Is It Time for Apple to “Do an iPhone” on the Apple TV?

by Chris Howard Dec 05, 2007

After Apple’s revolutionary redefinition of the mobile phone, is it time to do the same to the Apple TV—plus a few other devices?

Folks often have short memories, especially when it comes to the weather. “For example: “It’s’ so hot for this time of the year!” ”No, it’’s quite common.

Something else folks—especially Apple folks—might have trouble remembering is the Motorola ROKR mobile phone. One reason is probably the great success of its sibling, the RAZR. However, it is the ROKR that is more significant to us as, if you remember, it was Apple’s’ first foray into the mobile phone market. (The ROKR is still sold, but sans iTunes.)

Admittedly, the ROKR was barely a toenail in the water for Apple, as it only provided an iTunes application to run on the phone, which is quite a way removed from the iPhone and its total Appleicity.

Now, although the Apple TV is all Apple as well, it still feels like not much more than a toe in the water in its market too. It has hardly set the world on fire or given MediaPC manufacturers a laundry problem.

Of course, the Apple TV—and every new Apple hardware product—now has to live in the shadow of the iPhone. The iPhone has created a new benchmark for Apple. It’s hard to believe after the iPod raised the bar so high, but now Apple will be judged against the iPhone. “”Can Apple do an iPhone in this market?”” will be a question commonly asked.

How good is the iPhone? I can’t speak personally, but as Computerworld reports on web browsing figures by Net Applications, the iPhone is already used 0.09% of the time for browsing the web. That might not sound like much, but that’s in just five months and is in fact ahead of Windows Mobile/CE (on 0.06%), which has been around for over 10 years.

Speaking of short memories, I’m sure I never said anything skeptical about the iPhone before it was released… smile

Apple sure hasn’t’ “iPhoned” the MediaPC market. Yet. So can we just declare Apple TV 1.0 dead? People want more, Apple. I read Robert Scoble mentioning how he (and a few of his friends) have plunked Mac minis in their home entertainment systems. This despite him already having an AppleTV. Seems it doesn’t fully meet his needs, which I’m sure are common to all of us.

As a bare minimum, folks want a DVD drive built-in and a truckload of hard drive space. Apple, it’s time to “do an iPhone” on the Apple TV. Long live Apple TV 2.0!

Some other markets desperate for an “iPhoning” are:

- Tablet computers. You can scoff about this one as being the rumor that won’t’ die, but that is for a perfectly good reason: all portable computers at some point in the future will be tablet computers. So sooner or later, Apple will have to enter the market. And bear in mind that the iPhone, with its touch technology, has given the tablet market a huge boost as people now see how easy handheld devices, such as tablet computers, should be to use.

- Ultra portable PC. Another we’’re sick of hearing about. This will probably happen before a TabletMac.

- eBook reader. Amazon has rekindled interest in eBook readers with its appropriately named Kindle. Early reports gave it a thumbs up, but later ones are starting to show frustrations, especially with its lack of a touch screen interface. Again, thank you iPhone. Of these three, this will likely be the last market Apple enters. It will more likely try to add eBooks to the iPhone. But could you imagine how Apple would do an eBook reader? Wow! With Apple’s touch screen technology and Core Animation, you’d almost feel like you were turning the page.


  • It’s hard to say why Apple hasnt made AppleTV all that it could be. A DVD drive would have been VERY CHEAP (but may not have broken adequately with the past), and Apple deliberately prevented Elgato’s DVR and playing AVI/DivX files. Buying TV shows is expensive (and unavailable in most countries).

    I assume the above comes down to deals with studios, doesn’t it?

    I mean - perhaps Apple didn’t make it a DVR or allow playing of AVI/DivX files, because they wanted to make it to be more attractive to studios (ie: more iTunes shows, HD??, rentals??). They could offer a new type of “Net-TV”.. but it doesn’t seem to have worked….

    So where to next? Will Apple finally announce a deal with the studios? Or will it add DVD, DVR, DivX so that the studios are less important? Or try to do something in between?

    I can imagine someone playing a pirated DivX file, and having the AppleTV come up with “Would you like to upgrade this movie to a higher quality version?” or “Would you like to subscribe to future episodes of this show”

    Greg Alexander had this to say on Dec 05, 2007 Posts: 228
  • If the AppleTV could get the movie rental service, it would be a great improvement.

    I own one in Canada, and the only movies on it are kids movie that I converted.  I am not watching movie on it because of the quality issue.  But I made some tests, where I transfered an HD movie trailer from, and the result is great.

    I would watch HD movies with the rental service.

    J-F had this to say on Dec 05, 2007 Posts: 9
  • For a device that doesn’t really do much of anything, the AppleTV is awfully expensive.  Bring the price down to $100 and it’s maybe a more compelling product.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Dec 06, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • I want to see a bluray player as part of apple tv along with 1080p output. Until then appletv will only be a dream

    augustwest had this to say on Dec 06, 2007 Posts: 1
  • A Blu-ray player for Macs wouldn’t be so bad either.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Dec 07, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • A Blu-ray player for Macs wouldn’t be so bad either.

    Understatement of the decade! smile

    Chris Howard had this to say on Dec 07, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment