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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 …

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zb

Cool

I never realised that Apple had invented the TV

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cool

Who said they had.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cool

Who said they had.

Apple's lawyers in 2018

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Sil
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What could Apple bring to the table?

I really Wonder what Apple could bring to the table except for marketing and design (but won't people get bored with round corners and silver color)?

Apple has no know-how or terchnology to offer for tv set. The whole success of Apple of late has been built on touch and TVs won't be used in the same way as an iPad or an iPhone.

Apple has no manufacturing facilities and would almost surely have to purchase screeens from arch-rival Samsung if it sold tvs by the tens of millions.

And the experience so far is that smart tvs aren't doing that well and their consumers mostly use them as "dumb tvs".

As for me a better market for Apple would be a settop box + Wireless keyboard + Wireless gamepad done right with internet access, pvr functionalities and games which would directly compete with PS3, Xbox and generec settop boxes. This could partially cannibalize the iPad market though.

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Sil
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Apple TV's unique selling proposition

Apple TV: the only tv with ios Maps©®

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Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

If I knew what Apple could bring to the table, my bank account would have a much larger balance in it than it does.

What I can do is outline some of the problems with TVs at the moment that need to be solved.

The main problem is the vast collection of remote controls and their associated buttons that you need to control the TV and all the other stuff attached to it. Apple would definitely sort that out by reducing the number of buttons you have to chose between to get the thing to do what you want.

The second big problem is the confusing array of different user interfaces you have to deal with, depending on where you are. Apple would make that much more consistent.

In terms of features, I would expect an Apple TV to have fewer features than other TVs, but this may not be a bad thing if you can actually use the features it does have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

"The main problem is the vast collection of remote controls and their associated buttons that you need to control the TV and all the other stuff attached to it. Apple would definitely sort that out by reducing the number of buttons you have to chose between to get the thing to do what you want.

The second big problem is the confusing array of different user interfaces you have to deal with, depending on where you are. Apple would make that much more consistent.

In terms of features, I would expect an Apple TV to have fewer features than other TVs, but this may not be a bad thing if you can actually use the features it does have."

W O W! and you wonder why Appleites have a poor reputation! Thanks for that demo.

1) Remote controls? WTF are you whittering on about woman?

2) Apple will make "confusing interfaces" more consistent? Bollox, what channel up/down to confusing for applites?

3) Useability of features? EH? Can you not read? If you don't understand, I'm sure a Apple/Fisher Price UI will help the halfwits.

What utter crap you spout.

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Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

To take one example: Channel up/down works in the live TV section. It doesn't generally let you switch between BBC 1 and BBC 2 in the iPlayer app. For that, you have a different set of buttons to press.

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Paris Hilton

Re: apple TV Manufacturing

They don't at the moment but there is a TV Maker looking for a wad of cash and that is Sharp.

Apple could walk in and buy them outright.

Then the picture looks a whole lot different

Paris because even she knows a good deal when it is offered,

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

"To take one example: Channel up/down works in the live TV section. It doesn't generally let you switch between BBC 1 and BBC 2 in the iPlayer app. For that, you have a different set of buttons to press."

Never! Whoda thunk it. Your blind devotion to Apple is scary.

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Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

"What I can do is outline some of the problems with TVs at the moment that need to be solved."

Great. Nothing to do with Apple though, anymore than it is with Microsoft or Hoover or Debenhams or anyone else who doesn't make TVs.

"The main problem is the vast collection of remote controls and their associated buttons that you need to control the TV and all the other stuff attached to it."

LG Smart TVs have a remote with hardly any buttons. Already solved.

"The second big problem is the confusing array of different user interfaces you have to deal with, depending on where you are."

Not sure what you mean?

"Apple would definitely sort that out ... Apple would make that much more consistent."

It's the "They are better than the competition" argument, based on products that *don't even exist*.

No reason to think that Apple would do anything for the second problem you list, since all the applications on their products can have different UIs too. Even for the first, a touchscreen actually allows UIs to have more buttons etc (just that they're in software, rather than physical) - indeed, that's the good thing about them. But they certainly don't reduce the number things to press. My experience is that older less computer-experienced people prefer to stick with phones with a physical keypad, as it's easy and simple, compared with the multitude of UIs in a touchscreen device. Similarly my parents found the aforementioned LG remote confusing because they didn't like clicking icons, and prefer to stick with a traditional remote with all the buttons on it.

As for your bank balance, probably not - ideas are cheap, it's building the products, bringing them to market, and marketing, that's all the difficulty. You couldn't make money just by thinking up the idea (nor would it stop anyone from later patenting it, based on recent events...)

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Coat

Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

Have you ever sat in front of a Smart TV and tried to use it? Really, the SmartTV world could use a new take on user interface, because what we have is from Asian manufacturers who have a good grip on the hardware, and some of them even have a good grip on aesthetics (Samsung's new range springs to mind), however the software is fucking awful.

As for the idea Apple would be somehow forced to source their screens from Samsung, well that's the sort of demented analysis I am used to from the commentards here. I mean, really? You think Samsung is the only flat screen manufacturer on the planet?

Time to watch some mindless drivel on TV instead of reading it here

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If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

I can't imagine an Apple TV would offer any actual new features beyond those available on Smart TVs already available from the likes of Samsung et al or even just plugging your laptop into an HDMI port. What they might be able to do is improve the user experience for such devices.

There was a good article on El Reg a month or so ago bemoaning the awful interfaces on Smart TVs. If Apple came along and redefined the UI like they did with, say, first gen iPhone vs Blackberry, then they might be able to make some waves.

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Re: If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

I'm still waiting to hear what this amazing whole new UI was, that others than supposedly copied. At a fundamental level, my Android works like my old Symbian. And my old Symbian is the obvious touch-extension from the way my 2005 feature phone worked (touch on icon rather than click with button on icon). There are things like multitouch and bounceback, but these are just additional touches. By far the biggest advantage comes from having a touchscreen at all. And by far the biggest thing that made touchscreens more usable was having larger (~4.5") screens. (First generation iphone wasn't a smartphone btw, couldn't run apps.)

You also play the classic vaporware trick, where you assert that a product *that doesn't even exist* will be better than what's available. It's impossible to argue against. I might as well say, I wish there was a new Amiga TV, because it'll be better than the current rubbish, I just don't know how.

(I don't find TV UIs that bad - you're basically limited when you just have an infra red remote. LG TV have a bluetooth pointer that works better, but it's still a bit difficult to use, again that's a problem that will apply to any TV that's controlled from your sofa. Perhaps the best would be to have a mirrored application control on a phone/tablet/laptop, but then LG already offer this. Other possibilities would be voice control, again you already get that on some TVs.)

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Re: If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

The UI isn't just about what input device you use.

If you are looking in the Live TV section, you have a particular screen layout and buttons to press if you want to do something.

Go to the iPlayer app, and you will find that the screen layout, and the buttons to press to perform similar tasks is completely different.

Go to the place where you find live TV shows that you recorded earlier, and everything is different again.

If your TV has ITV Player that is probably a completely different interface again.

Youview integrates the Live and On-Demand TV services. Maybe that is an improvement. I haven't seen one in action yet, so I can't pass judgement.

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Re: If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

Well sure, but I don't see how that relates to what the OP said - every iphone app has different UIs too. (Indeed, it used to be the case that mobiles would use the common standard UI of a web browser, but now we have every site having to have its own different "app".)

I agree it would be good to have some open standard where by online video services came through a common protocol. No reason to think that Apple would do that though.

Also note that Smart TVs already *do* offer this for local streaming. The people saying "Just use HDMI on a TV" have the problem that every device they connect to to play has its own different interface. But when I stream to the smart TV, it doesn't matter what kind or make of device I use (PC, tablet, phone, network hard disk, connected USB hard disk or media player; Linux, Windows, Android, etc), it all comes through the same standard UI on the TV. If anything, based on historical precedence, Apple would be worse here - they're likely to tie it in with itunes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

Mark, sprouting your usual bullshit.

"First generation iphone wasn't a smartphone btw, couldn't run apps."

I just checked. Yep, mine is definitely running apps.

You are one of The Reg's reular peddlers of rarified bullshit and I do wish you would pull your tiny dick in and go away.

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Anonymous Coward

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

1568 surveyed = 13m sales? Sorry but peoples decisions don't scale that nicely. All you can conclude from that survey is that 11% of the people they asked would go and buy one, ask a different 1568 people and get a totally different result.

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Anonymous Coward

Do the survey in an Apple store

OMG!!!!! Survey shows that 100% of people will rush out to buy one, this will be the biggest selling thing EVER!!!!!

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Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

I suggest you study sampling theory. If you double the number of people you survey, it doesn't increase the accuracy of the results by much. That sample size is sufficient to give you a 3% margin of error, provided the sample was selected properly. Short of asking absolutely everyone, you aren't going to get much more accurate results than that.

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This is all hype to stop the fall in share values. Even if Apple did product a TV, to base a massive growth potential on an 11% " sample " of US citizens out of sample of around 1500 people is reality distortion running flat out. The markets are awash with smart TV's and the prices are dropping. On the content side, numerous cable and sat companies have this sown up and and by the time it comes to the UK, with import tax and VAT, you are looking ta a retail price of around £2k. You can just see all the ques outside the Apple store in Regent Street fighting to be the first to get an Apple TV can't you?....hahahaha. Of course the other thing is that they cant call it an " iTV " in the UK because that name is already in use. What this shows is just how desperate Apple and the share holders are to boost the share value. Especially as some of the Apple execs are cashing in their own shares now.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly it's nothing to do with the recent drop in share price as they have been talking about an Apple TV for years when the share price has probably increased 100-200%.

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Unhappy

Why?

Why would I need ANY sort of smart features on my tv? Just cut down the price, give me HDMI and I'll plug in my own hardware thanks. A PS3 for netflix / ease of use or a raspberry pi for a highly configurable media center is far cheaper with a TV with all this stuff built in. At the very least give us an option to put android/linux on there.

Thanks, but no thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

That's 'cause you are a geek (no disrespect) - most normal people do not setup raspberry pi's as highly configurable media centres.

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interested indeed in owning an Apple-branded television

Now that sums up a lot of Apple's average consumers, they are interested in the brand. I personally grew out of that when I had to start buying my own trainers and couldn't justify the extra expense that the latest release from the current label in vogue cost.

I'm not saying I wouldn't buy an apple tv but it's going to have to have some good features over what I currently have and expect to have in the future from the same setup. I'll defer until I've seen some specs.

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iTV/ITV?

Should the UK's ITV channels start prepping their solicitors for the inevitable copyright war?

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Re: iTV/ITV?

And Spain's garages... ITV is the Spanish equivalent of the UK's MOT (vehicle inspection test).

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Anonymous Coward

definition of dickhead

iTV

iMAC

iPhone

iPod

iPad

BAD ENOUGH........

4X4

Facebook profile

Twitter profile

Linked-in profile

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Anonymous Coward

Re: definition of dickhead

Unemployed? Bitter? Thought so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: definition of dickhead

"Unemployed? Bitter? Thought so."

No, not at all. Shows how much you know. And thats very little, obviously!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: definition of dickhead

Just jealous then. Ever heard of free choice...

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Joke

Re: definition of dickhead

"Unemployed?"

Dude. He's a barista.

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Re: Ever heard of free choice

Sure have, and you have less free choice with what you do with apple products than you do with others. Plus, the article just demonstrates how much the average apple customer exerts their freedom of choice.

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FAIL

Vaporware

It's just not going to happen. The Cable and Satellite networks don't need Apple to gain subscribers, and after seeing how Apple worked the record companies and cell phone networks, they aren't going to play ball with Apple and give Cook any form of control or "lock in deals". Comcast in particularly, isn't going to play ball with Cook. Jobs couldn't inspire any of the TV networks to play ball. Cook has less mojo than jobs, so he can't accomplish this. Chinese TV OEMs aren't going to want to cannibalize sales of their own TV's just to make pennies on the dollar from Apple. The only vendor who's got "intense interest" in the proposition of an Apple branded TV set, is Apple. While some consumers may be interested in an over price/under featured LCD TV that is two years behind competitors in features and technology, the economy in Europe is in dire straights, so it's not going to sell in droves over there. The American economy isn't much better, so while some might claim interest, there's not going to be any standing in line for days waiting for an Apple TV. It's just not going to happen. Analysts bring this up to help raise Apple's stock price, which has been floundering recently. Cook brought this up for pretty much the same reason. Apple can't continue their momentum with two years behind everyone else technology. The trance is wearing off and vaporware products aren't going to change that.

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Re: Vaporware

Don't know much about the tv industry but most of what you says sounds right. Just one point, I doubt apple would release a tv that is lacking in features for a first effort, sure after a few models they will start to slide. If they do then the writing is definitely on the wall for them

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Re: Vaporware

Maybe you could cut the networks out of the loop altogether?

News and sporting events benefit from being live, and I suppose things like The X-Factor benefit from being live as well, at least after the audition and judges house stages. For everything else, you probably want to watch a program rather than a channel, so maybe you could subscribe to a vodcast for the likes of Eastenders.

Of course it is worth bearing in mind that lots of people have tried to make money out of broadcasting English premier league football, and only Rupert Murdoch has succeeded, but still, I definitely don't think current smart TVs reach anything like their full potential.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vaporware

" While some consumers may be interested in an over price/under featured LCD TV that is two years behind competitors in features and technology"

What a puerile rant. Another Apple hater pretending to have a brain.

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xyz
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FAIL

I'll bet it comes with a 4:3 aspect ratio 'cos Steve said that was best!!

Oh and remote controls with rounded edges...whatever next!

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Stop

why would they bother?

I could imagine Apple releasing a TV set, but it would be primarily targeted at the Bang&Oulfson or Loewe Crowd, who are willing to pay a significant premium for aesthetics.But this would simply be as a token, much like the 8series for BMW or the GT for Ford. Going after the mass market would be utterly pointless. The margins would be way too small without the benefit of making more money back on the content than they could with a settop box. This is a cut-throat market where profits are made from minuscule margins which has led to several old school TV manufacturers to leave the game. As for this survey, saying you would buy something and actually doing so is a big difference. I would be surprised if 1/10th of the people claiming they would buy an Apple TV would actually do so.

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Unhappy

Have you ever seen the trashland they call satellite TV?

In many countries Foreign services are delivered via satellite television, usually guarded by less than effective encryption - the keycard updates are downloadable for a small donation to a card pirate.

Overnight airtime goes for as little as USD$100 per hour, which is why infomercials and religious nuts fill the airwaves. Do people really want to invest in high-end TV receivers to watch this? The commercial cable TV systems are losing business.

Satellite TV channels in the USA pour pour pure video trash down from the skies. Much of it is duplicated on competing channels. I Love Lucy, circa October 1951 to May1957, can still be seen on the air. That's when Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, a BBC television series, were in their heyday, circa 1952-1954.

We have no TV sets in my house, yes, we can see TV programming on computer monitors but my daughter has to make a choice - computer or TV.

Quite honestly, I think people will spend money on more interactive pursuits other than waving their arms around in front of a Samsung TV set.

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Price

"Let’s say Apple prices its TV at $999, a nice, round number of the kind favoured by Apple."

I would wager they would favour a significantly higher (yet equally round) number.

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Devil

Re: Price

Turn it over.

666.

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Anonymous Coward

Could Apple actually follow their normal business model in that there would be regular updates? Sure, there are new TV's released every single year, but people are not buying a new TV set to get a few new features.

Going with the original iPhone, would the first iTV be SD only?

Would stations need to be in the app store to watch them?

Would it have proprietary connectors in that only devices that pay Apple a royalty fee to sue the connector can be used?

Remote control optional but you can buy an app to use an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad as one?

If you don't buy a subscription you see iAds.

You can buy items direct from the iTV but Apple gets a 30%

Maybe they will have the best of Billy May's.

They will integrate what you are watching with FaceBook. Just becareful with porn. ;)

Everything you post on Facebook or Twitter will say; watched on my iTV.

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h3
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Panasonic's DNLA stuff is great (Plays anything other than direct from Windows 8 Modern UI) . Cannot see why anybody would want something so restricted like an Apple TV would be.

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Anonymous Coward

Because it WORKS - DLNA works with this but not that and then that but not something else... roll the dice.

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Anonymous Coward

We had walkmans before Apple made the iPod popular and now we can buy music track by track rather than whole singles or albums.

We had crapper phones before the iPhone - now we have much better smart phones.

We had crap tablets before the iPad - now we have a range of good tablets.

We have crap TVs delivering on a schedule (how quaint) - things like HDD recorders are just a stop-gap before we get proper on-demand TV and what we do have is pretty 'poor' - so surely it can be done better?

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Paris Hilton

Baa

11% lemmings. That is all

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Pointless vapourware is pointless

Why the long thread.

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Anonymous Coward

Eyetv

An Apple TV set could be interesting if it bundled Eyetv as the PVR component and had sufficient hardware to make it a pleasant, smooth experience to operate unlike every other smart TV / set top box out there.

An iTunes viewer appliance, which is the much more likely scenario, is significantly less appealing.

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