So, up until this morning i had to think to myself “Why would Apple make a TV?” seemed a stupid idea for a single reason, people buy TV’s for 5+ years, they are a long term purchase. Apple like to refresh yearly..
That being said, what would happen if Apple did make a TV, what could they bring to the park to make a difference and own the market? And lets face it they said Apple wouldn’t make a phone because of the way the phone market worked, they changed that. They said Apple Stores were a waste of time because retail was dead. Well have you ever seen an empty Apple Store?
So what could Apple bring to the table? And lets be clear here, i’m not talking about the Hockey Puck Apple currently sell, i’m talking about a rethink of the whole concept of the television, making it better, simpler and easier to use..
Take the tablet, the competitors to the iPad all tout their USB/HDMI multi port setups, but lets face it, really, do they get used? Its a faff plugging that tablet into the TV, finding the cable, and to be honest which cable do you use, which socket do you plug it into on the TV? If Apple have learnt something its you don’t need all those ports.
So If they were to make a TV it would have a single port? A Thunderbolt port, and thats it (ok a power cable) no questions on what to plug where, one cable plugs in the back because Apple have Airplay and TV is best streamed over Network anyway….
Quite simply, we all have TV remotes, usually 3 of them, and most of the remotes we have we NEVER use half the buttons anyway, and thats if we can find it. Now Apple owns Nuance and that allows you to operate the TV using voice commands. Say the channel, tell the TV what you want it to do.
If voice isn’t your thing then a similar system to the Xbox with Gestures could be added? So moving your arms around could also double up on th voice commands.
No more losing the remote down the side of the sofa again..
Tablet/Phone Extended features
If you’ve got the infrastructure use it, air play, start watching on the TV, get tired, carry on watching on your iPad after getting ready for bed.. or on the loo (you know you do..)
there is also more to this as the Plex App has shown use the iPad to provided extended features, information on the programs, channel surfing, get previews on the iPad before you swap the channel. Chat with people on the show etc. Adds a whole new level of interaction, but only if you want to..
10ft Screen Interface
Now the actual AppleTV does have and interface but we have far better examples of what are known as the 10ft Screen interfaces and Boxee is possibly the best of all of them. So why not buy Boxee or Plex and use something far better?
Now we are moving on, the Internet connected TV was the star of the TV, but like the Tablet wars the TV app wars are well, there is no war, a few yahoo apps here and there, but nothing you’d want to use, and the interfaces are cumbersome. If you are going to do apps do them properly, the Apple way, with a HUGE back catalog.
However there is more to Apps than Games and Productivity, because on a TV your app could be the TV channel, HBO, CBS, BBC, Discovery, TWiT buy the apps of the channels you want to watch, and not 500 channels which you only watch 10..
And now we have it the centre of the room you are on the couch, you’ve installed the FaceTime, Skype app, got Facebook up on the TV, Say the words call “enter name here” and from the comfort of your own sofa you can have a video call, without needing to get up, find the phone and dial the person.
This is so future tech, its so dammed obvious i love it..
OTA goes IP Digital
And now we have what Apple would bring to the table, not this amazing hardware, which yes, i’d buy anyway, but the death of Over the air TV. no more TV delivered over the Ariel, Satellite Dish, over the internet, to your Airport, which will stream the TV to the Apple TV, iPad, Macbook, or supplied by Apps watching what you want when you want it.
its plainly obvious few of us have the time to sit and watch TV at the time dictated by the TV companies. So we download it, or watch Catchup Channels, we like watching all 20+ episodes over a wet weekend, and i believe this is how TV will be delivered in the near future..
The idea of watching TV at set times is dead, the idea of paying for LivingTV because you want Discovery but have to have both because of the cable companies choice is dead, sure put out weekly shows, but the fact it comes out on Monday means i might watch it on a Friday when i want to, or on Monday, my choice.
And the old idea of the Dumb TV in the corner is long gone, we expect more from our shows, but don’t want twitter feeds, Facebook chats blocking the viewing, so link the tablet and the TV..
Its a pipe dream, i’m spitballing, however Apple has build a nice simple eco system in the home, the TV might become the hub to centralise it all.. or it might not..
I was in a conversation at work with someone who’s opinion i respect, and he’s read that the Tablet has plateaued in sales..
Well to be honest i’m not surprised.
for 10 years Bill Gates/Microsot tried to make Tablet computers, and failed, 2 years ago Apple brought us the tablet called the iPad.
Well, nothing really, ok, a slew of under powered Android tablets which the bean counters got hold of and stripped out the grunt, and put out at an overpriced sales point.
Then, HP took the 3rd option, mis marketed, dropped the ball and pulled out of WebOS.
So really there hasn’t been a tablet market has there. just a market leader, so comfortable in their product with limited or no competition, so no need to innovate for now… and a string of also rans..
To make an iPad competitor there is however a simple formula
$100 + WebOS..
As HP have just found the perfect Tablet pricepoint, they now have one of the fastest selling tablets out there, and set a price point, sub $200. And this is good news, especially if your name is Amazon..
The Tablet market doesn’t exist to plateau just yet, however i believe it will in 18 months it will. Not to replace the Laptop, however it will to act as a secondary device, then we can see the 2nd wave. Learning from the mistakes of the past
Being an iPad owner and early lover of the Tablet format, its a question i get asked, closely followed by “Which tablet should i get?” and the double barreled “Should i get an iPad? Are there and decent android tablets?”
Its the first question which is the important one, because i you have to ask, then i’m willing to bet the answer in 99.9% of occasions will be no.
Simple, you will purchase your Tablet, probably an iPad, then spend the rest of your ownership wishing it did what Windows Did, worked like Windows, looked like Windows etc etc. You’ll end up using it as a paperweight, or an MP3 player.. You will get bored of it very quickly.
Using a tablet takes a mindset, knowledge of the cloud, an understanding of what you are buying into. And if you get this, then the question will not be “Do i need a tablet?” it will be “Which Tablet do i need?” and that is a whole different post…