Forget iPad 3 (HD) – The New AppleTV Will Be the Real Game ChangerAuthor: Johnny5k | Filed under: Apple, Gadgets
What will Apple release onto the world this time? Well, a third-gen iPad, to be sure; but that may not be the biggest game-changer of the day. That title will go to the new 1080p AppleTV, with an emphasis on streaming from iOS devices, rather than localized apps on your TV. The iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch will be the primary interfacing devices, and the AppleTV just a conduit for throwing content to the big screen.
The problem with all the other ‘smart TVs’ is, nobody wants all those apps on their TV.
There’s no good interface for browsing apps on a TV, and nobody wants to talk to their TV or have to swipe their arm in the air for Kinect-like control. The best device is already in most people’s hands: their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. While all the classic consumer electronics contenders rush to beat Apple to the smartTV market, they’re all running the wrong way, and Apple’s got something completely different up their sleeve.
The foundation already exists: You can use Netflix or Hulu or any one of a number of other streaming videos apps on your iPhone or iPad to stream straight through to your TV. The Comcast Xfinity TV app is the best interface I’ve ever used for searching or browsing tv listings & changing the channel on my TV. I’ll never page up & down that clunky outdated onscreen guide again.
Hopefully, in classic Apple style, they’ll announce some licensing deals, and maybe even a new streaming platform to accompany the new device. At a bare minimum, expect a TV app, like Newsstand, to bring all the video content together.
And because the AppleTV will be an accessory to Apple’s other high-margin products, Apple won’t need to make a big profit off it. It won’t be so much about direct profits as it will be about selling more iPhones & iPads, and pulling more people into the Apple ecosystem.
Down the road, expect Apple to release the long rumored TV set, to sell alongside the set-top-box. It will be free from any convoluted settings menus or on-screen guides – that’ll all be controlled by your handheld device, too. Actually, expect just 1 power button, and… that’s it.
And even if no new licensing deals are announced today, expect Apple to keep working on breaking the old TV model with a more Netflix or Hulu-like experience, once the content providers realize they’re better off playing nice with Apple than trying to keep protecting their antiquated content delivery system.
So while the iPad 3 (or HD or whatever they call it) will probably get more headlines, it’ll be the new AppleTV platform that will really guarantee Apple’s continued growth into the foreseeable future. I for one can’t wait to retire my convoluted button-ridden Comcast remote once and for all!
We’ll all find out in just a few minutes.