare to the _silent_ 6 watts (max) of the new AppleTV? Try doing some honest tco calculations including electricity. How about the tiny size? I have a love/hate relationship with my Roku, but the ability to take it on any kind of trip and still have great streaming content _on a TV_ is worth a lot once you try it. The new AppleTV appears to be even smaller than Roku.
Finally, I'm convinced Apple will provide an SDK at some point, leading to an app store. Yes, touch control is the big question...do you simply offer this feature for people with some iOS touch device? Apple is already allowing iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to act as a touch sensitive remote for controlling the UI...why not also for apps?
At $99 this is much more compelling than another Roku, considering how incredibly hit and miss Roku's software engineering seems to be. MLB.TV on the Roku is about as bad a service as I've ever seen. Class-action bad. And the UI on Roku is marginal at best.
I'd be surprised if Apple doesn't sell close to 10 million of these in the first year.