When an Apple TV Falls Far from the Tree


Seriously, what is up with Apple TV? It’s been such a spectacular commercial failure (in my opinion), that I now have to wonder (in paranoid fashion) if there’s a master plan we the public are simply not aware of. Since the Apple TV launched earlier this year, it’s been heavily eclipsed by other online video news and new hardware players like Vudu and the new TiVo. Apple’s given its TV box virtually zero attention and the company refuses to publish sales numbers. (Analyst estimates are low)

So what’s the deal? Was Apple TV created just to give the company a brand in the living room video space? Is Apple biding its time until a 2.0 version is ready to take the world by storm? Or is Apple TV just a flop?

12 thoughts on “When an Apple TV Falls Far from the Tree”

  1. Since Apple is booking amortizing revenue for AppleTV over 24 months as they are the iPhone; I would personally expect them to have a thing or two upcoming. My assumption is that the delay of Leopard also held back a feature that may tie-in directly with Leopard (due this month).

    Also, there’s always rentals and hd content when it’s signed off on.

    In the end, I think it’s too early to call this one.

    = )

  2. No TV recording feature is a big draw back.

    Streaming Itunes video content to your TV is fine, but I think that most of the people buy Itunes video are watching it on their Ipods or computers. If they were really interested in watching such content on their TV, they probably wouldn’t have bought such low-res content in the first place. They’re the YouTube generation, video quality isn’t necessarily their concern.

    For people that would really want to hook that to their TVs (remember it only has HD connections), they will want HD content which is seriously lacking in Itunes. Plus the Youtube generation may not have HDTVs in their dorms.

  3. Jobs explained it away by saying it was only a hobby, meaning iflop. I’ve had VUDU a week and its just about everything we wanted. You click and the movie starts. Scroll-wheel for selecting is great. Graphics are high def capable. The content is very good and a friend who had it in beta says its adding a lot more each week. Its only problem I see is that its not hackable, which is why they got all the movie studio content and Apple didn’t.

  4. Profit margins not good enough for serious internal attention coupled with testy studios with pricing power has made AppleTV a serious flop. Unless these dynamics change, Apple will spend valuable resources elsewhere.

  5. I’m as big a fanboy as the next guy when it comes to all things Apple, but even I didn’t understand the purpose of an AppleTV.

    No optical drive? No TiVo-like functionality? Must have an HD television?
    So, I get to watch YouTube videos on my television?

  6. It’s clearly not a priority now, but I think Apple is laying the groundwork as the mainstream becomes more interested in this sort of technology. As many (or as few) Apple TVs that have been sold, I’m still willing to bet that number eclipses all other dedicated media extenders combined. Charlie’s point is a great one (and a great disappointment), so I assume at some point iTunes content will be available in higher def – and direct from the store.

    FYI I heard from Microsot at DigitalLife, HP will be replacing or augmenting their current extender software on TVs with Microsoft’s media extender technology. TVs with built-in extender functionality raise some interesting possibilities and may lower the barrier to entry… In fact, an analyst I chatted with in NYC believe Apple is destined to make HDTVs. And why not include Apple TV software/functionality?

  7. Without a DVR nobody buys Apple TV.

    If Apple TV has a DVR nobody who owns it would rent or buy shows through iTunes.

    It’s not powerful enough to be a gaming box.


  8. VUDU will kick their butt. They have much better quality. Their interface including remote are far better. They have 5000 movies going to 10000 while Apple has only 500 downloads. VUDU’s TV comes next, according to the media. And, they have a 250 gig hard drive already. They also have high def capability.
    Jobs called AppleTV a hobby, and no one paid attention to it or will while the iPhone has so much more potential for profit. Apple should have done better and has a loyal following just waiting for what VUDU just put on the market.

  9. The usability and experience is top notch, but the content isn’t there. The networks are scared, and video podcasting is still in it’s infancy.

    the consumer market isn’t there either. While ipod replaced your walkman, apple TV can’t replace your cable box or DVD player, and even if it could, the switch to the ala carte model is a big shift for the consumer. (Apple isn’t going to cannabilize it’s own store by including a pvr)

    It’s definitely a 1.0 (or 0.9) product. that said, I still love mine. I was just about to ditch cable when the NBC deal fell through. (can’t deal with no 30 rock). Apple gets ease of use and ease of setup better than anyone else. It’s a little premature to proclaim victory for vudu just yet…

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