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Apple To Start Making TVs?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I-want-my-iTV dept.

Television 313

timothy writes "Apple might want to sell you your next TV,' says this CNN report. Which makes a lot of sense, considering that Apple's razors-and-blades, vertical-marketplace model for iTunes (and the various iDevices) doesn't make as much sense with the world of TV, where your Sony, Samsung, or (egads!) Westinghouse set is just as happy with a Google TV box, or a Roku, or one of many other media devices, as it is with an Apple TV attached."

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But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2, Insightful)

killfixx (148785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36539940)

How would bundling a TV with AppleTV and iTunes NOT be anti-competitive?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36539956)

How would bundling a TV with AppleTV and iTunes NOT be anti-competitive?

Does Apple have a monopoly or near-monopoly on TVs?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540124)

A monopoly isn't a requirement for an anti-competitive lawsuit, and neither is a monopoly. You must have abused the market in such a way to force others to compete at a disadvantage.

Microsoft did so by trying to force PC vendors to bundle IE.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540224)

Others are free to build an iTunes ecosystem, AppleTV device, and a TV. I'm not sure what Apple has done to be anti-competitive other than make really good products that people want to buy.

What has Apple done that prevents other from doing the sam

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540248)

Microsoft didnt prevent anybody from installing firefox on their mashines so yeah apple is just as bad as microsoft if not worse

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

Relyx (52619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540280)

I can install Firefox on my MacBook Pro just fine... It sounds like a lot of Slashdotters haven't even used a Mac.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (4, Insightful)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540352)

But can you install it on your iPhone?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540316)

Microsoft didn't build the machines, just the OS.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (0)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540466)

WTF are you talking about?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540298)

They have proprietary system that is designed to be very costly to leave. In order for someone to decide to abandon Apple, they have to be first comfortable with losing any access to whatever DRM laden purchases they've made and be willing to flush all of that money down the toilet and spend it all over again.

It's classic vendor lock.

DVD and BD may be "primitive" but I can choose from multiple vendors without completely losing access to my entire media library.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540456)

I'm confused on two points: what's Apple doing that prevents any other company from "vendor lock" business practices, and who ever promised you should be able to play your content on any device ever?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (3, Informative)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540504)

Music has NO DRM.

Movies have DRM at the behest of the movie industry. Blame the movie industry

iOS apps do not run on Android, Blackberry, Nokia, etc. Blackberry and Android apps don't run on iOS. Apple is NO different than anyone else, different platform different compatibilities.

I don't see "classic vendor lock", I see "classic disingenuous hyperbole" from your inacurate comment.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540310)

Sony and Microsoft have both done just this. They have their own content stores, set top boxes, and in the case of Sony, TV's that talk to both.

The real reason that Apple should not do a TV is that they suck at it. The ATV2 is a serious step backward from my ATV1 in almost every measure other than physical size. It has extremely poor connectivity and doesn't even link to a Mac any more. It's a reasonable $99 Netflix box, but so are many TV's.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540488)

The ATV2 is a serious step backward from my ATV1 in almost every measure other than physical size. It has extremely poor connectivity and doesn't even link to a Mac any more. It's a reasonable $99 Netflix box, but so are many TV's.

Price. I waited years for the $99 price point. And my ATV2 is connected to my Mac via iTunes.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540390)

Nothing to my knowledge. The very existence and popularity of Android is an excellent counter argument. It's thriving in the market. Apple is not anti-competitive that I can see.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540320)

A monopoly isn't a requirement for an anti-competitive lawsuit

But Microsoft being a de-facto monopoly on the desktop operating system market was the reason why bundling Internet Explorer was considered anti-competitive.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540436)

No, that's incorrect. Microsoft was considered anti-competetive because they used their market monopoly to try and force vendors to bundle I.E.

Simply being a monopoly is not illegal unless you abuse that monopoly.

But Microsoft being a de-facto monopoly on the desktop operating system market was the reason why bundling Internet Explorer was considered anti-competitive

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540330)

Which they were only able to due given a near monopoly. He wasn't making a legal defense of anti-competitive he was explaining to the parent why the situation was different. Bundling in and of itself is not anti-competitive. Using a 90% market share in another product to try and restrict competitors from being able to build on that platform is (at least according to the MS decision).

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540354)

A monopoly isn't a requirement for an anti-competitive lawsuit, and neither is a monopoly. You must have abused the market in such a way to force others to compete at a disadvantage.

Microsoft did so by trying to force PC vendors to bundle IE.

Actually, you must have used your market power to, for example, damage competitors or control pricing. Apple hasn't got significant market power in the TV market, an quite frankly am curious to see their strategy if the do enter it given how cut throat that market is with regards to price.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540454)

The difference here is Apple is not forcing TV vendors to bundle iTunes compatibility. And let's face it, you need to be a monopoly to have the power to force others to do what you're suggesting.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540492)

A monopoly isn't a requirement for an anti-competitive lawsuit, and neither is a monopoly. You must have abused the market in such a way to force others to compete at a disadvantage.

So what disadvantage would Samsung have selling TVs that work equally fine with or without other Apple products when Apple only sells TVs together with other products? Apple would actually put itself at a disadvantage here, because you couldn't buy the TV on its own.

This would be anti-competitive if the other Apple products were so strong that nobody would want any TV without them.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540518)

RC Cola has a monopoly on RC Cola. And you're a retard.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36539966)

Anticompetitive to what? They have 0% of the panel market. 0% of the broadcast market, 0% of the cable market, and a minuscule fraction of the streaming market.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540010)

Yes, but they had 0% of the phone and phone app market before they made phones. Likewise with portable music players + .

Now they are anticompetative in both of those.

Why would they be different in TV?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540040)

I don't typically defend Apple but how are they "anticompetative" in music players, phones or phone apps? I own nothing made by Apple and know many other people who are the same way. I can't imagine we are the only people in the country who are anti-Apple.

Having a majority of the market share (which they don't in phones anyway) doesn't make you anti-competitive.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540174)

Add to that the fact that android came out of nowhere and now dominates the market. I the market was anti-competetive, I don't think we'd be seein the maker as it is today. It seems to be working fine.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540308)

You can only get apps for your iDevices via the app store, they go out of their way to make it difficult for 3rd party software to access / update the content on their devices...

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540084)

How are they anticompetitive in phones and phone apps? What do they have that isn't available on Android? Or even Symbian? Every function of an iphone is copied (or can be copied, if someone hasn't gotten around to writing the software yet) on other phones, and generally at a lower price too.

They have a good design that's very popular. That does not make them anticompetitive.

anti competitive (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540198)

Anti-Competitive needn't be limited to sleazy back room dealings to prevent competitors access to the market.

Apple's devices, in particular, have been unassailable; which puts other CE manufacturers in an awkward position. If Apple could be counted on to add a little "Redmond design" to each product, there would be a more competitive landscape.

That said, I wouldn't want a TV with a slick user interface or less than 40 buttons on the remote control. I'd spend too much time watching it. Go Sony!

Re:anti competitive (5, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540426)

Anti-Competitive needn't be limited to sleazy back room dealings to prevent competitors access to the market.

But Apple hasn't done things to prevent competitors from entering the market; as evidenced by the number of competitors it has in each market it is in.

Apple's devices, in particular, have been unassailable; which puts other CE manufacturers in an awkward position. If Apple could be counted on to add a little "Redmond design" to each product, there would be a more competitive landscape.

Success in the marketplace does not equate to being anti-competitive. In fact, much of what Apple does is rather beneficial to competitors - Apple doesn't slash prices to drive competitors out, they actual tend to keep theirs high even when other products enter their markets, they don't demand exclusivity in order to use their software on a product (they don't even license their OS); they don't limit their competitors ability to distribute and sell their products in the same markets; they don't get other manufacturers together and say "the price of tablets is $600, the price of computers is $900"...

They have a significant presence in the market because their products are popular, not because of any anti-competitive actions on their part.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540164)

As many people like to point out here on /., Android phones have more of a market share than iPhone and there are multiple Android app markets. They don't control the phone market nor the app market. They do control their app store which is not illegal. Controlling the market is one of the first tests of monopoly status. If they can't control either market, how can they be considered a monopoly?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540482)

> As many people like to point out here on /., Android phones have more of a market share than iPhone

In the US. In any market where the iPhone was available on all carriers at the same time that Android arrived, Android remains far behind the iPhone.

For instance, in Canada Rogers was using the iPhone to beat its competitors into the ground - 1/4 of a million subscribers left Bell and Telus every month to get an iPhone on Rogers. This hurts when you consider the population of Canada is just over 30 million. So, Bell and Telus signed an agreement to rapidly deploy GSM towers across the nation (which is much more expensive per user in Canada than the US) and freely share roaming.

They did this just in time for the 3GS to launch, which was at about the same time that the first usable Android handsets arrived. There was no contest. The iPhone has three times the market share of Android, and the gap is growing. RIM still has 42%, but that number is dropping rapidly and those users are moving to Apple.

Frankly, I think Apple utterly blew it in the US. Had they come out with a CDMA 3GS I think they would dominate there as they do here in Canuckistan. There is certainly a hard core of Apple haters who will never buy their product, but according to statistics here it seems tha number is about 15 to 20% of the market.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540176)

They have less than 30% of the smartphone market (and a tiny portion of all phones worldwide) and around 70% of the portable music players.

It's different because there's actual competition in those markets.

Remember how MS had over 90% of the desktops for a couple of decades? That's why it's different.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540516)

I think it may be time to invest in a dictionary and look up what anti-competitive means.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540096)

Bundling the browser was not, in and of itself, the problem. A main thrust of the problem was Microsoft then going to computer OEMs and saying "if you want Windows on your machine (and, being the overwhelmingly dominant OS on the market, you must), then you cannot bundle any other browser". There were many other aspects to the case against Microsoft, but that's probably the one you were aiming at.

In this case, Apple does not have a monopoly on making TVs or net-connected set-top boxes, nor even on internet-delivered content for those set-top boxes. Yes, they are a vertically-integrated walled garden, but there are plenty of wide-open meadows out there, and there isn't anything that Apple delivers that can't also be had from half a dozen other solutions. So they don't have a dominant position there to abuse.

You would have more luck in chasing the "impenetrable fortress garden" of iPhone/iPad, iOS, iTunes, and the App Store. But given the plethora of similar alternative devices, you'd have a hard time even there.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540350)

TFS certainly sounds like Apple desires to pursue that sort of anticompetitive situation, however.

Which makes a lot of sense, considering that Apple's razors-and-blades, vertical-marketplace model for iTunes (and the various iDevices) doesn't make as much sense with the world of TV, where your Sony, Samsung, or (egads!) Westinghouse set is just as happy with a Google TV box, or a Roku, or one of many other media devices, as it is with an Apple TV attached.

By implication, the writer of TFS believes that Apple would be happier if a significant portion of the TV market was made up of devices that did not work or did not work as well with their competitors boxes.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540100)

I must have missed the alternate universe where IE was banned in 1999.

Microsoft wanted to protect its market and decided to do so by using its existing monopoly to control a likely future threat, by developing a web browser in competition with Netscape's and then doing what it could to ensure its browser, and not Netscape, would become standard, in particular using its control over a product it had a monopoly in to promote IE and suppress Netscape.

This is somewhat different from Apple, who doesn't really have a monopoly in anything deciding to enter a new market so that it can sell its products and services there. Microsoft did the same thing without anti-trust criticism in the form of the X-Box. There's nothing illegal or anti-competitive about that.

BTW, interesting fact: what got Microsoft so heated up about Netscape was that it was genuinely concerned that the web might become an environment in which an open, or at least not-controlled-by-Microsoft platform for software in the future. If the platform was not under Microsoft's control, then people might very well cease to be tied to Windows.

And that's exactly what's happened since the anti-trust suit. The move to an entirely web based infrastructure has been slow, but much of the success of Apple in the 21st Centursy has been attributable to the decreasing need to use Windows as the browser becomes the major tool that everyone uses for an increasing percentage of their work (in some cases all of it.) Are we there yet? Obviously not, but when John Carmack releases Doom 7, available for all HTML7 browsers, complaining that the W3C Net3DObjects API sucks the big one, I suspect it'll be largely game over.

Would that be true if Microsoft hadn't been sued? If Microsoft had been allowed to bury Mozilla the same way it did Netscape? If Apple hadn't bothered with WebKit/KHTML because, frankly, nothing out there of any significance worked in anything other than Trident? Would smartphones still be the unpopular devices of geeks and CEOs?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540138)

Again the problem that MS had was not that it bundled a browser. The problem MS had was (1) they had a monopoly on operating systems and (2) they used that monopoly to harm and exclude others like Netscape and Sun. Yes Netscape made a lot of mistakes but it came out in the trial tactics that MS used like "hinting" to OEMs that their Windows prices would rise if they installed or supported Netscape products. Intel wanted to develop a JVM for Java; MS let them know that AMD would be the "preferred" CPU in their next version of Windows if they did. As in any anti-trust the government had to prove that mere presence of a monopoly is not enough to be convicted. MS did engage in anti-competitive tactics.

So Apple currently has 0% presence in the TV market. They have a small presence with their AppleTV product. First they have to gain controlling market share to be considered monopoly status. Then they have to do something to harm their competition. This is hypothetically years away from being able to addressed as a legitimate legal question.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540172)

That is a very different thing.

If Microsoft bundled a TV with XBox, I doubt there would be a problem with it... that is unless this TV was not standards compliant and there began to be a critical mass of programming that would only work on the XBoxTV combination which didn't quite work correctly with standards compliant TVs causing people to think being standards compliant isn't a good thing. This results in a marketplace being harmed.

And if Apple did what I described, then that would be just as bad.

But you know, we all expect lock-out, lack of control and limitations built into anything from Apple. And if an unwary consumer finds out the hard way? Well, many of us had to learn about Apple the same way.

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540260)

How would bundling a TV with AppleTV and iTunes NOT be anti-competitive?

Are you selling torches and pitchforks or something?

Re:But Microsoft can't bundle a browser?!?!?!?! (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540444)

I guess the real question is how would it be anti-competitive? There are tons of entrenched TV manufacturers out there, Apple has zero market share, how is Apple doing something anti-competitive here?

Interesting (0)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36539954)

"This show has been removed from your TV because its plot is similar to a Simpsons Episode" - S.Jobs

Re:Interesting (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540004)

"No titties for you!" - S.Jobs when you try to tune into some porn

Re:Interesting (1)

soup4you2 (571216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540080)

"We are unable to play you're requested TV Channel, due to the content violating the profanity rules in apple's terms of use policy"

Re:Interesting (1, Troll)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540552)

"We are unable to play you're requested TV Channel, due to the content violating the profanity rules in apple's terms of use policy"

Yes it matters. Expand you're into "you are" in the above sentence and tell me how much sense it makes to you.

If your first language is not English, here is some help for you... http://hubpages.com/hub/grammar [hubpages.com]

If your first language is English, well, you have a serious communication problem.

Apple TV == No porn! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36539984)

It is DOOMED to fail!

Re:Apple TV == No porn! (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540230)

Apple TV plays porn just fine thank you. iTunes doesn't sell any, so maybe you mean iTunes is doomed to fail.

I don't think it works like that (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540240)

No installable porn apps for the iOS running on the TV.

But porn channels from the cable company and subscriptions to streatming porn from web sites would work just fine.

Re:Apple TV == No porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540300)

What are you talking about? Apple users are so hip they don't need porn.

Re:Apple TV == No porn! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540358)

What are you talking about? Apple users are so hip they don't need porn.

More specifically, Apple promotional materials are all the porn they need.

Re:Apple TV == No porn! (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540472)

To the fanboi, Apple IS porn.

Cha Ching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36539990)

Mac Tax on that next 3D TV.

Re:Cha Ching! (0)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540036)

In a recent interview Jobs confirmed that Apple televisions will ship with only one dimension. "Too many dimensions is too confusing for the average viewer," according to the Apple CEO.

sure (1)

Nick0000000 (1321821) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540014)

Will it come in white?

THAT ONLY VIEWS ITUNES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540016)

It's Steven's world . . . AGAIN !!

Hurry up and die, Die, DIE !! We want to go back to the way things were . . . NORMNAL !!

Re:THAT ONLY VIEWS ITUNES !! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540250)

Ah yes...we want Apple to be normal. Like when the Coca-Cola CEO tried to run it like a commodity business and we got crap.

Apple isn't normal. Apple fails at normal (see 1993-1997).

Re:THAT ONLY VIEWS ITUNES !! (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540494)

Pepsi actually...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sculley [wikipedia.org]

Re:THAT ONLY VIEWS ITUNES !! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540554)

Oh yeah. And actually I think I was thinking of Amelio who nearly killed the company, or maybe he was just the fall guy after Sculley's shenanigans?

HA !! (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540024)

I dont want a tv that would go the length of telling ME what to do, instead of me telling it what to do through the tv remote.

so, no thanks.

Re:HA !! (1)

Relyx (52619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540306)

That's a bit of a leap, don't you think? You'll still have all your cable channels.

If Apple made a TV today. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540034)

Because of "consumer demand" it:

1) won't support HDCP sources
2) won't have a VGA input, because, hey, it's a TV
3) would be a CRT
4) would be only an HD Ready tv (720p), with 1080i scheduled for next year, and 1080p for the year later (only in the 60hz frequency, and not the 24hz one).
5) would only work with airport-enabled stereo systems for audio output
6) would only play back video from thunderbolt-enabled cameras
7) would refuse to play porn movies even if legitimately bought by the users, because appletvs are for all the family
8) there would be no remote, it's a free app on itunes for iphone 5
9) would only have a single button: the "on" switch (mind you, it turns only on the tv)
10) would only give you fox news, and would refuse to show MSNBC
11) would refuse to work with usb pendrives because it's everything on the cloud
12) would require the user to use a set of apple-branded eyeballs

Re:If Apple made a TV today. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540078)

well that's a big improvement over a lot of LCD TV's today. the 40" panasonnic i bought last year doesn't have an on switch, need a remote. same with the 47" LG LED TV some family bought as well

A La Carte? Sure. (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540042)

Some problems though:

1. Internet service providers. Many of them are cable companies, and can make agreements with other service providers who don't like this idea, or Netflix, to keep their business model afloat.

2. Congress might see that once Apple wins, they'll get fewer bribes compared to keeping Cable alive.

3. Competition - once the idea of a threat to cable becomes a realistic idea, content producers might want to sign on with more than just Apple, meaning that they have to compete on just about every metric. Apple might be able to promise higher prices for their shows though, and thus get more exclusives...

4. Which would mean that more people turn to tools that grab unlicensed content, as more hardware and algorithms appear to make this easy and arguably undetectable.

But yeah - $100+ a month for combined cable services is somewhat insane relative to the actual service costs involved, so it's all a game of who can capture the best captive audience both for money extraction and to sell them to advertisers.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Ryan Fenton

Wouldn't be too surprised. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540052)

I suppose it wouldn't be too hard for them, considering how their Cinema Displays are one of the best out there and they have enough clout in the marketplace to secure bigger, but similarly amazing, LCD displays for this. Plus, even though their Apple TVs haven't really sold much, I'm sure they could push tons of them if they up their marketing.

I would love to have an Apple TV (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540088)

But if they price them the same way they price their monitors, I'll stick to underpriced Sony kit and the like.

I understand better specs and all that, but at $900+ bucks for a 27" monitor, Apple screens are almost four times as much as perfectly suitable (for my purposes) alternatives with the same screen size.

That said, there is almost certainly a market for top of the line, high quality smart HDTVs. Despite cheapskates like me, Apple might very well make a killing.

Re:I would love to have an Apple TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540180)

But if they price them the same way they price their monitors, I'll stick to underpriced Sony kit and the like.

I understand better specs and all that, but at $900+ bucks for a 27" monitor, Apple screens are almost four times as much as perfectly suitable (for my purposes) alternatives with the same screen size.

That said, there is almost certainly a market for top of the line, high quality smart HDTVs. Despite cheapskates like me, Apple might very well make a killing.

2560x1440.

Re:I would love to have an Apple TV (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540366)

dell sells the exact same monitor as the apple cinema display. i think it's a rebranded LG. dell also charges $900 or so.

Re:I would love to have an Apple TV (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540212)

I understand better specs and all that, but at $900+ bucks for a 27" monitor, Apple screens are almost four times as much as perfectly suitable (for my purposes) alternatives with the same screen size.

Yes but my understanding is the Cinema Displays were never meant for consumers. They were meant for pros. If you bought a similar spec display from a competitor, it would cost you nearly as much. I suspect the reason Apple does not make the consumer grade displays is that there is too much competition in that space and Apple can't differentiate it enough to make a lot of profit.

Re:I would love to have an Apple TV (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540246)

Last time I priced out a comparable monitor to Apple's Cinema it actually cost about $200 more... I agree with the rest of your post.

Horses for courses. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540538)

I understand better specs and all that, but at $900+ bucks for a 27" monitor, Apple screens are almost four times as much as perfectly suitable (for my purposes) alternatives with the same screen size.

Go do a search for a 27" IPS-panel [wikipedia.org] LED-backlit monitor from another vendor. Dell has one, for example (the U2711) and they charge...$999 for it.

Big-ass IPS panel monitors are expensive, and you either need one or you don't. I don't. I didn't buy from Apple, but if I did (and I wanted a glossy finish) I would.

Profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540090)

Apple are more interested in selling products with a short (2-3 year) upgrade cycle, and televisions certainly don't fall into that category. Where is the profit coming from? iTunes? Would it be worth it for iTunes alone?

Re:Profits (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540374)

I see what you are saying there and more or less, I agree with you. The problem is, Apple hardware is usually of very good quality (barring manufacturing issues) and people are not inclined to toss it in favor of a new one both because it is good and because it is more expensive. (I know, I sound pro-Apple, but I'm not -- just saying it like it is) Their "Pro" series of desktop workstations are simply awesome machines in terms of appearances and functional design. I want one -- especially a dual processor dual core xeon one. I wouldn't run MacOSX on it though... I just want the hardware -- I think I can process a lot of video on hardware like that. But they don't come cheap. Got one for my wife on Craigslist for $1k... that was extremely lucky... haven't seen a deal like that since. But on CL, you will also see a lot of people still buying and selling the G4 and G5 macs... they are still in use.

I suppose Apple doesn't want people using the old stuff, but at the same time it is quite a balancing act for them to make good stuff without pricing it too high that people won't buy it and too high that people won't buy newer one. They also try to force upgrades by making their stuff "obsolete" too soon which angers Apple users a great deal so they can't push that too hard either. But I think this is a contributing factor to why Apple will always be considered a "niche market" player regardless of how powerful and influential they may be.

egads? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540104)

What is wrong with Westinghouse T.V.s? I got a really good deal on mine from Costco and am quite happy with it.

Re:egads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540214)

How dare you question the sheer brilliance and wisdom of Timothy!

Re:egads? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540452)

I bought a 32" Westinghouse TV at Best Buy to put in the bedroom with my Roku and I'm blown away by the quality.

The walled garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540128)

Or course, this means that you will only be able to watch TV shows approved by Steve Jobs. And then only if you pay him a 30% cut.

Makes sense? (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540132)

How does this even remotely "make sense" for Apple? By bundling Apple TV with a TV you are essentially targeting the market who wants, but doesn't currently have an Apple TV and is in the market for a new television.....thats what, maybe hundreds of people tops? The TV market is a commodity market where the interface is usually last on people's list of priorities. Unlike a PC, cell phone, or music player, you almost never interact with the TVs interface, consumers buy based on size, price, connectivity and picture quality. A TV really only needs to be able to turn on and off, switch channels and video inputs.
This ranks up there with some of the stupidest Apple articles I have seen.

Re:Makes sense? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540186)

Oh, for mod points. The only way this would make sense for them is if they applied some truly obscene markup to the same hardware from Whang Dong Audio Visual and Fish Gutting Concern that everybody else ships. And made it white. The the remote only had one button.

Hmmmm, actually...

Rarely interact with your TV? (4, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540220)

Most people rarely "interact" with their TV the same way that they rarely interact with their cell phones and mustic players. Note the shift from the prevailing view not all that long ago of "I don't want all these features, I just want to make a damned phone call" to wanting the latest iPhone or Android. Ditto with music players.

These days, when people watch TV, they want to schedule recordings, pause, play, rewind, watch two shows at once with picture in a picture, have a stock ticker running while they watch a comedy, stream video sources, stream audio over the internet while they play a video game, make phone calls, etc. Turning what essentially a dumb disply into a smart device capable of doing that is the next logical step.

So the market that would be targetted is not the existing market of people buying an Apple set top box. Rather, it's people looking for new TVs and, if the rumors are true, the strategy is to get a sizeable portion of that market to buy one that has Apple's iOS built into it. I think that's a reasonable strategy. The biggest obstacle seems to me to not be the market itself but barriers to entry for varioius services. Cable companies hate cable-ready TVs. They absolutely loved the advent of digital TV where they could start encrypting the signal and requiring a set top box in every room. Apple is going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to convince cable companies to allow Apple branded TVs to use the Apple interface rather than the set top box of the cable company. As long as consumers pretty much have to use the cable company interface, or as long as cable card is inconvenient to install, it's going to be difficult to break into the market.

That is, until such time as streaming over the Internet is capable of replacing cable service.

Re:Makes sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540294)

Agreed for the most part. Though Apple could significantly improve the television remote control. Most are hideously complicated still.

Re:Makes sense? (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540486)

While I understand and don't necessarily disagree with your opinion, I'm also reminded that a lot of these arguments could have applied to phones before the iPhone or MP3 players before the iPod Touch. It might be interesting to see what a TV with an embedded iPhone in it, syncing to an iCloud/iTMS could bring. Maybe Apple will even take advantage of the recent rulings that cable/FiOS providers need to lease capacity and essentially become media distribution competitors on the TV just like they are on iDevices.

Re:Makes sense? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540556)

You're right, this idea has been tossed around for years and it's DOA. Apple has been successful because they take an existing market (tablet, mp3 player, phone) and released a product that served customers better. While it's possible to improve TVs I just don't see the same opportunity in that market. I HATED my phones before the iPhone was introduced. I cursed the phone manufacturers and carriers for their shitty products. Apple announces the iPhone and I knew that was exactly what I'd been looking for. I don't have that same sentiment about TVs. Turn it on and select the program you want to watch. The AppleTV seems to be the gateway to the living room, not building the monitor for low margin.

Apple did this once already (1)

PuddleBoy (544111) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540134)

For those of you who are not familiar with Apple history, they already did this. I think it was 1993. They created an all-in-one model that included a TV tuner. 32MHz cpu and 8MB of RAM, IIRC. 14" monitor and all-black case.

They did not sell well.

Re:Apple did this once already (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540406)

They did it several times before. There were a whole series of Macs with built-in TV and the early PowerPC era.

Not Going to Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540160)

Consumers aren't going to want to pay a premium for a TV that has the Apple Logo on it.

Re:Not Going to Work (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540360)

Think again. Some people will pay a grand for rubber dog shit as long as it has a shiny Apple logo on it.

Wow (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540162)

A television with a decent user interface! Thats a novel idea.

Re:Wow (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540480)

I think there's mileage in the idea of a drastically simplified TV. The actual 'TV' parts of my TV are redundant. The analogue tuner is useless because analogue broadcasts have ceased, and I don't use the built-in DVB-T tuner because I use an external, HDMI satellite tuner.

All my TV really does is accept inputs from other devices (rapidly converging on HDMI), and output audio to an external box through an optical cable. The only thing I do with my TV remote is turn it on and off, and switch between inputs. Make a TV with a lot of HDMI ports and an optical output on the back, and I might well buy it.

Of course this leaves me with a plethora of remotes, but a programmable remote with an LCD touchscreen, or an eInk screen with one of those infra-red touchscreens, would be pretty cool and shouldn't be difficult to build. I had a remote that came with a set-top box where you could program the volume keys by pointing another remote at it, and it would record the infra-red signal. Much better than relying on entering codes that never work.

Eh. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540184)

While my experience with non-technical people has given me the impression that their fear of cables, even relatively simple ones, should not be underestimated, I still find it hard to imagine that the TV market could possibly be in Apple's interest.

Apple's work in hardware has, for quite some time now, observed a number of basic characteristics, all unhelpful to the TV market:

Cost/time structure: Upon first release, a new Apple device is(strictly compared to equivalents) often reasonably aggressively priced. However, each of their product lines doesn't see a new release all that often and their prices are pretty sticky between release events(when a new Mac Pro model comes out, for instance, you'd be hard pressed to configure an equivalent Precision workstation for the same money. 6 months later, the Precision's price has been inching down, and the Mac Pro is still identically priced until a refresh happens.) The TV market, however, is a constant deluge of cheaper and/or improved and/or now-with-50%-more-lies models. Even if they used their volume buying power to make a big splash on introduction, in 6 months they'd be priced above everything but the high end of Sony's lineup.

Industrial design/component selection: Apple has a very clear vision of what "good" is, and is largely unwilling to sell you anything else. On the plus side, this saves many non-spec-savvy users from buying something they'll be unhappy with 6 months from now. On the minus side, this means that the entry-level price is quite high. With TVs, it is empirically demonstrable that a fair proportion of buyers absolutely don't give a fuck about the finer nuances of picture quality and color accuracy and whatnot, they just want big and cheap(and, since "industrial design" in TVs largely boils down to "what bezel color would you like?" it'll be hard to justify a major premium). Because of Apple's hatred of model-proliferation, they'd be squeezed between the Big-Bright-'n-Cheap! house brands of the world, who would be eternally offering screens a size or two larger for less money, and the elitist videophile models, who would be offering markedly superior performance at a price that anyone with relatively mass-market aspirations could never hope to carry off.

Interconnect: Apple is... Spartan... in this regard. They do often aggressively adopt new and shiny ones; but they kill of the legacy ones at least as fast. With TVs, this is something of an issue because the central family TV frequently finds itself playing host to a (not always predictable ahead of time) swarm of boxes, each of which demands an A/V connection from some different era of history.

On strength of brand alone, Apple could easily shift some TVs: just select an OEM, remove one external HDMI connection and hardwire an apple-TV to it inside, and slap a nicer case on the result. This would run against the grain culturally, though.

Not Happening (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540208)

Why would anyone buy this? Seriously, I'm typing this from my iMac, I have several iPod's and iPhones, I watch the keynotes. Lets just say I like Apple products. This sounds stupid. A TV is a medium to long term technology investment I want to get at least 10 years out of it before replacing it. Bundling in a set-top box to the TV seems like a terrible idea. In 4-5 years my TV will be behind the times and in need of an upgrade. Or I could buy an Apple set-top box right now for $100 and in a few years upgrade it for probably around the same price. No buying a huge expensive TV every couple years to keep it compatible. It seems dumb.

I for one... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540242)

...welcome a Jobsian stab at remaking the television. Right now, what good is a sleek flat panel set if you need all those wires to connect it for power, Bluray player, amp...? Perhaps a two-element design (like the last Pioneer Kuro) with a single cord connecting the panel to a separate box?

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540500)

I'd like that too. And it amazes me to see how Apple will eat the lunch of yet another whole industry, by attracting their top spenders with simplicity and good design.

Question: is there a brand of TV out there that strikes you as genuinely well designed, that impresses you with its design?

Eat Shit and Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540322)

If I hear Jobs making one more speech about simplifying things and putting a dent in the universe I swear I'll hop on the next plane to Cupertino and brain the elitist gouging fuck with a piece of scaffolding pipe.

AppleTV or integrated AppleTV? (4, Interesting)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540324)

Apple already has a device that handles everything the TV needs without having to deal with the TV's problems (backlight, dead pixels, manufacturing problems/"green-ness", etc). My guess is if Apple is looking in this direction, they're going to sell AppleTV equipment to TV manufacturers for integration into their TVs, not their own Apple-branded flat panels. I seriously doubt Apple will release an Apple TV to compete with the Sonys and Philips And Samsungs out there, but Apple will happily sell those companies a plug-in module that'll increase the value of their TVs and increase the userbase of the iTunes store. Maybe Sony won't bite, but the smaller manufacturers might.

Ha Ha Ha Hon Hai (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540370)

First, Apple would have to start "making" Iphones, Ipads, and Macs. All of Apple's units are produced by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., aka "Foxconn", which also manufactures TVs for Sony. Best Buy is now a "manufacturer". "Polaroid" is a TV manufacturer. Heck, I could start "Manufacturing" TVs. The western press appears to be utterly oblivious to what "manufacturers" are. We have a Tin-Tin image of China (see 60 Minutes coverage of e-waste - the product they filmed was actually delivered to a factory refurbishing program). http://retroworks.blogspot.com/2010/07/60-minutes-wastelands-missing-minutes_17.html [blogspot.com] Lenovo bought out IBM almost a decade ago, the "logo" on our devices is going to seem quaint in its importance a decade from now.

Speculation, vaporware, wet dreams (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540404)

I'm guessing that, a big "if true", then they have more networks in their good graces than GoogleTV does which seems to have angered almost all of them and reduced its functionality and market demand.

Wouldn't it be better to get an app for smart TV's like Netflix, Pandora, and the other big streaming companies have and stay out of the crowded hardware market (unless blocked)? Unless they can do something truly innovative that is also beyond what a small add-on box can do, with none of the headaches involved in rolling such an effort out, then they should stick to stand alone devices. TV prices are already pretty competitive. I would not want to pay an extra grand for a TV just b/c it had an apple logo on it and had AppleTV built in.

Apple doesn't make *anything* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36540416)

dur.

Good luck, Apple! (1)

leonbev (111395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540442)

Like their existing Apple TV product, this is going to be a tough sell.

Seriously... Why would I want to pay $4 to rent a single HD movie or TV show from iTunes, when I can watch as many as I want from Netflix for $9 a month?

Industrial design and TV? Who are they kidding? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540462)

Sorry, but there are already enough designs out there that other than slapping an Apple logo on it what can they do in TVs that has not been done? Aluminum - already done, all black, well that is everywhere, white? ewww?

Throw in the low margins and just how much of an idiot fanboi market do they think they can exploit? I cannot imagine anything less than 40+ would have a margin sufficient to matter. Do they really think GoogleTV/etc is such a threat? After seeing their lock in/lock down attempts with the iOs market the last thing I want to do be stuck with one provider for entertainment. Sorry, but my blu-ray player can already connect to the net and has selections for HULU and NetFlix and it does all of this up to 1080p when playing discs locally - something Apple TV cannot do.

Give me an Apple Tv device that has Blu-Ray, can be a DVR, and plays movies from anyone easily, then I might have a place for them in my living room. As a TV? Really, what can they offer other than a new remote control that still doesn't control my receiver, dvr, etc? I suppose they could make a real universal remote that actually works and doesn't scream dork.

Re-brand a TV someone else makes. I just don't see it. Maybe they will, I know people who buy anything with the logo on it. Just like I know Sony only people. Never understood blind brand faith but I see it. Count me out, I don't need a TV that will carry a premium cost for no reason other than a logo.

Am I the only one... (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#36540512)

... that thinks this summary is written so poorly that it might well set a new low for Slashdot summaries?
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