Apple TV rumors are starting to fly around like crazy right now. I know I talked about Apple TV growing up a bit in another post, but I feel the little black box we see today is gonna be sporting some awesome new grown-up features. So in order to give you an idea of just what we might be in-store for, I’ll share with you what I believe the rumor mill is trying to tell us.
This is something I’ve touched on before and I’m glad to see more talk among rumors (Apple TV + PrimeSense = Game Console). In order for Apple TV to be a huge hit, you have to broaden the niche. I’ve been using my Apple TV for years watching my favorite movies and TV shows I’ve downloaded. I’ve also seen more and more viewing options added to Apple TV as well: Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, NHL, MLB.TV, Hulu Plus, HBO GO. You get my point, Apple TV is broadening its horizons and in turn is broadening its niche. But there’s just one place they haven’t touched quite yet. Giving the users the ability to download dedicated applications for the Apple TV software. The sky’s the limit here I feel and Apple knows it. Just to give you an idea of why Apple wants applications developed for Apple TV; for fiscal Q1 2014, Apple has already paid out $2 billion to developers. This is 3 to 4 times larger than what they paid out for Q1 2013, so you know they want another device of theirs to tap into this market. There’s just one problem though, they’re gonna have to put storage capability back into the device in order for this to be remotely successful (How to save space on your iOS 7 devices).
The iOS App Store is a huge moneymaker for both developers and Apple. You see people playing games on their iOS devices all the time. Nowadays there are even controllers being made so you can plug you’re iPhone into them for certain games. We’re just getting started at what you will eventually be able to play on your iOS devices. If you give Apple TV the capability to have games on it as well, you’ll have lots of people finally interested in adding it to their electronics collection. As it stands now, a lot of people know about the Apple TV, but nothing is setting it apart from the competition. Chromecast and Roku can essentially do the same thing, right? So why bother plunking down $99 when you can get something a little cheaper. This is could be another game changer for Apple TV, but that’s not all I feel it has in store for us, there’s more.
Household TV Integration:
Apple wants you interacting with their products all the time. Every company would like you to exclusively use their products but we know that will never happen. Apple TV is reportedly already testing out a way to control your cable or satellite boxes. Think about this; Siri has been added to a lot of Apple products we now see today. If Siri was introduced to Apple TV, wouldn’t it be nice to ask when that favorite show of yours is on rather than having to go search for it? You could just tell it to record it for you without ever lifting a finger. Who wouldn’t want to make things just a bit easier and Apple would benefit from it too. When you’re away from the house you probably have your iPhone and/or iPad you interact with. When you come home and turn on the TV, you just might have Apple TV doing all the work for you now too. Your interaction with Apple products would grow that much more if they introduced something along these lines.
I’m going to take it one step further though and some of you will probably think I’m absolutely crazy. Let’s say you like to watch HBO, Discovery Channel, HGTV, ESPN, TLC, and your local network stations. What if you could get these lumped into a monthly package from Apple TV? Pricing and ironing out the details would be interesting to see, but I believe the way we interact with our televisions is still in for some drastic changes. Streaming became a huge deal in recent years and I feel a lot of people would like to get away from having 500+ channels that they’re not using, but paying a lot of money for. I see a time in our future where you will be able to pay for a channel package a la carte style. These station packages could offer up a live stream and give you the option to stream different shows their network exclusively offers when it’s convenient for you. Hulu offers up a general preview of how this could look for streaming past shows.
Apple TV Console:
I want to believe that Apple TV is ready to be put into an actual television, but I just don’t think its ready for primetime. I love this product and I began supporting it a little while after it hit the market. The problem is, not a lot of people are as die hard about it as I am. I do, however, remember a recent article by Adriana Lee reporting how Apple TV was the “fourth best-selling electronics item on Amazon.” That’s great and all, but do we really think people are going to be willing to shell out thousands of dollars for something like this? I don’t feel initially they will. Apple’s history, especially recently, proves they don’t do anything half ass, so you know the television they’re gonna put Apple TV into is going be amazing. It will take a little bit of time for people to get exposed to the newer more grown-up Apple TV before people are going to look at it and say, “I want that.” In time, I can see Apple TV finding a home inside of a television, just not in 2014. Part of me wants to be wrong here, but I want it to be a huge success. Having a much stronger following by getting it into more households would make it an easier sell in a television set in years to come.
I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on Apple TV’s direction for the future. I’ve always gotten a kick out of seeing concept iPhones and iPads people come up with, but Apple TV has generally been devoid of a lot of concept developments. I’m extremely excited to see which direction Apple takes this product in the future since it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed and only has room for improvement.