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Apple CEO Again Hints at TV Ambitions
Though They've Still Not Conquered the Licensing Problem
by Karl Bode 08:25AM Friday Dec 07 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook this week poured some additional gasoline on the never-ending rumors of an Apple television, even though those rumors never appear to materialize. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook said in an interview with NBC on the company's plans to manufacture some computers in the States. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that." The problem, as it is with everyone from Microsoft to Amazon, is that the cable and broadcast industry, terrified of an inevitable future where customers pay less money for a wider variety of a la carte content, won't loosen licensing enough to allow real innovation to happen.

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Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Apple....

Stay out of the TV business, we don't need you suing everyone because their TV looks like yours

whiteshp

join:2002-03-05
Xenia, OH

Re: Apple....

Apple invented IP TV. Just like they invented and was first to use the transformer for wireless charging. Their patents will say so as soon as they enter the market. Hey didn't the invent the wheel too? Hmm... well if the courts think so!

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Re: Apple....

True, I think Steve Jobs invented the universe too. Or so I hear.

ShawnAlan

@charter.com

Re: Apple....

really? attack a dead man?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

...

They already assemble some imacs in the US.

Apple is unable or simply unwilling to compete on cost. They will never get far in the TV business for that reason alone.
MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
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Re: ...

Oh really? Their entire meteoric rise has been about offering products at premium prices that consumers want because they are compelling. Remember the iPhone which at its debut was widely scoffed at by the technorati? Why would you think they can't do the same things to TVs that they did to mobile phones?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

Re: ...

said by MyDogHsFleas:

Oh really? Their entire meteoric rise has been about offering products at premium prices that consumers want because they are compelling. Remember the iPhone which at its debut was widely scoffed at by the technorati? Why would you think they can't do the same things to TVs that they did to mobile phones?

Because mobile phones are subsidized. TV's are not. There is a reason Vizio is now the #1 TV supplier in the US.

AnonFTW

@northstate.net

Re: ...

Why does everyone assume this means they will produce a TV set? It's far more likely they'll leverage the AppleTV (or a like device) and score content deals.

The few they currently have has changed the way I watch TV. I pay about $30 for a season of a Discovery Channel show in 1080p HD. When a new show is ready, I receive an email and when I want to watch it, I turn on my AppleTV, am presented with my new show, click play, and it streams from the Internet. All in a tiny device that uses like 5W of power.

What their current model lacks is any real integration with their other products and no real vision for a family with multiple TVs. That's where they will innovate.

I doubt very seriously they're going to produce sets.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: ...

said by AnonFTW :

Why does everyone assume this means they will produce a TV set? It's far more likely they'll leverage the AppleTV (or a like device) and score content deals.

The few they currently have has changed the way I watch TV. I pay about $30 for a season of a Discovery Channel show in 1080p HD. When a new show is ready, I receive an email and when I want to watch it, I turn on my AppleTV, am presented with my new show, click play, and it streams from the Internet. All in a tiny device that uses like 5W of power.

What their current model lacks is any real integration with their other products and no real vision for a family with multiple TVs. That's where they will innovate.

I doubt very seriously they're going to produce sets.

Producing the little AppleTV box that is many times the price of a Roku box is not going to win them long term success. As of right now, they have no streaming services to compete with Netflix and their purchase on-demand offering is being eaten by Amazon. They will have to add value to the hardware they produce, whether that hardware be AppleTV or a TV set, if they want to compete long term.

It is highly likely however that Apple will try to produce a TV set. They have made it clear they want to control all aspects within reason of the products they offer and make it as proprietary as humanly possible. The chances they will produce just an AppleTV box is very unlikely.
i2Fuzzy

join:2009-02-25
Fort Worth, TX

Re: ...

Apple TV is $99.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: ...

said by i2Fuzzy:

Apple TV is $99.

..and a decent BluRay player with the same capabilities is around the same price.

..and the Roku is $20-30 cheaper.

So far, Apple is still Apple, overpriced and underspec'd.
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MyDogHsFleas
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said by AnonFTW :

Why does everyone assume this means they will produce a TV set? It's far more likely they'll leverage the AppleTV (or a like device) and score content deals.

This is the big open question. It'll be interesting to see what they actually do. Maybe both!
MyDogHsFleas
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said by silbaco:

said by MyDogHsFleas:

Oh really? Their entire meteoric rise has been about offering products at premium prices that consumers want because they are compelling. Remember the iPhone which at its debut was widely scoffed at by the technorati? Why would you think they can't do the same things to TVs that they did to mobile phones?

Because mobile phones are subsidized. TV's are not. There is a reason Vizio is now the #1 TV supplier in the US.

Subsidized phones are only an issue in the USA, and the iPhone has been successful worldwide. It's simply how consumers in the USA are used to getting their phones, has nothing to do with why Apple was successful with the iPhone and why they will be successful at the Apple TV or STB or whatever it turns out to be. They are not stupid about pricing.

Also note that the subsidized business model is handled entirely by carriers, not by Apple. Apple gets their money up front when a consumer buys a subsidized phone.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI
said by MyDogHsFleas:

Oh really? ... Why would you think they can't do the same things to TVs that they did to mobile phones?

Hmm, maybe because they can't afford the law suits and won't pay jacked up prices that LG, Samsung, Sony and others will charge them in order to "borrow" those ideas. As "compelling" as you assume they are, Apple is no more innovative then Creative Labs. Now, when Apple starts building big screen TV's, cars and construction equipment and cures cancer, then we all can be impressed. Oh, and by the way, meteors don't rise so your use of meteoric doesn't apply unless you were implying Apple is falling . I think apple should just stick with making MP3 players and MP3 players that can make phone calls. Heck, when the Handspring/Visor came out, it was very "meteoric and compelling" but it soon wore off.. just like the Apple craze so they are starting to enter a market that will give them a taste of what Microsoft is experiencing. People just don't care anymore. Just saying.
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: ...

tc1uscg:

a) what ideas do you think Apple will need to license from TV vendors? I can't think of any.

b) Creative Labs? I think you miss the point of Apple innovation. They are not about features and functionality, they are about integration, design, and ecosystem. They do just enough to keep up with the hardware specs and features list, but make it a package and ecosystem that is overall compelling to consumers.

c) »www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-met1.htm

d) Will the Apple Craze wear off? well I guess eventually all things change. But I don't see it happening anytime soon.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: ...

A) You just don't re-broadcast TV without some kind of agreement unless it's public domain. Apple has deep pockets and if they are trying to make money on regurgitating airwaves, I see the people holding a license for that content and the content owners themselves will want part of that pie unless it's public domain and roku already provides that avenue (for free). I have 3 roku’s and I would like to continue to get what I do get for free. So, what can apple provide that isn't already there? What can be so innovative about hooking up a divice to your tv, plugging it into power, connecting to your WAN or LAN then start streaming free content or if you pay for the subscription, Vudu, Netflix, HBO, Hulu is at your figure tips? What irks me is they can produce something already on the market and people talk like life on another planet was discovered.

B) Really? Back when I got my 40gb creative labs zen, it got rave reviews. I still have it, it still works, and I use it more than my ipod touch 1st gen. I’m not filling the landfills with broken screens, or outdated-crippled devices. When I buy a drill, I don’t sit around and pay homage to it for being “cool”, innovative and eco-friendly. I just want it to do what it’s designed to do and do it well and every time a new drill bit comes out, I don’t need to “upgrade” my device to use it. Or when a new device comes out, I don’t have to replace my drill bits. Simple.

C) Like I said, the use of the word to describe Apple was incorrect IMO.

D) I don't say bad things about apple because I'm envious, jealous or that I’m wanting. To me, Apple is no more better at design, integration or even ecosystem then Jeep or Wal-Mart. Jeep because they are an example of a product that's been around for 70 years and no matter how unreliable consumer reports try to paint them, people still buy and rive them every day. (I own 2). Wal-Mart because of their innovative ways in the marketing and methods of giving it's consumers the same products at a lower price no matter what other companies or businesses’ they destroy in doing so, as long as they can maximize profits.
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: ...

Nice response!

A). Oh you're talking about content licenses, I thought you meant design patents. Well of course content owners will get paid by Apple, that's my whole point about it not being the "broadcast industry".

I am curious what Roku gives you for free.

What Apple brings that CL etc. don't is the Apple ecosystem. People don't perceive a learning curve, it "works with my iPhone". People see the product because its Apple and there's buzz and TV ads. And they want it. First step to buy is being aware that it exists. I would bet you a consumer poll would show Roku and CL having low consumer awareness.

B). See above you are not the average consumer.

C). Whatever.

D). Sure.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: ...

said by MyDogHsFleas:

Nice response!

A). Oh you're talking about content licenses, I thought you meant design patents.

I am curious what Roku gives you for free.

What Apple brings that CL etc. don't is the Apple ecosystem. People don't perceive a learning curve, it "works with my iPhone". People see the product because its Apple and there's buzz and TV ads. And they want it. First step to buy is being aware that it exists. I would bet you a consumer poll would show Roku and CL having low consumer awareness.

B). See above you are not the average consumer.

C). Whatever.

D). Sure.

A) I can seem the money hungry MPAA/RIAA jumping on the same train telling Apple to pay up or shut up. It might be a "Shock and Awe" in the beginning, but I think the relationship will sour (no reference to sour apples) soon thereafter.

Roku is the gateway that provides content from IP based entertainment sources. No, I'm not a spokes person but to sum it up as a consumer, it's a little cable box that lets you "surf" the hundreds of channels (both free and subscription based) with no learning curve. You just plug it up, register it and hundreds of channels are there.
»www.thecontemplation.com/index.p···hannels/

Now, I did buy a subscription to Playon.tv and Playlater.tv that provides me with hundreds of tv shows from network and cable channels. Playlater just allows me to record said show to watch later. Now, remember, these boxes stream all this to your non-internet/WiFi tv in HD/SD (depends on the channel) Note the above link was from over a year ago so there are many more channels there now.

I also use Plex (free). It turns any PC on your network into a media server for the roku (or android phone). Not sure if there's a version for apple for not. But I'm sure there are dozens of FREE apps for apple devices that do the same thing.

B). No, I disagree. I am an average consumer. Just not afraid to learn how stuff works to improve my experience. I pay for what I like and what works for my needs but skip what doesn't. I do tinker but in the end, it has to be simple for my stupid moments and everyone else in the house including 4 teens. I'm sure Apples stuff will be simple too but I would hardly call it innovation, ground breaking or anything to do with being 'eco'. When the android systems first came out, it was cool, now it's just, well, android. Guess my gripe is, Apple products won't do ANYTHING other devices available today can do and in my own experience, nor any better. No, apple will take it, make it bright and pretty so people will bow and pay homage to them for creating something revolutionary. (see creative labs )

C). Yep, we can go back and forth for weeks on this.

D). Noted

Bootes
Premium
join:2005-01-28
New York, NY
I don't remember people scoffing at the iPhone. Most people thought it was the best thing ever. There were just a few people claiming that their Nokia phone was better and Helio claiming that they had cheaper competitive phones.

The iPad was scoffed at for just being a larger iPhone.
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: ...

said by Bootes:

I don't remember people scoffing at the iPhone. Most people thought it was the best thing ever. There were just a few people claiming that their Nokia phone was better and Helio claiming that they had cheaper competitive phones.

Here's an example. I definitely remember the technorati being quite negative about it. They made the mistake of just evaluating specs.

»chordsoflife.wordpress.com/2008/···hall-we/

Bootes
Premium
join:2005-01-28
New York, NY
Except that they often do compete well on cost, they just stick to the higher end.

The standard pricing for a new iPhone is the same as its competitors. How many years did it take for others to be able to offer a similar, competitive tablet below $500?

Do they sell crappy netbooks running atom processors? No, but if you're in the market for a computer that matches the specs of an iMac and want a 27" high resolution IPS display, the iMac is hard to beat.
MyDogHsFleas
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Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

The pundits said the same thing about the music industry. Look what happened when Apple brought their business model for iTunes forward.

Also realize the "cable and broadcast industry" isn't monolithic. There are lots of studios and production companies who own their content. Apple can pick them off. They will start with a few deals and the rest will follow, just like how iTunes evolved with their licensing deals.

morbo
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Re: Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

The difference between the music industry and television industry is night and day. The biggest difference being how television is supported by advertising whereas music never was.

I don't see Apple changing the television world in any meaningful way. It's simply too big a business for the incumbents to yield any power or control and share in profit.
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

said by morbo:

The difference between the music industry and television industry is night and day. The biggest difference being how television is supported by advertising whereas music never was.

Partially true. You have to look at carriers as broadcast vs. basic cable vs. premium services.

Broadcast: ads plus retrans fees.

Basic cable: ads plus carriage fees from the carriers (cable/sat/telco).

Premium cable: subscription fees (the cut they keep after the carriers take their slice).

That said, let me explain why this makes no difference to my point.

I am not talking about the networks, I am talking about the TV content owners/producers. Sometimes these ARE the networks, increasingly often they are not. The content owners get paid by the networks, not by the carriers. So they really don't care how the carriers get their revenue, ads, subscriptions, retrans fees, DVD sales, streaming fees, whatever. The content owners/producers will see Apple as just another network that they can sell to. And if Apple gives them a reasonable deal, they will go for it. Don't confuse the networks with the carriers with the producers/owners.

I don't see Apple changing the television world in any meaningful way. It's simply too big a business for the incumbents to yield any power or control and share in profit.

My whole point is it's not monolithic. Apple can do the same thing they did to the music producers and channels, start with a few, show success, and pick off more and more. Doesn't matter that it's a bigger business than music. Apple is much bigger than it used to be too.

morbo
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Re: Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

I disagree. Time will tell on how this all plays out.
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

said by morbo:

I disagree. Time will tell on how this all plays out.

Disagree with what exactly? Make a point or we can't have a dialog. Hey I might learn something!
MyDogHsFleas
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Re: Cable and broadcast industry won't allow? Really?

To my point that consumers are willing to pay more for the Apple brand and ecosystem:

»appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/···-premium

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Backwards in time by 20 to 30 years

I don't know about Tim Cook but 20 to 30 years ago (heck even five years ago) I did not have a 46" LCD HD TV hanging on my wall. I was still using a good old CRT in low-def.
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Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Backwards in time by 20 to 30 years

that time frame is right when you look at the Comcast Iguide GUI.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

also the cable co ISP data caps as well are bad for this

also the cable co ISP data caps as well are bad for this

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: also the cable co ISP data caps as well are bad for this

said by Joe12345678:

also the cable co ISP data caps as well are bad for this

thats what the CAPS are for to choke anything like this off and protect 20-30 year ago TV business models complete with 40 minutes of commercials and 20 minutes of content.