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Target stores to pick up Apple TV

post #1 of 75
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Big-box retailer Target is poised to become the next third-party retailer to market Apple Inc.'s new Apple TV device at its brick-and-mortar retail stores, AppleInsider has learned.

The bullseye-themed shop will join Best Buy, which agreed to carry the inaugural Apple living room device at all of its locations just last month. Units have also popped up at various Circuit City and CompUSA stores.

People familiar with Target's plans say units should turn up in official capacity at several locations by month's end, exploiting the monthly rollover (or electronics department "reset") to establish a presence. Like Apple's own retail stores, Target will reportedly equip at least some locations with a full-blown demonstration unit hooked up to a widescreen HDTV, showcasing the product for shoppers unfamiliar with its concept.

It's unclear at this time how many of Target's 1488 stores plan to carry the Apple media system or, similarly, the size of the merchant's commitment to flashy showfloor display units. A representative for the retailer declined to comment on the report after conferring with Target's "internal partners."

While undoubtedly welcome as another means of exposing newcomers to its 40GB wireless media streamer, Apple's move into Target may initially see slow results. Although the device sat atop the online Apple Store's charts on launch, it has remained on the trailing edge of the top seller list ever since.

Apple TV has been lauded as the next TiVo replacement in the press. At the same time, however, checks with Best Buy reveal that the No. 1 U.S. electronics retailer's own foray into Apple TV sales has turned up a relatively low level of interest from shoppers thus far -- in some cases leaving stores with the majority of their initial allotments.

"We did receive three Apple TV's, and still have the same three," said a contact within one Best Buy store. "Not selling too well at our store."

The gradual cooling of pent-up demand combined with early third-party indicators foretells considerable challenges not just for Target but for Apple itself, the latter of which has had trouble persuading those outside its core fan base that the $299 unit has value even in the wake of a new TV ad campaign.

On the other hand, the mediocre adoption rate of Apple TV at Best Buy is unlikely to represent overall demand. A more telling indicator of early customer appreciation is expected on April 25th, when Apple is likely to hint at sales tallies via the company's direct channels as part of its fiscal second quarter report.

Target currently markets Apple TV only through its online store.
post #2 of 75
Oh boy, Target employees explaining Apple TV. Doesn't get any funner than that.
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post #3 of 75
I'm sure the AppleTV won't sell well. It will still be enjoyed by those for whom it IS a good choice, and it's still an important step towards future things. A small part of a big story.
post #4 of 75
I must say, having seen one in action at the local Apple store, I'm pretty disappointed with AppleTV in its current configuration. The video quality is, to put it bluntly, amazingly, dishearteningly crappy. When they fix it to play true 720P video, and offer 720P movie *rentals* then I'll give it a second look.

Well it did take until the 3G models before the iPod really took off.
post #5 of 75
"The bullseye-themed shop" -- they are at it again!
post #6 of 75
I can't imagine the AppleTV selling well in BestBuy or Target. The latter is just a joke. The AppleTV will be selling great once the HD content is available for DL, but until then it just won't be worthwhile for most people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

The video quality is, to put it bluntly, amazingly, dishearteningly crappy. When they fix it to play true 720P video

AppleTV does play 720p. What is not currently available is HD content from the iTunes Store.
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post #7 of 75
I am not surprised that best buy hasn't sold any Apple TVs. When I went to my local BB the other day, I asked a salesperson and they said. . ."um, I am not sure about that, I don't think Apple makes TVs but let me check." After about 5 minutes, someone from the CELL PHONE department came up and told me they had 4 in stock. I told them I would take 1 and she said, "ok, well we have to find them first. I didn't see any out there in our stock"

I proceeded to watch 5 BB employees search for 20 minutes to find any of the 4 apple TVs. Finally the manager told me that they couldn't find them. I asked him if they were accustomed to misplacing 1200 bucks worth of inventory, and he assured me that they would "turn up eventually".

Most of you probably remember the trials that Apple had in the late 1990s with Best Buy and its lackluster representation of apple products. Many stores didn't set up demos of the iMac let alone remove the iMac from their warehouse. That was one reason Apple pulled their inventory from Best Buy and was slow to bring the iPod to Best Buy. . . its ashame we are seeing the same thing over again, because marketed correctly, the Apple TV can be a revolutionary device. Now if we could just get some software updates from Cupertino!
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

"The bullseye-themed shop" -- they are at it again!

This is starting to become a running joke. I think they're doing it on purpose.
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post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Big-box retailer Target is poised to become just the second third-party retailer to market Apple Inc.'s new Apple TV device at its brick-and-mortar retail stores

Circuit City has been carrying AppleTV for quite some time now.
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Apple...oductDetail.do
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AppleTV does play 720p. What is not currently available is HD content from the iTunes Store.

exactly. appletv serves up hd beautifully. it's just from source files that aren't itunes downloads. i've converted a number of things from my eyetv into appletv format in high def and they look great.
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

"The bullseye-themed shop" -- they are at it again!

For our English members:



I think that would possibly be the best shop ever.
post #12 of 75
I beg to differ. There is HD content on ITunes(depending on what you consider HD). Check the podcast section. I see more and more every day. The remainder of the content I have downloaded is perfectly acceptable while possibly not true HD.
post #13 of 75
I assumed each BestBuy would get 5 Apple TVs. So the "contact" said his/her store got 3 Apple TVs and they didn't sell, than that means our local BestBuy store here sold 2 out of the 3 they got (not including the display model). I don't work there but I was there last week "browsing" and saw one AppleTV box with the security device on it and the display model within a glass enclouse.
post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3ns0n View Post

For our English members:



I think that would possibly be the best shop ever.

Super! Smashing! Great!

My mate has converted almost all his DVDs to 720p files for Apple TV, and they look a treat. He showed me a Lost episode trailer from iTunes, and my god it looked like crap. If Apple TV is a hard sell in the states, the UK sales must be dire.

Some sites are doing HD video podcasts for Apple TV, and they look great - how long are Apple going to wait to get HD content on iTunes?
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Oh boy, Target employees explaining Apple TV. Doesn't get any funner than that.

Here in Sarasota, FL at our local Target (which is a great store for non electronics) I have yet to ever actually be helped at the electronics counter ... in fact I've yet to actually be asked, come to think about it .... I've yet to see anyone to ask ...
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post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

Super! Smashing! Great!

My mate has converted almost all his DVDs to 720p files for Apple TV, and they look a treat.

Pretty much a waste of time. Standard DVDs are SD and to up convert to 720p is achieving little except maybe making them progressive which many already are at 480p plus unnecessarily large.

To start with 640 x 480 (or whatever your SD standard is) and use a computer to create 1280 x 720 is simply up sampling, a slow and useless effort. Remember GIGO!

It's like taking a 640 x 480 snap shot into Photoshop and enlarging and getting excited. The best thing to do with DVDs, once ripped, is to convert to H.264 at the best quality you can with double pass and high bit rate and progressive (if not already) but keep the size the same and let Apple TV deal with the size.
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post #17 of 75
putting the ITV into BB stores without a test is for only one reason.. they want the phone and this is RECKLESS PROOF of their need for it. experimenting with the ITV is a small price to pay in order to show loyalty, be a team player and because they will do anything to show how much they want the Iphone.

Target? showing up in several locations is likely "test" taken by an enthusiastic buyer or maybe a need on the part of Target management to also show their interest in staying in the forefront of new products coming on the market - FROM APPLE WHO HAS THAT PHONE. this event is likely beyond the phone and meaningless as a predictor of anything at all in 07 or 08.

What is interesting is that retailer TV buyers are smart enough (desperate) to seek out a higher margin accessory to their already disgustingly low margin TV business. The ITV takes up zero space diplayed with a TV and probably nets more profit than the sale of five TV sets. The fact is that if it isn't on display that way at Best Buy the purchase and coordination are askew and without viable reasons to be recognized.

Apple has brand recognition at an all time high.. They are finally recoginized as a consumer electronics company and as an innovator by the mass market - these qualities have everyone in the business on their toes and in lock step. This is Sony in the 80's all over again. The question is whether Apple will take advantage of their position and expand product lines into more branded and profitable accessory consumer electronics accessorey items. Sony, for example, after several years selling the walkman caught on to packaging headphones to hang along side the no name venders that are currently getting most of the replacement headphone business at Target. the next question is when will Apple start taking advantage of their potential to sell profitable accessory product categories and start capitolizing on the high margin/high volume accessory business that the mass market enjoys?
post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

"The bullseye-themed shop" -- they are at it again!

If bad jokes hurt I'd be dead by now, that was bad.
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post #19 of 75
Quote:

You've got all the time in the world.. just take your time
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post #20 of 75
Great news! Now, even more people can not buy one!
post #21 of 75
I'd be willing to bet one of the "secrect features" in Leapord would have delivered some radical new HD file handling system (codec or otherwise) that Apple TV is waiting on. We already know the AppleTV is running OSX, it's just waiting for the new PC software running your source content (iTunes) to catch up with it... anyway, that's my best guess. 720P comes with Leapord. Now available in October (or January, or ...)
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post #22 of 75
No advertising = no sales.

It's a simple equation.

No matter what some here may think, people I know who have seen this at the Apple store were impressed.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm sure the AppleTV won't sell well.

Understatement of the year.

My initial impressions of AppleTV were correct. It's a half-baked attempt and it's been poorly thought out in it's presentation to the buying public. Really pathetic effort by Apple, and I don't honestly believe that Steve was behind it 100%. If he was, he wasn't thinking straight.

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post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Understatement of the year.

My initial impressions of AppleTV were correct. It's a half-baked attempt and it's been poorly thought out in it's presentation to the buying public. Really pathetic effort by Apple, and I don't honestly believe that Steve was behind it 100%. If he was, he wasn't thinking straight.

I disagree. the only thing holding back the AppleTV is content. I'm not sure if it's the logical problem of adding 720p content to the iTunes Store when the iPod can't play them or if content providers are keeping it from happening (read: contracts regulating the resolution).

Either way, the HD content will come and the AppleTV will become more popular.
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post #25 of 75
Are they also going to sell the new Airport base station 11.n?
They may need to sell that with the Apple TV as customers maybe have only B or G with a lot of interference.
post #26 of 75
There are certainly pitfalls to moving into Target with Apple TV but there is one major upside: soccer moms shop at Target. No, wait, let me correct that: soccer moms live at Target. Now, these customers may not be the number one target market for Apple TV (no pun intended) but they make a LOT of the buying decisions for families and if they think it's cool will talk to their husbands about it and bring it into the home.

All Apple needs to do is have a display showing how it works, train one or two of the kids working in the electronics department on how it works and bingo! Sales. Target may lose out on some sales of DVD's on account of this but if they push iTunes gift cards with it, they can easily make up these sales.

I think it's very smart for Apple to go mass market with these devices. They can move a lot of product and introduce what is clearly a niche product to the general public. Apple's next move should be to bring their entry level computers to Target.
post #27 of 75
This effort should result in additional eMachine and Dell media center machines.

Unless the salesman pushes the product and treats it fairly, they are not going to sell many, on top of that sounds like Apple is also not using good video samples, making them look bad in those large TV(s).
post #28 of 75
I don't see a problem moving to Target.

This is a consumer device. It's very easy to use. It's turned on, and working. All that has to be done is to go through the menu. No big deal. Even easier than going through most Tv's own menus.
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggsjm View Post

I am not surprised that best buy hasn't sold any Apple TVs. When I went to my local BB the other day, I asked a salesperson and they said. . ."um, I am not sure about that, I don't think Apple makes TVs but let me check." After about 5 minutes, someone from the CELL PHONE department came up and told me they had 4 in stock. I told them I would take 1 and she said, "ok, well we have to find them first. I didn't see any out there in our stock"

I proceeded to watch 5 BB employees search for 20 minutes to find any of the 4 apple TVs. Finally the manager told me that they couldn't find them. I asked him if they were accustomed to misplacing 1200 bucks worth of inventory, and he assured me that they would "turn up eventually".

Most of you probably remember the trials that Apple had in the late 1990s with Best Buy and its lackluster representation of apple products. Many stores didn't set up demos of the iMac let alone remove the iMac from their warehouse. That was one reason Apple pulled their inventory from Best Buy and was slow to bring the iPod to Best Buy. . . its ashame we are seeing the same thing over again, because marketed correctly, the Apple TV can be a revolutionary device. Now if we could just get some software updates from Cupertino!

I love to hear from someone with a BestBuy store-in-a-store manned by Apple personnel. I bet there is a big difference in sales (of all kinds) and a big differrece in user experience.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't see a problem moving to Target.

This is a consumer device. It's very easy to use. It's turned on, and working. All that has to be done is to go through the menu. No big deal. Even easier than going through most Tv's own menus.

I do, it is likely to give a potential customer the wrong impression about Apple products. Those customers then talk to their friends and every one then thinks that Apple products are crap.
post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by halhiker View Post

All Apple needs to do is have a display showing how it works, train one or two of the kids working in the electronics department on how it works and bingo! Sales. Target may lose out on some sales of DVD's on account of this but if they push iTunes gift cards with it, they can easily make up these sales.

With all due respect, have you ever been in a Target? I would be very surprised if they could keep someone on staff and available who was trained in demo'ing AppleTV. Most every time I've ever been near the electronics department at Target there wasn't an employee in sight.

Also, I have no idea of Target's margin on DVD's or iTunes gift cards; but I would think it is a pretty safe bet that they make much more money on dvds they sell than the cut they get for selling an iTunes gift card.
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I do, it is likely to give a potential customer the wrong impression about Apple products. Those customers then talk to their friends and every one then thinks that Apple products are crap.

What part of an AppleTV demo is crap? The on;y thing I can see as a problem is if the content is from the iTunes Store. Besides that, the AppleTV should impress everyone with it's simple, iPod-like controls.
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post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I do, it is likely to give a potential customer the wrong impression about Apple products. Those customers then talk to their friends and every one then thinks that Apple products are crap.

I'm curious as to what wrong impression you are referring to?
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post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I do, it is likely to give a potential customer the wrong impression about Apple products. Those customers then talk to their friends and every one then thinks that Apple products are crap.

That makes no sense. you haven't given a reason. These are big companies. Plenty of people buy from them. Apple is supposed to be setting up a demo area. I'd rather give it time before I criticize it.
post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkarl View Post

With all due respect, have you ever been in a Target? I would be very surprised if they could keep someone on staff and available who was trained in demo'ing AppleTV. Most every time I've ever been near the electronics department at Target there wasn't an employee in sight.

Also, I have no idea of Target's margin on DVD's or iTunes gift cards; but I would think it is a pretty safe bet that they make much more money on dvds they sell than the cut they get for selling an iTunes gift card.

You know, there isn't more than a couple of minutes of training needed.

All that has to be said is that it either hooks to your computer with an Ethernet wire, or works through your wireless. If people are already using those, then that's it for the hookup talk. If not, then it simply has to be said that it has to be turned on, and it finds the computer itself. Big deal!

The rest is taking the remote, and going through the menu. Everybody knows how to do that. It doesn't even have to be explained.
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You know, there isn't more than a couple of minutes of training needed.

All that has to be said is that it either hooks to your computer with an Ethernet wire, or works through your wireless. If people are already using those, then that's it for the hookup talk. If not, then it simply has to be said that it has to be turned on, and it finds the computer itself. Big deal!

The rest is taking the remote, and going through the menu. Everybody knows how to do that. It doesn't even have to be explained.

I hear you and hope this is true. I worry about the type of buyer in a Target electronics department though. Remember ATV requires Wi-Fi (well best to use it) and maybe support on that issue.

By way of example: I am still laughing about this... a friend called me only yesterday to say his internet had stopped working ... it was now asking him for a password. He was a switcher and new to his MacBook which he loves.

On checking I discovered he had no internet service rather his MacBook had picked up the neighbors Wi-Fi for the last few months... and his neighbor had just started WEP.

My friend didn't realize with Wi-Fi you needed internet service he though Apple provided it ... "I thought that was what 'Blue Teeth' was!" He exclaimed.

It's a scary World out there in support land
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post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I can't imagine the AppleTV selling well in BestBuy or Target. The latter is just a joke. The AppleTV will be selling great once the HD content is available for DL, but until then it just won't be worthwhile for most people.

AppleTV does play 720p. What is not currently available is HD content from the iTunes Store.

Based on Apple's current marketing strategy, any store selling the iPod is a candidate to offer iTV. Although HD movies are limited, HD content via podcasts, HD iMovie, iPhoto, digital cameras and HD video cameras is abundant for those that use/have these applications and products.

It appears obvious that the success of the iPod since the implementation of video dictates that a product such as iTV offers a major opportunity to extend the viewing capabilities of what we are downloading and/or creating. As we all know, since the introduction of the digital camera consumer film and print use has diminished significantly. Unfortunately, the pictures and videos that we were or are taking are more often than not, not being seen by anyone else but the person who took them. Now a family with a couple of kids having their own iPods, downloading music, videos and taking pictures of their birthday parties, graduations, anniversary, vacations, etc., can now share like never before.

I think that we have to seriously consider that Apple's venture in the multimedia arena is not without purpose. Apple's multimedia software lineup is amazing inventive, but useless to anybody that uses them and doesn't have the means to really show them off in all their glory.

And a question. Where are all the hundreds, thousands of downlable HD Movies that Apple somehow is not making available via iTunes but others are?
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post



And a question. Where are all the hundreds, thousands of downlable HD Movies that Apple somehow is not making available via iTunes but others are?

It is my #1 question too. They have to be working on something ... the way technology leaps forward I am 100% sure we will start to see 'higher' definition movies soon. Maybe a new codec is in the wings?
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post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I hear you and hope this is true. I worry about the type of buyer in a Target electronics department though. Remember ATV requires Wi-Fi (well best to use it) and maybe support on that issue.

By way of example: I am still laughing about this... a friend called me only yesterday to say his internet had stopped working ... it was now asking him for a password. He was a switcher and new to his MacBook which he loves.

On checking I discovered he had no internet service rather his MacBook had picked up the neighbors Wi-Fi for the last few months... and his neighbor had just started WEP.

My friend didn't realize with Wi-Fi you needed internet service he though Apple provided it ... "I thought that was what 'Blue Teeth' was!" He exclaimed.

It's a scary World out there in support land

You're always going to find a certain percentage of people who think like a doorstop. That can't be helped.

But, whether this sells or not is up to Apple.

This needs Tv ads, ads in major magazines, etc.

If Apple has a Tv ad that's done properly, they can explain all that's needed right there. People walking into the store won't even have to ask about how it works, they will know.

Apple can simply say that if your Mac or PC has wireless, then plugging this into your Tv, turning on your computer, and then the Apple Tv and Tv will be all you need to do. They even don't have to go further and explain about wired connections, but they can mention that it can be wired, like a printer, which they are familiar with, instead.

Then show someone lying back on their couch with their family, and clicking in the menu briefly, and then have a movie come on.

A voiceover should then simply say something like "AppleTv, it makes viewing your downloaded movies and music easy". Or something to that effect.

Bingo!

This is what's missing right now.
post #40 of 75
"We did receive three Apple TV's, and still have the same three," said a contact within one Best Buy store. "Not selling too well at our store."

What you asked 10 seconds after they received them instead of waiting a day or two?

All 3 Best Buys by me sold out of their stocks twice already!

Here's some ideas:
1) Do research at MULTIPLE stores.
2) Find out when the stock came in, when it was put out on the floor and when and if any sold when they sold.

After you do this then maybe I'll listen to you. Until then this article should be completely re-written by someone willing to do actual "research".
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