Originally Posted by frazmacaz
Two words - smart TV.
I think it's clear that Apple is looking at ways to revolutionize the entertainment industry with user-friendly computing - it's about smart, intuitive lifestyle products first and high-end, nerdy computing requirements for high-end users (programmers, graphic artists, video editors etc.) second.
We are moving towards an age of service convergence where device manufacturers provide the connected device ecosystems, leaving service providers to figure out how to make the best use of those systems - we as consumers want all of our services on whatever device is nearest to us.
Imagine for example, if Apple truly opened up the Apple TV to devs within the iOS ecosystem. Hello OnLive app, hello Hulu app, hello iPlayer app, hello Spotify app - all of a sudden you have a box that can do everything that is constantly connected to your TV. What's great about this for Apple is that it doesn't have to deal with any of the headaches associated with providing TV or on-demand gaming services and all of the incumbent licensing agreements and server space required for that. The onus is on the publisher of the OnLive app or the iPlayer app to take care of that side of things.
I think we are going to see the first TV set-top box (or maybe even a TV with the box built in) that truly transcends the personal computer/tv divide - that sounds like a 'category defining experience' that Apple already has nine tenths of the pieces in place to bring to market.
Imagine a 55" iPad/iPhone. Developers create Apps for such a huge screen - but it's really just 1920x1080 (or whatever) - that work in combination with a native iPad/iPhone App. So they create one App split between the 55" iPlay and the iPad/iPhone.
Many Apps will work right out of the box with AirPlay.
It will not be a TV + box, it is the closing of the loop of the Apple Ecossystem!
And this thing will work on its own with the Cloud.
Now imagine this thing works with a Bluetooth keyboard and remote BUT it "also" works with the iPhone/iPad serving as keyboard&remote. The iPad/iPhone will also work as a trackpad for the huge screen just like the MacBook trackpads operate with the screen or the magicpad does with the iMac for instance.
So you will be able to have this gorgeous futuristic looking TV that'll make you proud and that does things that none else does but... if having an iPhone to control it enables you to use this and that game or App...
Isn't the key word for all this multi-year process "convergence"?! Convergence means synergy, a closed loop that feeds itself. Do you think Apple's lawsuits to Samsung are just about the iPhone/iPad?!
Look at the rumors, aren't they talking about Apple not going with OLED screens for a TV? They really can't say Apple is going ahead with LED-LCDs, can they?!
It's all there and it's obvious. It's been years in the works. And all the iPhone/iPad work is converged into such device.
Actually it's so simply done for Apple it would be dumb not to do so. And how it will differentiate Apple from the competitors?! Once again, they will be trying to tie their shoelaces when Apple is getting to the finish line... Because, you know, it's all about the Software integration with Hardware and there's nothing like the iOS out there, is there?
Finally, I just want to add this: if the 55" iPlay iOS device works best with an iPhone/iPad, don't you think that there'll be 200 million people drooling to have one?! Suppose that every iPhone/iPad household has got 1 to 2 iPhone/iPad, the potential is 100.000.000 iPlays. Still, if Apple makes a 40" version, "my sweet son/daughter" can have one in his room.
Now add this to FaceTime and you've got gigantic FaceTime video calling. Another boost for FaceTime, another synergy happening.
And then you'll see video content coming out of the iTunes store bigtime and the media moguls fighting it out to be able to have their movies premiere in the Apple Ecossystem! Another gigantic leap in profits in the money making Apple machine.
Actually, I believe HP's decision to drop hardware and invest in software - whomever believes they're dropping WebOS is dumb - has got to do with this they already know from industry espionage ahem intelligence. At this point in time if you're a CEO in this industry and you still haven't figured out that the key to success is CONVERGENCE and INTEGRATION then you've got to be a real loser or just interested in the millions you'll earn out of being a big biz CEO.
Heck, did you really believe Jobs when he stated Apple TV was just a hobby and there wasn't a way to get into that market?! He was not lying, he just forgot to say "now".
This has been in the works for years, do not doubt it.
One more thing: every boardroom of every company or government organization in the world will want one of these. So Apple will indeed have closed the loop because the buying frenzy will come from bottom upwards - consumers - AND from top downwards - big and small corporations/executives. To prove my point, if there ever was a need, I remember I was shown an iPad in the hands of a pharmaceutical salesperson when it hadn't still gotten to my country...
Apple is thorough, completeness, no loose ends, the whole that comes from vision.
Tiny vs. Huge: Apple TV is a tiny box few people know about, it's little and a hobby. This "iPlay" 55" iMac/iPhone/iPad is the real deal, big business, it is a HUGE presence in a living room for every one to see (vanity applies here like for the iPhone/iPad). Steve knows human nature and he knows size matters!
And I see no reason for it to be expensive, Apple will surely apply the same economies of scale and muscle to make them affordable.
Now I REALLY rest my case!