There's news today that
a 'Best Buy' customer survey in the US has asked whether customers
would buy an Apple TV set for around $1,500. The answer,
apparently, is a resounding 'Yes'. But whilst the rumor mill has
been in overdrive about a possible Apple television since late last
year and, although we might love to see it, some commentators have
suggested it may never happen because:
- The margins on televisions are thin especially if they have to
include components that live up to Apple's exacting standards
- Consumers won't pay for the "Apple premium"
- The company is not interested in TV manufacturing
- This is a crowded market.
If you want to, it's not difficult to rebut these
arguments. In order:
- Apple already makes high-end products and has relationships
with countries and factories where parts can be built. relatively
cheaply, in bulk
- Just look at the queues worldwide whenever a new product is
launched. Apple is rock'n'roll. It's mainstream cult personified.
It sells millions of products at a price which other brands
wouldn't dream of charging unless Apple had lit up the path - and
divined a price point - for them
- Past experience suggests that Apple goes where there's a design
improvement to be had, a revolution waiting to happen or,
crucially, where there's big money to be made. Sure, a TV set on
its own may not alone yield large revenues but Apple doesn't just
want to sell you a piece of hardware. No, it has greater ambitions
for iTunes and can see a cut in supplying TV shows and movies. And
remember, Steve Jobs said last year, possibly in relation to
television, "I've cracked it".
- Yes it is. Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Phillips, Toshiba,
Grundig and a few others already occupy the TV manufacturing space
but when has a challenge ever stopped Apple? More to the point,
whilst all of these companies have pedigree, tradition and
brand-recognition going for them, they're only occasionally in a
As Dan Saunders, Head of Content Services at Samsung Electronics
Europe, told me last year, existing manufacturers
are trying to move away from "Here's your new TV. We'll see you
again in 5 or 7 years time" to "Here's your new television and we'd
like to have an ongoing relationship with you".
What do you think? Will we all be ignoring / yearning for an
Apple TV in 2012?