An Apple TV update on rumors and news for the Apple TV set a.k.a. iTV, with Siri features and a touch screen remote from an iPad or iPhone for changing channels and navigation on your TV, Apple TV apps using iCloud and iTunes. Apple TV vs Google TV is sooo on, plus the formation of MySpace TV will all make 2012 a fun year.
The Apple TV success is different based on how you look at it: Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week that "The Apple TV product is doing actually very well," while SlashGear says "Apple has consistently failed to capitalize on its foot-in-the-door of the living room, and it’s looking increasingly like it may miss the opportunity again." Add that in to the unfavorable NY Times article titled "How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work" on how the iPhone is created in China, and the working conditions that freak most Americans out. This is all confusing, so where is Apple TV headed, up or down?
TELL US: Apple, TV, Google TV, or MySpace TV? Which will you choose?
No matter how you slice it, the Apple TV story looks to be a big one for this year, whether it's Apple TV box that you connect to your TV or the super story / rumor / news / divine prophecy of the Apple TV set that’s being talked about as launching this year. One big question I have is -- will they offer BOTH the set top box and the TV, or force everyone to buy an Apple TV set? I think there's room for both ... an iPhone or iPad can sell like hotcakes when they're a few hundred dollars a piece, but can you imagine the same quick success for an Apple TV set that's in the thousands of dollars range? The Apple TV box could let more people buy in in large numbers, as long as it has new features for iCloud, iTunes, and the like. Let's look at possible features:
Everyone is probably familiar with Apple TV features for the Apple TV Set a.k.a. iTV will arrive in two sizes, a 42-inch and 50-inch model. There was also talk of three sizes. The probability of guessing an Apple TV release date is next to impossible, as it may not even happen this year. We heard via USA Today that an Apple TV set is alive and well in the lab of Apple VP of industrial design Jony Ive. Given Apple’s track record of success with a fair amount of product launches, and the unbearable standard that the company is held to after they blew the world up with the initial iPhone launch and the success of the iPad, any Apple TV set better be pretty friggin’ good. Steve Jobs set high expectations for the products to live up to.
Still, some Apple TV features are dead ringers and easy to include as likely possibilities: built-in Wi-Fi to support the notion of the "connected TV." Siri is a must have, since Apple seems to be all Siri all the time now. The much talked about iPad 3 release date will obviously tie in to anything Apple TV or the use of video. The looming iCloud and iTunes could create a new ecosystem of Apple TV apps for movies and TV shows, with accessibility from an iPhone, iPad or computer. We really have no idea of the potential of iCloud right now for movies and TV shows, but the idea of selling, renting and storing movies and TV shows via iCloud seems huge. Spotify launched their Spotify apps platform, imagine this idea for Apple TV and iCloud, and we get a picture of how developers can create channels for video content and develop their own individual platforms. One day we could laugh at how premium cable service offered roughly a hundred TV channels when Internet video channels could easily be as common as individual web sites or YouTube channels. Everyone gets an Apple TV channel! Start concepting yours now ...
Crazy Apple TV set rumors include a Kinect-style motion interface that’s also being used Microsoft Xbox and some sort of Microsoft TV thing, and it’s hard to tell what to think of this. It came to light this week via AppleInsider that there’s an Apple patent for “"Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control," so is this just for an iPhone and iPad remote control, or will the TV get a touch screen operation as well? Not that you’ll have to get up to change the channel as the only option, but it makes sense that what they’ve developed for the iPad touch screen could be part of an Apple TV set. What’s more, the iPad or iPhone as an Apple TV universal remote would be customizable, so instead of a universal remote that’s cluttered with a fixed layout and lots of buttons you don’t use next to buttons you do use, you could choose a button layout customized to the Apple TV features YOU use. This is brand new, so I still classify it in the Apple rumor category, even though the patent is real. It’s too hard to tell how it will take shape and when it will be included.
So will we see an Apple TV set and improved Apple TV box this year? let’s hope so. Let’s also hope that Google gets in there with the Google TV platform and MySpace TV redefines the social online TV experience. The more they compete, the better it will be for all of us. Which one do you want to be a part of: Apple TV, Google TV or MySpace TV?
Check out more about iTunes and steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.