HDTV sales tumble 10% as rumors of full-fledged Apple television set have all but vanished

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2014
Global television sales suffered a second consecutive year-over-year decline in 2013, adding color to recent indications of a shift in Apple's living room go-to-market strategy from an integrated television set to a standalone set-top box.

Apple TV


Whispers of an Apple-branded television set gained steam during what IHS consumer devices analyst Jusy Hong recently described as "a golden period of tremendous growth" in the industry between 2009 and 2011, but have gradually petered out over the last two years as consumers who replaced their aging CRT sets with new LCD or Plasma devices see little reason to upgrade again in the midst of a worldwide economic slowdown.

The decline has affected both traditional and emerging markets, with sales off by as much as 9 percent in North America, 4 percent in Western Europe, 7 percent in Asia, and 14 percent in Eastern Europe. Along with the television industry's famously low margins, the recent slowdown could go a long way toward explaining the change in tone surrounding Apple's plans for the living room.
Rumors of an iTV have give way in recent months to whispers of an updated Apple TV.
Many industry insiders and Apple watchers now expect the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to make its living room play with an expansion of the existing Apple TV streaming device. Sales of the Apple TV grew 80 percent in 2013 as cost-conscious consumers increasingly drop expensive monthly cable subscriptions in favor of lower-cost streaming options, and many appear happy to relegate their high-definition television sets to "dumb display" status.

Apple appears poised to take advantage of that consumer momentum, with new hardware and content partnerships on the horizon. A February report suggested that a refreshed Apple TV could be unveiled as early as April, with an upgraded processor and a new user interface that would make it easier to discover new content.

The report also indicated that Apple was in negotiations with cable giant Time Warner to add live television content, though it is uncler how the recently-announced merger between Time Warner and fellow cable company Comcast would affect those negotiations. Apple has shown a willingness to bypass cable providers in the past, bringing on former Hulu marketing and distribution chief Pete Distad to lead negotiations with content owners like ESPN and HBO and could return to that tack should a cable deal fall through.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    Apple is smart. It didn't jump on the netbook band wagon or this smart TV set dumbness. Set top boxes are more flexible and less costly.
  • Reply 2 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    But wait… shouldn’t the tumbling of HDTV sales signal that “people are waiting for the Apple TV, therefore it is imminent!”? ;)

     

    I guess that’s what these companies get for making a good product that lasts people longer than 4 years. And 2160p TVs won’t take off as long as broadcasters refuse to shoot the bandwidth out there.

  • Reply 3 of 95
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post



    Apple is smart. It didn't jump on the netbook band wagon or this smart TV set dumbness. Set top boxes are more flexible and less costly.

     

    Yes I thought it was silly for Apple to release its own TV set rather than just a simple box that can do everything with people's existing TV's. This would get the AppleTV box into more hands because you're only buying a box which will be a hell of a lot cheaper than some $2000-$3000 smart TV. 

  • Reply 4 of 95
    sporlosporlo Posts: 143member
    The world needs more dumb TVs.
  • Reply 5 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Who knows what Apple's plans are, but one reason for them doing a TV is law of large numbers. Last fiscal year Apple's revenues were $170 billion. A $99 or $199 set top box isn't really going to move the needle on that number. If Apple thinks they could sell enough TVs to really impact that number they might consider it.
  • Reply 6 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    A $99 or $199 set top box isn't really going to move the needle on that number.

     

    It will if the margins are high enough. And if the software/content platform created is good enough, they’re looking at multiple Apple TVs per household, every household.

  • Reply 7 of 95
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,678member

    I said this before, over the last 10 yrs people have been getting rid of their Tube TV and replacing them with anything flat, for get about which technologies are better, Not that most everyone has done that, TV sales will return to the replacement business model, People will only buy a new TV if the old one dies or they are adding to what they already have. The TV turn over will be around 7 to 10 yr if not longer. The average person will not be upgrading their flat tv ever time the TV company come out with a new wizzy bang feature. As it was said, replacing a $99 device ever few years to get the next latest and greatest thing is better then replacing a $1000 60" TV.

     

    TV are for viewing and they will not be everything you need on a single device.

  • Reply 8 of 95
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Who knows what Apple's plans are, but one reason for them doing a TV is law of large numbers. Last fiscal year Apple's revenues were $170 billion. A $99 or $199 set top box isn't really going to move the needle on that number. If Apple thinks they could sell enough TVs to really impact that number they might consider it.

    TVs are a low margin business. They aren't replaced often enough to be a profitable product line. My main tv is from 2006 and it's still working fine for my needs.
  • Reply 9 of 95

    Quote:


     Whispers of an Apple-branded television set gained steam during what IHS consumer devices analyst Jusy Hong recently described as "a golden period of tremendous growth" in the industry between 2009 and 2011,


     

    Article Title infers causation, while the correlation is iffy at best.

     

  • Reply 10 of 95
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    An integrated Apple TV never made a lick of sense three years ago, let alone now. The game was always about access to and affordability of content, and it's evermore the case today. While Sony pissed away millions on one of its latest colossal strategic mistakes - Google TV (THUD!!) - Apple was steadfastly expanding its content, building market share on content delivery and (horrors!) making big money in the process! How a bunch of supposedly bright financial analysts touted the idea that a low-margin product like TVs would be anything but a drain on Apple's high margins is a riddle for the ages. It inspired a bunch of investing latecomers to buy into an AAPL bubble. Reality bit in mid-2012.
  • Reply 11 of 95
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    "HDTV sales tumble 10% as rumors of full-fledged Apple television set have all but vanished"

     

    WOW! AI becoming a professional slop-slatherer. Falsely, writing a headline as if one issue is related to another.

     

    Good job!

  • Reply 12 of 95
    The current sweet spot of prices for big screens is 70" HDTVs (although I think 80" is really the ideal size) -- the previous years models like the Vizio E701I-A3 at a sub $1500 price -- was enticing enough to make that 40" --> 70" jump, and ATV looks great on it. ;)
    http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/vizio-e701i-a3/4505-6482_7-35477664.html

    What is disappointing to me is that Apple has been far too slow to add content to ATV, especially when comparing to the late Boxee/XBMC/Plex -- I think that TV App Store is long overdue, just like CarPlay should have been released years ago alongside AirPlay, IMHO.
  • Reply 13 of 95
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    It will if the margins are high enough. And if the software/content platform created is good enough, they’re looking at multiple Apple TVs per household, every household.

    Exactly. I have three - two gen 2s and a gen 3. The gen 2s are fine for smaller flat panels in the kitchen and guest bedroom. At $99 a pop, they're chump change. It's a no-brainer to upgrade if the next generation adds significant new capabilities at the same attractive price.
  • Reply 14 of 95
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,491member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Who knows what Apple's plans are, but one reason for them doing a TV is law of large numbers. Last fiscal year Apple's revenues were $170 billion. A $99 or $199 set top box isn't really going to move the needle on that number. If Apple thinks they could sell enough TVs to really impact that number they might consider it.

     

    But if you look at who/what dominates the TV industry, it's low-end sets.   Samsung, with it's relatively low prices in much of its line, has effectively killed both Sony and Panasonic.   Sony's current approach is at the high-end and they're pushing expensive 4K sets, but it remains to be seen whether that's going to be even remotely successful and Sony has threatened to get out of the TV business entirely.   Panasonic is no longer making plasma sets.    

     

    Now having said that, when Apple came out with the initially very expensive iPhone, critics said they would never succeed because of the all the low-priced phones already out there.   But the reality is that the iPhone didn't really achieve success until Apple negotiated deal with the carriers to subsidize the phones and the perceived price to the end-user was $200 for the phone.  And until the Android competition came along, the Apple iPhone had clear differentiation with ALL the phones that came before it.  It truly was a revolutionary device.

     

    The question remains is what does Apple bring to the party that you can't get today from the web-based services already provided in most TVs, receivers and Blu-ray players or from such devices as the Roku stick.    Maybe it's far superior UI that combines all the services together.   Maybe it's more comprehensive services.    Maybe it's offering every thing in 4K so that one can take advantage of the increased resolution of newer high-end TVs (although that's currently an extremely small slice of the market).    Frankly, I'm not seeing what Apple would actually bring that would cause lots of people in the short term to rush to AppleTV unless the service was so comprehensive, one could truly dump their cable subscription.    But for so many reasons that I've documented in the past, that's not happening in the short term and in spite of the supposed statement from Steve Jobs that he "had it licked" or something of the sort, I see nothing that Apple has brought to Apple TV so far that would cause it to dominate the market.   The content offerings aren't all that great and the UI is uninspiring.  

  • Reply 15 of 95
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,616member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    It will if the margins are high enough. And if the software/content platform created is good enough, they’re looking at multiple Apple TVs per household, every household.


    And don't forget corporate and educational sales where the iPad is becoming increasingly common. Every meeting calls room and board room will have an Apple TV hooked up to a screen or projector, of some kind.

  • Reply 16 of 95

    Another secret sauce to ATV's usefulness is the Media Center and ClickToPlugin Safari Extensions which both add "Send via AirPlay" for videos on YouTube and other places right to [email protected]!

     

    Why Apple does not better integrate AirPlay across the Mac applications I will never know!  :(

  • Reply 17 of 95
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    I can't believe that Apple would release any sort of a "set top box" that needs to be hooked up with a million cables running everywhere.  It is very un-Applelike.

  • Reply 18 of 95
    I am a geek. I tend to replace my gadgets often. Yet my TVs are from 2007 and 2009. Why? Once you have a quality full HD display with HDMI in there's little reason to replace it until it dies or you want a bigger one. And I got the size I needed back then and haven't felt a need to upgrade.
  • Reply 19 of 95
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post



    Apple was steadfastly expanding its content, building market share on content delivery


     

    Apple doesn't care about market share whatsoever.  Profit is the most important thing.

  • Reply 20 of 95
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post





    Exactly. I have three - two gen 2s and a gen 3. The gen 2s are fine for smaller flat panels in the kitchen and guest bedroom. At $99 a pop, they're chump change. It's a no-brainer to upgrade if the next generation adds significant new capabilities at the same attractive price.

     

    This is exactly why I think they'd be better off doing a simple box with something like an A6 or A7 in it with amazing software running it. Can the A7 's graphics push out 4K without choking???

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