Apple Should Open Up Apple TV

Jun 7th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Story, General

Apple TV is seen by many as a technology also-ran.

While it’s sold several million units, it’s missing that certain something that would turn the device into a hit, like the iPod, the iPhone, or even Apple’s notebook computers. 

Apple TV is perfectly positioned to take off. It’s the most successful Internet TV device to date, and Apple has successfully lined up a lot of content partners. And the Internet television audience is growing rapidly

The problem is – nobody is sure what it’s going to take to turn Apple TV into another hit. 

To make Apple TV a hit, Apple needs to turn it into more than a closed box – it needs to turn it into a platform. Let developers come up with the features and apps that could help the company turn it into a hit. 

“To date, more than 100,000 developers have downloaded the iPhone software development kit (SDK),” says marketing expert Steve Rubel. “This will create all kinds of value on a platform that has arguably sold double the units as Apple TV. Expect Apple to do the same with Apple TV in the near future. It may not be at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), but I guarantee it’s coming.”

The television has had a prominent position in many people’s homes for decades. Now people are spending more time with their computers, watching Internet video and multi-tasking, and less watching TV. 

Apple TV will never be a mega-hit if it only offers a second-rate Internet media experience compared to your computer. Apple needs to open up the device, like it’s doing with the iPhone, if it wants to make it another hit. 

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No Responses to “Apple Should Open Up Apple TV”

  1. How about making Apple TV more appealing to sports fans? Steve Jobs is on the board at Disney. Disney owns ESPN. You’d think they could work something out there, yes?

  2. says:

    maybe someone should tell apple that tv is a dead end system?

  3. steve says:

    Totally agree, I’ve written about this quite a few times, most recently:
    AppleTV 2 breaks free from the PC, remains under Apple’s lock and key

  4. James Lewin says:

    Dave – totally agree.

    How about getting Disney channels straight on Apple TV via the Internet?

  5. trevorblanco says:

    Apple TV may need to get more friendly with playing streaming TV shows from NBC and the like. Maybe come up with a killer rental plan.

  6. Bob Forsberg says:

    Yo! Apple. NETFLIX and torrents.
    How can you build a TV device like AppleTV and not do Netflix & torrents and expect people to buy it.

  7. Mike B says:

    I think Apple needs to add a TV tuner to the box to become the media center in the living room. People buy DVD/Harddisk-Recorder, not online-only devices – so far.

  8. James Lewin says:

    trevorblanco – definitely.

    I spent a lot of time catching up on Lost this year using Hulu. The whole time, I was wishing Apple would work out a deal with them to bring it to Apple TV, so I could watch it on the big screen vs my computer.

  9. James Lewin says:

    Luck – I checked out your post – very well said.

    Let’s hope that, once Apple sees the response to opening the iPhone, that the Apple TV will get similar attention.

    My guess is that they want to make sure that people don’t think of the Apple TV as a cheap Mac. This shouldn’t be a concern, though, because the hardware is so stunted.

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