People been harshing on my bro Apple for not living up to their expectations about an Apple TV that’s not just a black puck that hooks up to a real TV. And they’re claiming Apple’s lost its innovative edge.
Me, I think they’re just doing what they’ve always tried to do: bake the whole cake before serving.
Yes, I know about all the fill in the blank-gates (e.g., Antenna-Gate) and have to admit they are nowhere near perfect in this regard. But they try. Hard.
You don’t need to look far for an example: iPod/iTunes. I don’t separate the two because you can’t (at least in Apple’s cook book.) The one without the other was just a commodity. Together, they’re premium.
And here’s the thing about the missing, mythical iTV:
it lacks the codecrack Jobs hinted about.
And I’m guessing that crack is just about here, and you’ll be able to order it á la carte.
Do you think for one second the technology for an iTV doesn’t exist already? Of course it does. But the thing that needs to be nailed down beyond possibility of reversal is content. As in ‘you pick the channels you want’ apps or whatever. Such apps/channels are right there in front of your face if you’re a current Apple TV owner. I had no idea what Crunchyroll was—until it showed up on my Apple TV menu. Turns out it’s a…wait for it…subscription-based purveyor of animé and Pacific Rim pop-culture.
Come to think of it, there are more and more subscription-based channels out there AND THEY ALL SEEM TO BE SHOWING UP ON MY APPLE TV MENU!
Hmmm. I think I see a pattern here.
The Beatles’ music wasn’t available via iTunes for a long time, ’cause if you’re the Beatles, you don’t need iTunes. But eventually, the terms we’re ironed out (long after iTunes had not only proved it’s viability, but it’s near omnipotence in the music industry.)
Can better-than-broadcast TV-quality content be far behind for Apple TV/iTV? Not if you ask him:
It’s already here. And proving tremendously popular—on iPhone, iPad, and…well, you know.
My personal prognostication: When there’s a critical mass of the very best á al carte content available (I’m talking ’bout you, HBO), there will be an iTV—even if they can’t call it that.
– D.P. Knudten