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Apple has sold over 4.2 Million iOS-based Apple TVs

post #1 of 21
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Apple TV sold 1.4 million units during the holiday quarter after sales of just over 2.8 million across its first year as an iOS product, but Apple's executives are still describing it as a hobby.

Apple converted its original Apple TV product into a $99 iOS-based device in September 2010. Since then, the company has sold more than 4.2 million of the set top boxes, with nearly a third of those sales occurring in the last quarter.

Speaking in the company's quarterly earnings conference call, chief executive Tim Cook responded to a question about Apple's living room strategy involving TV by saying that its existing product, Apple TV, is "actually doing pretty well."

After noting the sales figures, Cook said "in the scheme of things, if you dollarize it, we still classify it as a hobby."

However, Cook also noted that "we continue to add things to it," alluding to updates over the past year that have added new app-like features.

"I couldn't live without it," Cook added. "We continue to pull the strings to see where it takes us."




Some analysts, particularly Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, have long advocated that Apple build an HDTV incorporating the features of Apple TV and other technologies, including Siri voice features of the new iPhone 4S.

However, Cook's comments do not appear to suggest that Apple is gearing up to make TV a central part of its plans for 2012, unlike efforts by Google to reanimate its Android-based Google TV product and Microsoft's focus on TV features of the company's Xbox 360 game console, which the company's chief executive Steve Ballmer gave significant mention to in his final keynote at CES.

Samsung and other companies have made so called "Smart TVs" central to their marketing strategies.

Steve Jobs previously noted that a TV set top box is difficult product to market, as any hardware vendor would have to compete against cable or satellite providers.

However, Jobs subsequently was quoted in his Walter Isaacson biography as saying he had "finally cracked" a workable concept for an HDTV interface, with Isaacson writing that Jobs "wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."

Jobs didn't specifically mention plans to sell Apple-branded TVs, however. Large HDTVs would seem to be a poor fit for Apple's relatively small retail stores, where most of the company's products are relatively small, light and take up relatively little inventory space.

At the same time, Apple has introduced AirPlay and AirPlay mirroring as key features of iPad 2 and iPhone 4S last year, indicating that it sees significant potential in Apple TV, at least as a standalone product.

In December, NPD reported Apple TV taking 32 percent of the "connected TV player" market.
post #2 of 21
I use it to airplay TWIT and perhaps a pod cast once a week, then rent an occasional movie. Wish it had other/more/cheaper content like amazon video.

Lot of people swear by Roku box though.
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post #3 of 21
If an actual television doesn't make an appearance, I think we're pretty much guaranteed an ATV that's fully integrated with the App Store. This would turn the ATV into an all round, entertainment, social and light gaming device for less than $100!

Looking at some of the gaming titles (and their quality!) already available for iOS on the iPhone and iPad, pulling these on to ATV gives it the potential to knock a fairly sizeable dent in to Nintendo's grasp on the lower end of the console market.
post #4 of 21
I think consumers would be more interested if it had a dedicated Game (App) Store for HDTVs, slightly roomier internal storage (16-32GB) to better support app storage and supported a standard Apple-branded console-quality controller out of the box (even though that would mean a higher price).

It doesn’t need to be as gaudy at an Xbox/Playstation controller. Just something more tactile than a multi-touch glass surface.
post #5 of 21
I think that Apple is on the right track with Apple TV. Rather than build and sell a line of television sets wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to give existing TV manufacturers a reference spec for a TV/monitor where all the "smarts" live on the Apple TV and can be easily expanded through periodic software upgrades. That way consumers can buy the panel they want from the manufacturer they prefer and still get the benefits of Apple's software and UI design expertise. I'd certainly go with that solution.
post #6 of 21
I love mine, but why doesn't it do pandora? I have an iPod touch in a dock which works fine but why not just have it in my apple tv?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhrgenau View Post

I think that Apple is on the right track with Apple TV. Rather than build and sell a line of television sets wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to give existing TV manufacturers a reference spec for a TV/monitor where all the "smarts" live on the Apple TV and can be easily expanded through periodic software upgrades. That way consumers can buy the panel they want from the manufacturer they prefer and still get the benefits of Apple's software and UI design expertise. I'd certainly go with that solution.

Yep. Absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I think consumers would be more interested if it had a dedicated Game (App) Store for HDTVs,

Eh, no.

Quote:
slightly roomier internal storage (16-32GB) to better support app storage

No real need for that. I just want support for DIRECTLY ATTACHED HARD DRIVES or PLAIN DRIVES CONNECTED TO THE NETWORK THAT DON'T REQUIRE A COMPUTER ON AND ITUNES OPEN.

Quote:
It doesnt need to be as gaudy at an Xbox/Playstation controller. Just something more tactile than a multi-touch glass surface.

Which is why this is never happening.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhrgenau View Post

I think that Apple is on the right track with Apple TV. Rather than build and sell a line of television sets wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to give existing TV manufacturers a reference spec for a TV/monitor where all the "smarts" live on the Apple TV and can be easily expanded through periodic software upgrades. [...]

I'm starting to think that way too. Sure, Apple has streamlined iOS and its hardware to the point where it could easily be put into the enclosure of any TV set on the market with a screen bigger than 30". But does Apple really want to get into the low-margin cutthroat TV set market? Even if their TV set is by far the best one out there? Or do they want to license out their technology and do deals with the TV makers? I'm starting to think not.

Apple has spent billions on their infrastructure. iTunes, App Store, and now iCloud are some of the most visible features of that infrastructure. It looks, to me anyway, like Apple will be leveraging that infrastructure as much as possible in whatever they are planning in the television space. That means massive data centers like the one in North Carolina serving up content through iTunes and App Store and synced with iCloud.

But what does Apple need to do in terms of consumer hardware? Just two things. FIrst, improve the existing Apple TV so it can handle 1080p content. No problem if and when the quad-core A6 chip is rolled out. Probably later this year. Second, release some kind of ultra-simple 40" to 60" monitor for the Apple TV. It would be cheap since it's just a super-sized 1920x1080 Apple Thunderbolt Display with no TV tuner, no cable / satellite input, no built-in internet connectivity, and no built-in app-running processor. Just a beautiful but dumb screen.

That's it for hardware. Faster Apple TV with 1080p plus a high-quality but simple big-screen HDTV-resolution monitor for it. Bundle them together or sell them separately. Could be very competitive in terms of price.

As for software, Apple's greatest strength, the changes could be minimal. As Dunks suggests, a game-only App Store for Apple TV would be huge. And AirPlay could be enhanced to show full-resolution 1920x1080 on the TV while players run apps on their 960x640 iPod touches and/or iPhones.

You'll notice that 1920 is exactly twice 960. Coincidence? I think not. Games could be written at full HDTV "2x" resolution, then played at "1x" resolution on mobile screens and shown at full "2x" resolution on Apple TV connected to its HDTV monitor. Many apps that run on the iPhone 3GS and 4G/4GS already contain both 2x and 1x graphics. Been there, done that.

Anyway, Apple might never need to build a full-blown "television set." They really don't have to. All they need is a big, fancy HDTV-resolution display for their next-gen Apple TV. Boom.

And of course Siri could be used to control the next-gen Apple TV from day 1. As for future expandability, Apple could easily add face and gesture recognition for game control and deeper AI. And they'd do it by analyzing a camera image, not by projecting thousands of infra-red dots all around the room and just tracking those dots' motion (like Kinect.) But whatever. It would all be in iOS and inside the little $100 Apple TV box.

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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhrgenau View Post

I think that Apple is on the right track with Apple TV. Rather than build and sell a line of television sets wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to give existing TV manufacturers a reference spec for a TV/monitor where all the "smarts" live on the Apple TV and can be easily expanded through periodic software upgrades. That way consumers can buy the panel they want from the manufacturer they prefer and still get the benefits of Apple's software and UI design expertise. I'd certainly go with that solution.

It would be interesting if they followed Roku's lead and developed an Apple TV on a stick. Roku is using MHL port to power their stick based device. Samsung and Insignia support MHL.

Apple could just refresh the current hockey puck and put in A5 in it to achieve 1080P. Then again, only doing that wouldn't be very Apple-like
Apple TV coverage on the Tech of the Hub home theater blog
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Apple TV coverage on the Tech of the Hub home theater blog
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechoftheHub View Post

Apple could just refresh the current hockey puck and put in A5 in it to achieve 1080P. Then again, only doing that wouldn't be very Apple-like

No, it would be exactly like something Apple would do.

Only an A6, not an A5.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #11 of 21
Please, please come out with a version that streams 1080i at a minimum. 1080p from a download would be a plus.

Right now, I haven't yet replaced my defunct Gen1 AppleTV because the replacement would be the only device in my entertainment corner than only runs 720p.

Not good enough.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple TV sold 1.4 million units during the holiday quarter after sales of just over 2.8 million across its first year as an iOS product, but Apple's executives are still describing it as a hobby.

Apple converted its original Apple TV product into a $99 iOS-based device in September 2010. Since then, the company has sold more than 4.2 million of the set top boxes, with nearly a third of those sales occurring in the last quarter.


I love mine.

It has users from age 8 to 78. They love it because it easily lets them watch their movies, listen to music, use netflix, vimeo and youtube, and view photos. We've got a PS 3 which had an external drive attached to it, but it wasn't used.

It's also great when company brings over movies on an iPad or iPhone and can AirPlay them.

What I'd like to see as an improvement.

* play 1080p video
* ability to play mkv files without running them through a conversion program
* ability to separate home videos as a separate menu item.
* Let me AirPlay Safari from my iPad to the the ATV2.
* Let me AirPlay PDFs from an iPad to the ATV.
*
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

I use it to airplay TWIT and perhaps a pod cast once a week, then rent an occasional movie. Wish it had other/more/cheaper content like amazon video.

Lot of people swear by Roku box though.

I got us a Roku 2 XS this Dec after waffling between it and an AppleTV for way too long, and finally made the decision to pull the trigger so that it would make it under the Xmas tree.

To my surprise, it really performs basically flawlessly. I'm completely happy with it and what is in the bundle. My home internet (Verizon DSL in Brooklyn, NY, really terible) is unable to stream videos on Netflix without noticeable and frequent stalling to buffer on any computer here (all kinds and ages) , but the Roku buffers so well that we watch movies usually with no pause after the initial load at all. The response of the unit all around is very good.

Yup, didn't turn out to be one of those buyer's remorse times : )
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

* Let me AirPlay Safari from my iPad to the the ATV2.
* Let me AirPlay PDFs from an iPad to the ATV.

You can do these now with the iPad 2.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You can do these now with the iPad 2.

yeah, but on a wide screen TV, it sucks... black bars on each side....
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

yeah, but on a wide screen TV, it sucks... black bars on each side....

Why do you still have 4:3 content?!

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why do you still have 4:3 content?!

don't be daft.
the iPad mirroring displays it that way. Mirroring, not Airplay. pay attention.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

don't be daft.
the iPad mirroring displays it that way. Mirroring, not Airplay. pay attention.

No, the discussion is about AirPlay. You responded to a discussion about AirPlay. Nowhere has anything been said about mirroring. Don't be daft.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You can do these now with the iPad 2.

Great.

Currently I have the original iPad, so I'm looking forward to the the iPad 3.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

What I'd like to see as an improvement.

* play 1080p video
* ability to play mkv files without running them through a conversion program
* ability to separate home videos as a separate menu item.
* Let me AirPlay Safari from my iPad to the the ATV2.
* Let me AirPlay PDFs from an iPad to the ATV.
*

Amen to that!, the airplay mirroring doesnt work as well as id like it too, ive tried using Oplayer or AVplayerHD to watch stuff from 4s or iPad 2 to the apple tv, doesnt work that well, native mkv support in streaming would be great!
mkvs are only a container for a video (any video format) audio & subtitle tracks, so it would need all codecs in the apple tv to work properly i guess.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, the discussion is about AirPlay. You responded to a discussion about AirPlay. Nowhere has anything been said about mirroring. Don't be daft.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can only display Safari and PDFs on a TV screen using Airplay Mirroring.

So just for clarity, there is cabled mirroring, AirPlay mirroring, and AirPlay *mumblemumblemediaplayback*

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