We know Apple is poised to release a TV integrated with some mutation of iOS mid-way thru next year. Judging by the existing “Apple TV” product (which is sort of a stripped down iMac that you connect to your existing TV), they have a solid technical base to work from. Since people are hungry for convergence devices these days, Apple is really positioned nicely to provide the ultimate all-in-one device that assembles all media content in one place. If they can integrate casual gaming into such a device (iOS already handles this), then we can throw out all the other technology sitting in the living room and consume content and entertainment through this device.
Apple, more than any other company, can produce hardware than can live up to this dream. The existing Apple TV, though reliant on the painful & awful iTunes software to get content, is a fairly pleasant product to use. I hate iTunes, so it has no place in my home system, but I appreciate a good user experience when I get slapped with one.
However, it is an appliance sort of device. Any of these media devices must turn on in and be usable within 10 seconds to be usable on a daily basis. Nobody wants to “boot up” the TV and wait two or three minutes. If Apple integrates that experience into the television, it ought to be outstanding. Google has no answer for this. They have a TV type of product based on Android, but it is absolutely awful to use. Getting media over to it requires a degree in technology. Apple is really good about making very technical tasks both simple and pleasant.
But the TV is sacred ground for us Americans. We don’t mind attaching some clunky little device to it, but are we willing to pay an Apple premium for an incredible media experience in the living room? I think Apple has enough money and know-how to throw at this first-world problem that we should see an incredible solution next year.
We all wish we would have recognized the iPhone’s dominance before it hit the market, here’s a second chance.