One of the drums I’ve been banging on the loudest on this site has been the one that sounds like “it makes zero sense for Apple to make a TV”:
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The Most Compelling Argument Yet for an Apple Television
I started this beat in August of 2010 when the rumors started building into what is now a deafening crescendo. If you look at the sheer volume of rumors about Apple’s television now, you’ll see that no source is turned away. Any whiff of “substantiation” creates an RSS feed explosion.
So imagine my surprise when I started noticing some contrarians weigh in about why the Apple TV is a bad idea. Marco Arment of Instapaper fame wrote something last year. Philip Elmer-DeWitt used his arguments to agree with him last month. Now the “real” analysts are piling on. That’s a good indication that something’s beyond obvious. Their reasoning?
- The market is crowded with low-cost producers
- The margins are terrible
These are the 2 most important, which is why it’s been the kick drum of my percussion line. There have been reasons cited by others that I think add to the case against the move:
- Cable companies are a bitch and seem destined to die via some sort of autoerotic asphyxiation – probably with a plastic bag filled with Benjamins tied around its head
- Their size makes handling and stocking impractical
- TVs are durable goods, not impulse buys
- There’s not a single global TV standard
If Apple can work out an umbrella deal with any cable and/or satellite content provider (solve the first bullet), these other problems become non-issues. But even if Apple makes a deal with Comcast, it doesn’t need to make a TV, a point that was also raised by Elmer-DeWitt:
Apple’s success in studio and broadcast media is and will continue to consist of 9 parts media, 1 part hardware. The value of the hardware has already been captured in a set-top box (the AppleTV); further integration would only add a cost barrier while decreasing consumer choice.
Oh wait-that was me. Almost a year ago. I guess it’s one of those things that’s so obvious that it’s become transparent.