Feeds

back to article Apple TV demand may drive Samsung-sapping sales

The idea that Apple is working on some kind of smart TV refuses to die, the notion regularly refreshed by rumour and the occasional soundbite from senior company executives. CEO Tim Cook only last week expressed his “intense interest” in the evolution of the TV in a nudge, nudge, wink, wink interview with US TV channel NBC. The …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge
Stop

A quick shareprice boost is all

AAPL has sunk recently. Tim can't have that so a few quick interviews and nosetaps about some vapourware TV product is a cheap way to get idiot investors back on board and re-inflate that AAPL bubble.

I don't believe Apple will make an actual TV set because of the issue of content provision. If it were to have a RF antenna socket, the consumer could watch free-to-air broadcast TV and not pay Apple for the privilege of doing so, which would surely be unthinkable.

But likewise, there's no way to lock it down to a cable provider or satellite source because so many national regulators forbid this. Note, for example, the way Sky don't sell a telly that will only receive Sky.

And TV-purely-via-internet is simply not yet viable due to bandwidth and QoS restraints.

No, Apple won't be making a TV any time soon.

11
2
Silver badge

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

Was going to make a similar comment. The Apple TV is nothing more than a rumour right now, but I can't help thinking that the reporting that this rumour is getting has more to do with Apple's current share price than any new information.

One indisputable fact is that AAPL has deflated sharply lately, but there are a lot of investors and funds who are long on the share. These people desperately need that share price to be way over today's $520 price when their option contracts mature. Analysts, who constantly peddle the upbeat news about Apple, and how "$900 is around the corner" (actual headline) are the most corrupt of them all. Sure, they mightn't personally hold the share they're pumping, but other parts of their employer do hold it.

Apple remains a phenomenally successful company, regardless of its market cap, but the majority of that success has been driven by one product line, and that product relies on heavy subsidy by mobile operators. This is the key to Apple's huge margins: frighten the mobile operators into paying them. (The operators don't pay the full retail price, but they pay a lot more than the $99 that the customer sees).

This game is about to unwind though, and it's not just because this is the first Holiday period with two competitors to Apple (GalaxyS3 and Nokia 920) both offering demonstrably superior products. The biggest factor may have gone unnoticed. In the USA, T-Mobile just agreed to carry iPhone... but: they also announced that they will no longer subsidise ANY handsets, and will instead lower their monthly tariffs. If this works, the other US operators will follow, and Apple's game will be up. They will be forced to either lose sales or cut prices.

14
1
Pint

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

The other thing that doesn't fit (IMHO) is that their fans seem to buy a new one of whatever it is every couple of years. TV doesn't really fit into that quick a cycle.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

I agree - although note, it doesn't really matter if they released a TV that couldn't do what most TVs could do, and where Internet-only TV doesn't yet make sense for most people. They could still do it, and get all the praise for being "first" (never mind that Internet playing is pretty much standard on TVs, and the reason TVs aren't Internet only is because it doesn't make sense).

It doesn't matter if initial sales are poor just like the first iphones, and it takes years to grow - people will still declare it an amazing success as long as it sells one million in 76 days, and ignore that it's only years later (and when they finally add in the functionality that other TVs have) that sales actually become mainstream. At which point, they can reap the profits, as well as being falsely credited for being first, or popularising something - even though any other company doing it now would be written off as a flop.

You're right, it doesn't make sense - but with the RDF, these rules unfortunately don't apply.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

It depends what you mean by TV. If TV is redefined to not mean a real-time multicast system with multiple channels then lots of things are possible.

It could be a more intelligent system like Tivo where you have preferences of shows you like.

Half of an episode of each show could be pre-downloaded (overnight when bandwidth is more available) and the rest streamed in while you watch the program, thus avoiding buffering issues or delays to watch something.

With video compression getting better all the time it may be possible to reduce size further.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

@ac 13:28

The issue here is still how Apple is going to gouge the consumer for every last bit of data they download. As marketing slogans go "Would you like to pay $1.98* per hour to watch TV instead of that nasty free stuff from the BBC that you already get?" will probably not fly except to all but the most indoctrinated of cultists.

I agree that your proposal is workable but would like to point out that even TiVo needs seed data (your initial choices and what the box "notices" that you like to watch).

They can't lock it hard enough. So it probably isn't going to happen. Until they can.

*$1.98 is based on $0.99 for a half-hour TV show

2
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

Don't underestimate Apple - if anyone can make TV better it's them. Their share price drop is probably more about people selling to take capital gains in this year. At the current price AAPL look a bargain trading on a much better PE ratio than it's peers and strip out their cash 'mountain' and it's even better. Even if they just carried on making the same profits they would be a good investment IMHO.

1
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

There is nothing FREE about the BBC it's something like £12 a month which makes Sky look pretty good value when they throw in free broadband and a recording Sky box. The issue is you essentially have no choice.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

People love to portray Apple buyers as desperate to upgrade their kit every time a new model comes out - it couldn't be further from the reality I have observed. Typically the kit lasts longer or people keep / use it longer - I see plenty of iPhone 3GS (now over 4 years old) still un use as their main phone and tons of older (and well used) Macbooks / iMacs.

3
3
Bronze badge

@dogged Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

Tend to agree that this doesn't look like a sensible product for them but is there a danger of losing their grip on the app market?

There are already plenty of Android TV boxes and if you are Samsung and have an existing investment in Android on the phone side then it might make sense to expand this into another division - if Android became the default option for smart TVs, with TVs still being the default point of interaction with these services for many households, would this be a problem for Apple?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

License fee it to watch TV, it just happens to pay for the BBC

"There is nothing FREE about the BBC it's something like £12 a month which makes Sky look pretty good value when they throw in free broadband and a recording Sky box. The issue is you essentially have no choice."

Oh get real, the license fee may fund the BBC,but if there was no BBC there would still be a license fee (just look at the rest of Europe (you do know they have license fees too)) , so would you rather pay the license and get the BBC or pay the licence fee and get nothing for it, those are the only choices (you cannot be stupid enough to think the government would let you keep the money !!!!).

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

Sky? Good Value? Some mistake surely?

You want TV in more than one room? Certainly Sir here's the invoice.

You want HD TV? Certainly Sir, there's the invoice.

You want useful on demand and a speed of more than 2mbps? Certainly Sir, here's the invoice.

You want fibre? Certainly Sir, here's the invoice.

You want to use more than two mobile devices. Sorry sir we don't allow that now, but if we ever do, there'll be an invoice.

You don't want ad breaks every 10 minutes? Sorry sir we make a point of synching ad break times across the offering so you're stuck with them.

Versus:

8 FTA TV channels

umpteen FTA local Radio Stations

8 or 9 FTA National Radio Stations

High quality reliable web presence.

Free iPlayer

Free Local news

Free = inclusive and unlimited in that "huge" £12 monthly fee...

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: License fee it to watch TV, it just happens to pay for the BBC

Essentially the license fee is another TAX.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

£12/month whether you use it or not = not fair.

1
1
Mushroom

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

I have no children but I have to pay for schools = not fair

I have to pay for wars I dont want = not fair

I have to pay for railway subsidies that get paid to shareholders even though I dont use trains = not fair

Sky charge customers a fee well in excess of £12 and have the audacity to constantly interrupt the programming with adverts. They also do not provide 7 high quality radio channels with no adverts. = not fair

I reckon that £12 a month for tv without adverts alone is worthwhile.

When live F1 went to Sky I checked to see how much it would cost for the one channel in HD that I wanted would cost. £62.50/month was the answer. For one channel I thought that a bit steep especially as it was previously included in my £12/month.

I also think that paying £10.8m to disgraced ex-editors of newspapers is also not fair.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick shareprice boost is all

At least the BBC occasionally makes a quality programme. SKY has to give away goodies to make up for its lack of interesting content and complete dross. £12 a month is also nowhere near the cost of a reasonable Sky package which is between £25 and £55 +£10 if you want HD etc.

The reality is that you can download/stream everything you want these days via Netflix etc. there really is no reason to have a TV.

So Apple could easily come into the fray, with a stripped down all-in-one designed with the viewing of TV content in mind. Without an RF it would avoid the BBC license fee as well.

Of course it wouldn't suit those people that haven't got good inet connections, but hey Apple aren't in the market of pandering to the poor.

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

pay more just coz its from crapple?

brainwashed 'tards

10
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: pay more just coz its from crapple?

Pay more because they've spent time making it work well and putting a different more innovative interface on it. Not simply using what is already out there like Google did:

"Google TV, Usability Not Included"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/technology/personaltech/18pogue.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

It may not happen since content is what matter most. No point having a great interface and nothing to watch.

2
9

Re: pay more just coz its from crapple?

The Apple TV STB doesn't actually have that nice a user interface. Compared to, say, a WD TV Live or a Samsung of Panasonic connected TV it's a bit clunky. I have to wonder if people are fooled just because it's got lots of black and a sleek remote control with very few buttons. The Netflix app is a great benchmark since it exists on a lot of platforms and the Apple TV version is by far the most unhelpful one I've used, lacking simple things like automatically following on to the next episode instead requiring 4 or 5 button presses to get there.

7
0
Silver badge

Apple TV UI

If Apple was going to reinvent the TV, do you really think they'd let their competition know their great new UI idea by putting it on the Apple TV. The Apple TV STB isn't what Jobs was talking about when he said he "cracked it". It remains to be seen if his idea is a great one or not, but you can be sure the Apple TV is not representative of it.

0
1
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: pay more just coz its from crapple?

57 channels and nothing on -- The Boss

1
0
Silver badge

Lets say that you expect your TV to last five years... a £200 premium over an equivalent model works out as being £40 a year, sod it, lets call it £1 a week. What can you bring to your TV set that would justify the cost of a weekly Radio Times? (Hmm... would be interested in seeing whether the rise of EPGs has impacted the sales of dedicated television listings magazines... some people still like to hold the week's listings on paper, wielding a highlighter)

0
0
Silver badge

Not much chance of that

It would have to be much more then £200.

Current TV sellers are very low margin.

They would have to buy the TV guts from one of the current companies, stick an Apple TV inside the box, and add the Apple margin. They are not going to start with a cheapo set so it's going to be more like a £1200 TV with a £400 premium. I don't think even Apple can make that sell.

3
0
Paris Hilton

Re: Not much chance of that

I don't anticipate Apple releasing a TV until they can release a 3840x2160 Retina TV (that is, until Sharp has managed to scale up by a factor 1000 the production rate of the panels they're launching in February 2013).

Being the only people offering convenient one-click access to quad-HD content - yes, this will require a fast Internet connection, a fair amount of in-TV storage, and special negotiation with content providers; the first is ubiquitous, the second straightforward, and the third the kind of thing that Apple is quite good at and in a unique position for - would seem the kind of unique selling point that Apple would like to have.

I would pay $0.99 per half-hour for the BBC Wildlife Film Unit doing what it does best in quad-HD.

0
6
Silver badge

Re: Not much chance of that

"they can release a 3840x2160 Retina TV"

You mean, 4K TV, which already exists in TVs today (Retina is just a marketing trademark, not an actual standard term for a resolution size).

"Being the only people offering convenient one-click access to quad-HD content ... I would pay $0.99 per half-hour for the BBC Wildlife Film Unit doing what it does best in quad-HD."

I would not be happy if the licence-payer funded BBC programs were only available for users of one company, thus locking out the majority of users who use other products, limiting competition in the market, and letting that company also have a 30% cut of the fee that customers pay. There was an uproar when iplayer "only" supported the 90% of Windows users, let alone this...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

It will be Apple Priced

Premier league footballers and Richard Branson need only apply

0
0
Silver badge
Holmes

I have no interest in anything from Apple sitting on my TV. I already pay my local cable company too much for the privilege.

Besides, major distributors will not want to lock their content into one platform (no matter how shiny) and that, NOT the hardware, is the reason for the delays for an "Apple TV". Major studios and TV networks want people to pay them directly so they get 100% of the revenues and not 30% by going through Apple. Netflix is the biggest provider out there today and their choices of films / TV shows is pretty dreadful because they cannot get distribution deals from the owners.

Greed will limit the selection available on any platform.

Sherlock, because it is elementary.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

They did it with the music industry - if anyone can revolutionise TV (and it certainly needs doing / on demand) Apple can. Unless you are happy being a sheep and watching based on someone else's 'schedule' ??

Baaa... baa...

0
6
Silver badge
Linux

Fanboy misses important details; more news at 11

The music industry had an entirely different marketing model and did not already have entrenched encumbents that were complete vertical monopolies including distribution to the consumer.

Someone else already brought up the problem of trying to sell Pay Per View to people that view the BBC as free.

1
0
Meh

I can see them making this.

And then selling/renting films and TV series through iTunes. My question is will they allow watching your own video collection via USB? I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was no. You always get great stuff with Apple products, but there's too much stuff you don't get just because Apple choose no to let you have it(FLAC playback for iPods, for example). They just expect you to suck it up, and lots of people do.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

11% of main purchasers are very interested in buying a TV they know abso-fucking-lutely nothing about, so long as it's got the right badge? No wonder their extraordinarily average phones sell so well...

13
0
Bronze badge

That is quite scary, isn't it? Almost like a cult.

Apple is a designer brand. Like those silly tags people keep on their trainers and whatever pattern's been patented this decade to go on scarves and bags. That's it. Everything else about Apple is pretty bog-standard stuff at extraordinary markups.

And in the same way that I've never owned any of the designer junk (learned that at a young age when my best friend from school always had £80 trainers - which was a LOT of money - and tore them apart in minutes playing football, whereas my £10 cheapy-shop ones lasted several months at least), I can't see me ever owning an Apple product.

A TV is really not the area to delve into. Spending on ordinary TV's is really curbed back later, and the amount of things you can do by just plugging in another box / software update / laptop into your current TV will make anything they can produce look like an overpriced empty box in comparison. Of course, some people will always buy them, but then some people pre-order £1000 bits of hardware already with no idea what they'll get.

Hopefully, the iPhone 5 has started to teach people what happens when you just blindly splash money on a product before it's been out for a while. I have dealt with more people moving from iPhone to Android in the last 6 months than ever enquired to me about Apple products in the last few years (and I'm the local IT guy, which means that five dozen people all ask me the same questions about the same products minutes apart, especially near Christmas, just to make sure they are buying the right thing).

5
1
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Not quite.

11% of survey respondents said they were interested in doing some missionary work to the stats.

Apple fanboys, when presented with an Apple product will talk it up no end. Despite having absolutely no use what so ever for it.

It mentioned an Apple something, so maximum positive response hat on.

It has to be a bargain. A thing of this amazing quality for this price.. Only twice what one would normally pay for a standalone unit as a plug in module that kind of works on an iThingy.

I saw people who had only the vaguest idea what an oscilloscope is, defend an over priced USB scope that was so low sensitivity, that it was near useless, trying desperately to compare it with several grand state of the art units that practically serve pizza to the user while they are working.

I actually saw them trying to use the stock "but this is an <insert thing> for ordinary people, not geeks". canned response. FOR AN OSCILLOSCOPE!!!

4
0
Anonymous Coward

"That is quite scary, isn't it? Almost like a cult."

What about the cult for people who have to make a comment on any little made up story about Apple.

The Reg could run a story about the skid marks in Tim Cook's pants and the usual suspects would role out their opinions on how it's a sign of Apple's decline and then you'd get the inevitable jokes about them suing anybody who made a skid mark with rounded corners.

No wonder they have an overly inflated opinion of themselves, everyone is continually talking about them.

1
2
Silver badge

The important question is... Re: AC 18:57

... how do you make a skid mark with right-angled corners?

1
0

Re: The important question is... AC 18:57

Anything is possible in Wimbledon.

0
0
Silver badge

@ Andrew Williams (Re: The important question is... AC 18:57)

> Anything is possible in Wimbledon.

Word of the street is the Swiss are so square that their skid marks are always mathematically-perfect rectangles.

0
0
Bronze badge

They'll make this...

And then sue everyone who dared or dares to make a better one.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: They'll make this...

"They'll make this...

And then sue everyone who dared or dares to make a better one."

Too late.......

3
5
Bronze badge
Devil

Samsung Smart TV

Samsung has always recognized that their TV's can offer a set-top box experience and to keep that updated, are now offering upgrade chips that will add real hardware based features to the TV. Given that newer TV's REQUIRE all the electronics of a computer, this is a very logical extension of their (and others ) hardware. I can't say how much they are charging but this is a an interesting design.

Only the Apple-ites will believe that they need to buy a seperate box that provides the same capabilities that the very TV or console that they are using, already has.

Look at the other set-top box & console vendors out there and you will see that they have almost no market share compared to conventional cable or satellite feeds. 98% of the "smart" functionality can be had in a media pc or game console.

I actually hope they put alot of time, money and resources into it so they fall flat on the nose.

2
0
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: Samsung Smart TV

"...2now offering upgrade chips"

Last time I looked at the top line Samsung kit, the upgrades of the SmartTV software were just downloaded from the internet connection. This is how they intend to fix all sorts of firmware issues and push other SmartTV functionality.

I don't recall seeing any upgrade chips available.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung Smart TV

Existing 'smart' TVs are pretty poo - I've got a pretty recent Samsung and compared to an Apple TV box it's poo.

0
6
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Samsung Smart TV

Philip,

You are correct about the firmware via internet but they have something new coming.

Please look at the bottom of this Samsung webpage for the upcoming upgrade chip capability from Samsung:

http://www.samsung.com/us/2012-smart-tv/

They are calling it their "Evolution Kit" and as described it will provide a HARDWARE upgrade path for their TV's.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

Let's see now. Buy an expensive Apple TV, or buy any other TV with an HDMI input, and plug in a $50 Android dongle with an HDMI plug, WiFi and Bluetooth. Then download games and HD movies from Google Play Store. Attach controller or keyboard/mouse over Bluetooth or WiFi as appropriate. Replace dongle when something better comes along. Choices, choices.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

Even if you are an Apple nut, buy the current Apple TV box and a nice TV. Next year buy the NEW Apple TV box and keep your TV. Repeat for the next 10 years.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

I can't wait for the early adopters to get in there stupid effing queues, squeal all the way home and then fail to be able to connect any of their other stuff whilst I attach yet another device to my LG TV which has more options round the back than a rohypnodate.

BRplayers, PS3s, WiiUs if you like, other STBs, my new OUYA when it arrives - I can't see Apple playing nicely with these. I think they will stick to the STB route too.

On smart tvs in general, since attaching the Xbox I've never used any of the smartTV features cos the xbox gives me a load of great stuff. SkyTV, BBC/C4/C5 catch up and I can easily flip to Netflix or Lovefilm or Xbox Video because I am open to choose which to use.

BE AWARE: Frequently exploiting too many options round the back can often lead to problems with STBs.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

Or buy a standard TV and plug in an Apple TV box for about £85-90...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

But... But... But... You CAN'T just but a standard TV and plug in an Apple TV box.

You NEED to get a REAL Apple TV because, well, it'll be alumin(i)um and stuff and have an Apple logo on the front!

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

> buy any other TV with an HDMI input, and plug in a $50 Android dongle

Or a $35 Raspberry Pi...

0
0
Silver badge

I'm not sure what the point of this speculation is - yes, if any multinational company with billions of dollars entered a new market, then after several years and vast amounts of advertising, it would gain some reasonable share, and make money. But that's true of any such company (same with Samsung, LG, etc) or any market (TVs, cars, fridge-freezers). And it still has to be weighed up with what other things the company could do with those resources.

Yes, I'm sure that lots of people say they might think about buying some new TV, but that would be true of any smart TV. I considered buying a Samsung TV - just as I also considered a Panasonic TV, an LG TV, and so on, but ultimately I didn't buy one from Samsung or Panasonic, as I had to choose one.

I'm really not looking forward to the unfair vast amounts of media hype and free advertising they'll get if they do release one, whilst the smart TV offerings already here today (as well as platforms like Google TV) go almost entirely ignored by the press. We'll have to put up with morons saying how Apple revolutionised TV, or "popularised" smart TV (even though smart TV functionality is *standard* on all non-dirt-cheap HD TVs these days). Yet the reality for actual smart TV owners like myself will be that even if the likes of LG and Samsung remain more popular, we'll no longer be able to get online support for our TVs, because they'll only cater for the minority of Apple users. (Even now in phones, with Android at 75%, and iphone never having been number one or anywhere near it, I still see plenty of companies only advertising apps for the minority of iphone users - in 2005, you could get apps that worked on any phone.)

Jobs is dead - please dear media, stop hyping what just one company does.

4
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.