Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Foregone Conclusion Apple TV Set Coming? Could Be A Game Changer If True

CNBC is reporting some Wall Street analysts considering just what kind of an impact Apple would have on the HDTV market as well as the content market as we know it today.  And it seems like they have already concluded that an Apple-branded HDTV is coming.  Let's take a look at this this means from the market and what it means for us, between now and until Apple actually does release something.

Now, about us.  Well, this is just a couple of Wall Street guys chatting among themselves.  Speculating.  And keep in mind that they are more often wrong than not and never has made any effort to explain the errors of their reasonings.  So, here's what to expect in the short term.

According to CNBC, the people who had a hand in the global financial meltdown of 2008 and various bubbles through the last couple of decades, Apple's HDTV means that it would have secured enough content that will drive a whole 10% of cable viewers towards its ecosystem and other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.  

In effect, Apple's entry into the TV market, like it has done with other markets, legitimizes alternative means of consuming content.  Ten percent is bad enough but those are likely conservative losses for the cable and satellite TV market.

Furthermore, success is almost assured for Apple given its one of a kind ecosystem as evident with iTunes and iOS in the mobile market.  And with close to $70 billion in cash, Apple can leverage that as they have done in mobile by prepaying for parts.  Apple has the clout and might to pay for contents years out, something that competitors, even cable companies, would have it difficult to do.  Or Apple can buy the contents outright thought that is highly doubtful.  

But imagine if Apple locks up an ESPN deal with the NBA or NFL for exclusive digital distribution.  Pay upfront for first run movies or offer original content.  

So, how does these chatter impact us, the mobile users and consumers?  

First, there will be lots and lots of rumors.  In the past, I've helped newcomers to all things Apple where rumors come from, what they are for, and who they are for.  

Between now and the beginning of October, Apple will hold at least one even to introduce its iOS refresh:  iPhone, iPod line, and Apple TV.  Things will go crazy around August.  While like myself, you will enjoy reading about what Apple may or may not be releasing this year, don't base your buying needs on it.  Most of the rumors are made up, meant to freeze the market or keep one company or another, including Apple, on edge.  

Some rumors will be spread by Apple - particularly through NY Times or the Wall Street Journal.  Those, while fun to read, are meant for Apple's competitors, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.  

Rumors from the blogs work the same way but most are made up or speculations made to sound like rumors.  

But when Apple releases its HDTV, though I can see why they need to since Apple TV works just fine as a conduit between iTunes, contents, iOS devices, and the user, we can expect a radically different way to pay and interact with the content.  Yes, interact.  Through iPad or the iPhone.  It could also be about gaming as well.  

However, I cannot see why Apple needs to release its own TV or how HDTV will be any more different from those already on the market.  Apple's offering could be differentiated by what is built-in:  could be a build in Apple TV running iOS.  Instead of an Apple TV hooked up to a regular HDTV now, it would be an integrated HDTV like the iMac is.

I'm not sure that would enough to get consumers, except those who absolutely must have an Apple logo on their TV, to consider it.  

Hey, I'm all for competition and if Apple does enter the HDTV market and drive innovation and pricing down, I'll be pulling for them.

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