Originally Posted by JCG
I'm not necessarily a fan of the Apple TV plan. I think that the AirPort Express idea has more of a market than TV's and will make more money for Apple. If Apple does do a TV what will they bring to it? They may compete in price, but they will not be the lowest and probably not the mid range.
The only thing that I can see that they can bring is a unified interface for Cable/broadcast and Front-row. To do this they would need to have the HD cable built in. This opens the possibility to have a DVR capable TV that sends the video files to your Mac for storage, manipulation, and archiving. They could integrate it with iCal for recording as well. If they don't do something like this then it is just another TV in a very crowded market of technologies (LCD, Plasma, LCD Projection, DLP), brands, and models. Apple's history with marketing, pricing, and advertising would make it hard to compete. They don't do sales, they don't advertise price, and they don't adjust prices fast enough for the TV market place. Sure they could adjust, but they have not shown a willingness to do so in other markets that they compete in so there is no reason to expect that they would with TV's.
Don't get me wrong, I love Apple's products and services. I want them to compete and set the trend in the online Movie market with products and services that bring the same philosophy of design and integration to a market that has almost no organized integration in users interface. I'm looking foreword to seeing what comes out, and dreading it at the same time since I don't have a spare $2000-3000 to spend right now. I just hope that they come out with a product that competes in price, includes Windows users, and brings a clean easy user interface and is neatly integrated with a content delivery system. The only thing that I have doubts about is the price.
I don't agree with your statements about an Apple branded Tv (or for that matter DVD players, speakers, etc., which you didn't mention)
If Apple came out with a series of flat panel Tv's, with Apple styling, and good performance, and a decent price structure, they would sell well. If Apple sold just 100 thousand, not very many, at $2,000 apiece (not very expensive for these items), that would add $200 million to their sales. A good chunk of change.
One thing that has been known for some time now is that people, in general, like to buy everything from one company. I'm getting this also from my friends who own hi end audio/video manufacturing companies. They are all increasing their lines to include products they never bothered with before, so that they can serve their customer end to end, with a turnkey system. This is the way the iPod works now, though it expanded to include PC's.
I can see Apple doing the same thing, from input to output. A lot of people would just love to have an all Apple system.
It could even be that the iPod HiFi was a test, to see if people would buy an Apple branded system.