Smart TV makers forming alliances out of fear Apple will soon dominate their industry too

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Though concrete evidence of Apple's long-rumored foray into the Smart TV business largely boils down to a one-off comment made by the company's late co-founder shortly before his passing last year, several established TV makers are taking no chances and are reportedly scurrying to form alliances with one another to help defend their turf from the booming tech giant.

In particular, TPV Technology and LG Electronics are said to be either forming alliances with one another or are seeking out additional partners for smart TV alliances, sources speaking to DigiTimes say. They add that China-based TV brand Changhong has also formed an alliance and is placing bets on a cloud-based interface for its offerings which it hopes to solidify within three years.
The sources said the alliances are also forming as Apple is preparing to release a smart TV. Due to Apple's influence in the market, the sources fear it will further dominate the smart TV market, which is estimated to reach a 40% penetration rate by 2014.
Largely oblivious to tight-lipped Apple's precise plans for shaking up the Smart TV segment, these alliance-forming TV makers are reportedly banking on features for their own designs that will resemble those available from Samsung's industry-leading set designs. But they "will still need a lot of time before models start hitting stores," those same sources say.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence in recent months suggests Apple is poised for yet another mult-year head start on the competition, with financial analysts and reports out of the Far East indicating that the company plans to begin ramping production of its first Smart TV designs later this year for an introduction no later than early 2013.

Industry watchers believe that a recent $800 million deal between Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn and panel supplier Sharp was secretly driven by the initiative. It is expected that both companies will play a crucial role in building the television lineup if and when it launches.

In much the same way that Apple revolutionized the music and mobile computing industries by pioneering new interfaces and methods of consumer interaction within those mediums, the catalyst for an Apple Smart TV is widely believed to be the introduction of a more natural means of communicating with the device itself and accessing content remotely.

Television


World renowned for re-inventing broken technology, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs last year revealed to biographer Walter Isaacson that he had "cracked" the concept for the future of television that would be synced with all of a user's devices, and with Apple's iCloud service.

He hinted that such a device would spare users from having to use complex remotes for multiple devices like DVD players and cable boxes. Isaacson would later write in his top-selling biography that Jobs "wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."

"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs was quoted as saying. "I finally cracked it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 160
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    So, what, when all these stupid rumors don't come true, where is there left to move? "Apple is making a game console"? I guess they could always go back to that one. What else do consumers buy? What do they generically "like"? I guess Apple could be getting back into speaker systems. Or microwaves.

  • Reply 2 of 160


    There is not enough value to be added to the idiot box to allow Apple to sell TVs and the steep margins they demand.  If Apple really does come out with a television set, it will probably be one of their few missteps over the past few years.  That speaker they made for a while is the last blunder I recall.  Interesting, another piece of entertainment hardware.

     

  • Reply 3 of 160
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    Without or with Apple, Tv makers struggle for survival, with razor thin margins. Only panels producers can capture a significant part of the added value.

    this has always been the case in the electronic consumer goods industry : those who think that the only important part is the hardware (forgetting about the software, and the ecosystem) cannot survive ...
  • Reply 4 of 160
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member


    Famous. Last. Words.


     


    "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," Ed Colligan apparently laughed about with John Markoff last Thursday morning. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in." 


    /


    /


    /

  • Reply 5 of 160
    mactmact Posts: 26member


    My concept would be a smart entertainment system, not just TV, all controlled from my iPad. You would teach it all of your components, iPod, stereo, DVD, BluRay, computer, Cable etc and then a single icon would let you bring up which one(s) you want active, and in what context. So, play a Bluray movie on the TV, but run the sound through my stereo system: set up a Skype call, show it on the TV and send/show designated photos to the other person. Teaching the system to do each of these combinations might use an Automator-like training system.

  • Reply 6 of 160
    rumpelsrumpels Posts: 20member
    They are all scared because they just build hardware to make money. And they just like to sit back and enjoy the money they make from customers pockets. Apple, on the other side, is concentrated on INNOVATING and on making the BEST PRODUCT POSIBLE. Apple does not stop working to sit back to just enjoy their money. If the other companies will just focus on innovating and making the best product they wouldn't have to be fearing Apple. It's that simple.
  • Reply 7 of 160


    I own the iPod HiFi and I wouldn't call it a blunder. Amazing sound. I wouldn't call it a Blunder, just a product they didn't push. If they remade the exact same model and released it tomorrow I'd buy another.

  • Reply 8 of 160
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xxSampleXX View Post


    There is not enough value to be added to the idiot box to allow Apple to sell TVs and the steep margins they demand.  If Apple really does come out with a television set, it will probably be one of their few missteps over the past few years.  That speaker they made for a while is the last blunder I recall.  Interesting, another piece of entertainment hardware.

     



    Really? You think TV watching is perfect. I'm glad it is for you. Seriously. It's not for me. There's tons of room for improvement, and I'll pay an uplift for it.


     


    Yes, the speaker was a blunder because there was nothing to add there. If Apple could have made a much smaller speaker that still sounded good, then they would have had something.

  • Reply 9 of 160


    The way I see it is that Apple realizes the big cable providers will not be able to hold on forever... just like the music companies when MP3 started getting popular. No matter how hard the providers want to fight it, a BIG change is coming! I would say in the next 5 years things are going to be very different. So if Apple can get in on the ground floor, or build it, they will in a heartbeat.


     


    The major problem isn't necessarily the "Smart TV" interfaces or the apps on them (even though they are terrible), it is the standard cable box and it's ancient interface. If Apple figures out how to integrate the cable box with the guide into the TV in an elegant way and also bring the App Store on board, they would instantly have something that no major player has been able to do yet. If that happens, I will drop my 5 year old Bravia in a heartbeat.

  • Reply 10 of 160
    sr2012sr2012 Posts: 896member
    This is hilarious. There is nothing to dominate. There is no such thing as a "Smart TV". LOL the lulz just keep coming.
  • Reply 11 of 160
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    gustav wrote: »
    Really? You think TV watching is perfect. I'm glad it is for you. Seriously. It's not for me. There's tons of room for improvement, and I'll pay an uplift for it.

    Much of those issues are in content delivery and use tracking and could be done by Apple without making a tv. Which is what makes these rumors a tad laughable
  • Reply 12 of 160
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member


    Talk about directing the course of the industry. Apple's come a long way. And they've earned it at every step. 

  • Reply 13 of 160
    misterkmisterk Posts: 18member


    There are so many places for television to go that I don't know that it will ever be done. Microsoft is working on interactive linear television using the Kinect, where you can choose to take part (or not take part) in an episode of Sesame Street. What if you could play along with game shows? What if you could vote on American Idol? No one has done anything with the signal going back the other way. We have video conferencing on TVs, but no one has really popularized it yet. There is far more to the television than just improving the picture quality. Then there's all the voice command and logic stuff that people have been guessing at. The "play the latest episode of game of thrones" stuff. That's much better than searching through your TIVO or finding a channel. Maybe you can just say "I want to watch stuff about cars" and the tv can pull in a playlist made up of TV shows, movies, and youtube videos. Sony just bought an OnLive competitor, so TVs can have a game system that is played on some distant server and beamed back... so you always have the latest and greatest games on your TV. No one has great glasses-free TV yet. No one has done holograms yet. To say Apple has nothing to add to this conversation is short sighted.

  • Reply 14 of 160
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    sr2012 wrote: »
    This is hilarious. There is nothing to dominate. There is no such thing as a "Smart TV".

    Sure there is. It's whatever the companies say it is. Just like a Retina Display is whatever Apple says it is.
  • Reply 15 of 160
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,228member
    Now if only Apple were entering the banking industry .... Talk about and industry that needs starting over!
  • Reply 16 of 160
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,228member
    sr2012 wrote: »
    This is hilarious. There is nothing to dominate. There is no such thing as a "Smart TV". LOL the lulz just keep coming.

    You are correct! If anyone were to look up what was considered a 'Smart Phone' pre iPhone you do get some perspective on how Apple can add 'smart' to something in a way people with zero vision could ever have imagined. In fact many couldn't even see the new 'smart' for quite some time even after it was in front of them ... RIM for example.

    It reminds me of stories of how primitive, tribes could not comprehend a photograph at first. So don't worry ... IF (I stress IF) Apple do come up with a smart TV the nay sayers may begin to get it, perhaps after a year or so and after Google and / or Samsung (and three years later Microsoft) copy it.
  • Reply 17 of 160
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    So, what, when all these stupid rumors don't come true, where is there left to move? "Apple is making a game console"? I guess they could always go back to that one. What else do consumers buy? What do they generically "like"? I guess Apple could be getting back into speaker systems. Or microwaves.

    The Apple automobile

    The Apple personal water craft

    The Apple biplane

    The Apple space shuttle

    The Apple sex doll

    The Apple fashion accessories

    The Apple living room sofa

    There's no end to the kind of silly rumors that people could start.
  • Reply 18 of 160

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rumpels View Post



    They are all scared because they just build hardware to make money. And they just like to sit back and enjoy the money they make from customers pockets.


     


    Very true, and the way they look at it is once the customer buys the TV, they have made their money and it is time to move on to the next sale. There is no support after the fact of regular updates or bug fixes or anything like that. Where Apple would be committed to pushing out firmware and bug fixes if issues arise... I believe they would treat it more like another computer than just another typical TV.


     


    Also, concerning the margins issue people always bring up. We all know that Apple can charge more for their products, and they do so for a good reason. That is because they are always higher quality, they have the supply chain relationships to get cheaper parts, and they know we will buy them (at least I will). This, along with the revenue from the content deals they will be selling through the set, puts them in a unique position to possibly make a good profit in the TV market.

  • Reply 19 of 160
    tribalogicaltribalogical Posts: 1,181member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xxSampleXX View Post


    There is not enough value to be added to the idiot box to allow Apple to sell TVs and the steep margins they demand.  If Apple really does come out with a television set, it will probably be one of their few missteps over the past few years.  That speaker they made for a while is the last blunder I recall.  Interesting, another piece of entertainment hardware.

     



     


    The speaker wasn't a blunder. It was an experiment. A hobby device, much like the Apple TV box has been (although we can now suspect that, due to the recent upgrade, it might be moving out of that status).


     


    In its current form, the Television as we've always known it, really is an "idiot box". A Smart TV, and one which Steve Jobs might have envisioned, could add tremendous value to the idea. Maybe even move it toward its original ideal as a "centerpiece for news, entertainment and information", except now, not just "Broadcast to you" but fully interactive, customized on-demand content, much of which could even have been created by you. Add a super intuitive, simplified interface and… yeah. Leaps forward happen like this. It did with the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad… the MacBook Air was laughed at (what? no optical drive?? Ha!!) and now is the aspirational norm… the iMac… a thing of beauty on top of pretty awesome performance.


     


    I wouldn't declare the future Apple Television dead before it arrives. Not based on their track record of the past four or five years...

  • Reply 20 of 160

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Now if only Apple were entering the banking industry .... Talk about and industry that needs starting over!


     


    Agreed. Every big bank in America should be seized and run by people who know what they are doing. Not by coked up gamblers.

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