Apple has been rumored to be making the TV network rounds once again, in order to build an affordable and disruptive streaming service. Sounds great, but there is one mammoth hitch. If pricing is not aggressive enough it will not be well received.
Consumers dislike their communications companies as much as they disliked their mobile phones before iPhone. Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV bundle packages are overpriced and deliver far too many programming options people do not care about. If Apple can bring to market a set of desired network options at affordable rates, Apple TV and its service would force cable entities to offer more choices, or lose subscribers.
Spring is upon us, and that means one thing — WWDC 2015 is just around the corner. Kicking off the conference will be Tim Cook’s keynote event, which is one of the most highly anticipated in many years. Many rumors and speculators have been clogging the internet as to what the keynote will reveal.
We have complied a list of such possibilities with percentages of each item coming true or not:
Apple TV has been with us now for several years. An estimated 30 million Apple TV devices have been sold and also several software updates have occurred. But Apple TV still views the world through an old paradigm of networks or channels. The problem with this presentation is that people do not watch television today like they in the 1970’s. Back then content was limited. Today content is more than abundant — and continues to grow.
Apple TV is now $69, and while Apple executives plays coy with its sales, Apple TV continues to consistently sell. It is no longer a product in hobby status as Tim Cook recently stated at Apple’s March special event, “This is only the beginning.” What comes next is not crystal clear, but it is not all that difficult to figure out either. During Apple’s quarterly financial conference call Cook stated he would not speculate on where Apple TV was headed, but also stated that HBO’s success can give others pause for speculation. Beyond a bundled network TV solution, could Apple have a special wrinkle up their sleeve for Apple TV?
Rumors have been floated for years that the next generation Apple TV would incorporate Siri, have an all-new menu solution, contain an App store, and perhaps even ship within an Apple branded TV display. New features are always welcome, but incorporating more abilities comes at a price, and Apple may have tipped their hat with the current Apple TV price of $69.
Since last Fall, all the attention of those who carefully follow what Apple does have been focused on Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple Pay and most recently a stunning new MacBook. From all the predictions from way back in 2010 until now (including some here at T-GAAP), Apple TV has made little progress from its hobby status.
If Dish Network believes Sling TV is akin to hitting a home run, they may be right. And while it may not be bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded with the game on the line, it is at least the bottom of the 7th. The problem? Dish Network, standing over the plate, just struck out.
T-GAAP was able to test Sling TV before it launched publicly, and while first impressions were favorable, as a Mac and iOS user, after several days of use the experience fell flat.
Some say Apple’s inability to pull off content deals with resistant networks is hampering the diminutive little device from being a runaway success. Others have said Apple TV is dated due to a lack of hacking features that no longer work, while others are bemoaning the fact that Apple has not updated its disappearing-in-couch remote, nor has Apple added voice control. None of these are major issues slowing down Apple TV.
At the heart of Apple TV's problems is the entertainment industry itself, and the reason is simple.
Dish Network has managed to pull off a near perfect cord cutter miracle. Dish Network’s Sling TV delivers live streaming of some of the most popular cable networks, creating a “network mini-bundle” for only $20 a month. ESPN, EPSN2, TNT, TBS, CNN, Disney, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and many more worthy channels. The bundle is a fantastic solution for those without cable, and Dish Network gave T-GAAP the keys to beta test Sling TV. There’s only one glaring issue for Dish Networks shiny new toy – Sling TV is not on Apple TV (yet) and is not able to work with Airplay from iOS. However, we at T-GAAP have a solution to get Sling TV onto your television thru Apple TV.
A while back we reviewed AirParrot, but the software has since grown in maturity with in AirParrot 2. (Squirrels, the company who created AirParrot, is located in the high-tech capital of the U.S., in North Canton, Ohio). Regardless of where they guys/gals are located, they make great software.
A good CEO knows that if their company rests on its success, impending doom will soon be at their doorstep. IBM became distracted and complacent. Microsoft believed it was invincible with over 90% market share. Thank goodness Tim Cook and Apple think differently.
Cook knows that despite all the success and glory with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and the resurgence of the Mac, if Apple stands still history shows that Apple’s fate is certain — decline. While IBM and Microsoft are still with us today, they are not the companies they were at the peak of their success. The question is how Apple will maintain its success into the next decade.
I like my Apple TV. It is a little device that has made watching Netflix, iTunes Movies/TV Shows, the NFL Network, and all sorts of streaming content very easy. It is a tiny box that matches the color of my television and seamlessly integrates with my living room hardware.