February 8, 2009
Daniel makes his wishlist for AppleTV 3.0 As usual a great article, and I particularly agree including a DVR or DVD player is complete anathema to what they are trying to accomplish, but I do join a few commenters in saying an HDTV would be great:
- It’s a great marketing tool: An actual TV which plays all this additional content and rents movies is a much more immediate and familiar concept for (largely unsophisticated) consumers. Apple should offer just one 24″ model which is perfect for the bedroom and easy to demo at their stores. Once the customer is comfortable with the concept they are more likely to consider getting the freestanding box for their larger/existing TVs.
- Apple’s enormous purchasing power in LCDs allows them to build with a lower bill-of-materials than competitors. In turn, more LCDs for TVs lowers the cost of LCDs for iMacs.
- Convenience: Switching source on the TV is simple enough, but having to reach for that third remote repeatedly to go from an iTunes TV show to live TV, back to an iTunes movie gets very annoying.
- Stickiness: No chance of user disconnecting it. Even if customer doesn’t use often, new features and content can be announced when TV switched on.
Also, just to expand on how they really need to add content, and recognizing how difficult it is to work with the studios and their contractual tangles, perhaps they should go for multiple niches. For example festival-circuit films, film school projects, French cinema, Bollywood. Most of these either have no existing distribution agreements in the U.S. or would be eager to gain the exposure. Each niche would have a small but very enthusiastic audience that would also purchase mainstream content and could be very vocal evangelists. Of course, this only works if Apple’s overhead to setup agreements and prepare content is very low, which I would expect.