May 25, 2012
The Rumored Apple TV, Still Just A Rumor
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Here´s the problem with a company as secretive as Apple: We never know what to expect. They never announce their plans, never hint towards their next move, never offer so much as a wink and a nod.
And we go crazy over it.
So, we, the Apple curious and faithful, are left with not much more than a single quote from a biography released just weeks after Steve´s death to try and unravel what Apple´s next “big thing” is.
They are going to have a next big thing, right?
To back up our simplest notions – they aren´t much more than that, really – we scrounge up any rumors we can find about Apple being in talks with executives from the movie and television industries, all the while forgetting that Apple doesn´t just make beautifully slick slabs of glass, they also sell the content to be viewed on these devices.
We´ve spent many months prodigiously partaking of the Apple rumor Kool-Aid, seeing wild visions of 42-inch iMacs hanging in our living rooms, all controlled with a combination of Siri and hand-in-the-air gestures.
Now, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey is suggesting that maybe we aren´t thinking about it correctly, and that while we see a TV, Apple sees a hub – and of course, he would go there – an iHub.
In a blog post, McQuivey says he has been discussing this idea with his clients for over a year, and that a central hub of information for the family makes more sense than releasing a new display on which to watch the same content.
McQuivey begins by saying that Apple hasn´t dominated the TV markets with its current Apple - TV not for lack of trying, but because the TV business is a “tough nut to crack.”
True, though I´d be hesitant to say Apple has tried to break into the TV market with the Apple TV. The Apple TV, in my opinion, is more about completing the ecosystem, not about breaking into a new market. The Apple TV is best seen as an accessory to the iPad, iPhone, and come this summer with the birth of Mountain Lion, the Mac.
Then, McQuivey says, “Apple should sell the world´s first non-TV TV. Instead of selling a replacement for the TV you just bought, Apple should convince millions of Apple fans that they need a new screen in their lives.”
“Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates“¦” writes McQuivey.
While McQuivey thinks this is an issue of semantics, other analysts are either done waiting for Apple to do something very un-Apple like or have sobered up enough to realize they could do nothing at all, and still be fine.
Last week, the Boy Genius Report listed 3 different analysts who are slowly backing away from the punch bowl. Richard Gardner, formerly with Citigroup, for instance, warned his investors in December that, “Apple has not even defined specs yet.”
Ben Reitzes of Barclays suggested in February that Apple cared more about content partnerships for their iTunes store rather than making a new television set. Most recently, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves is saying the rumored Apple TV is a “terrible use of retail space.”
An Apple TV would undoubtedly be a very cool device, and there would be plenty of people to buy them.
The trouble comes, however, when we become so used to the persistent hum of the Apple rumor machine that it becomes a part of our lives, something that´s just always there and as such, might as well be trusted. After all, the only real evidence of an Apple TV set are 3 little words in a biography: “I cracked it“¦”