The majority of TVs bought these days are smart TVs, Video on Demand (VOD) services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are seriously threatening traditional broadcasters and their established methods and now Apple TV is poised to (re) join the party.
Of course, many of us know Apple TV; it has been around for some time now and has been mostly used as a method to connect iPods or iPads to the TV screen for a larger viewing experience and, truth be told, not much more. This may well change at the next Apple Event which takes place next week and which could be a promising change in Apple TV World.
A bit like lettuce
Among Apple products Apple TV seems something like a neglected cousin or, to use a sandwich analogy (BLTs aside) a bit like lettuce. Bread and filling are important, as too is sauce and even butter or spread of some kind. Lettuce, lettuce seems to be a bit of an afterthought, much like Apple TV. Now, that is no sleight against lettuce or against Apple TV for that matter but the fact remains that until now Apple just did not believe its smart TV box was an integral part of the sandwich. Analogy over.
Rumours have surfaced over the weekend that Apple TV is to get something of a renewed focus from Apple, especially in the wake of the success of aforementioned VOD services offered by Netflix and Amazon. It is interesting that these rumours have arisen not long after Netflix has announced it is to remove a lot of films from its databases to concentrate on original content. It may be a case of ‘wait and see’ whether that is a coincidence or not.
3 Party Support
Although Apple TV was not designed in the same light as a VOD service there is no reason why it could not become one, or become something more integrated a la the PlayStation Network of Xbox live (in terms of an entertainment hub, not a games platform though that would be interesting). Apple certainly has the resources and the customer base to make something of Apple TV. Let’s not forget that Apple TV has a great user base already, though its uses are somewhat limited there are already people invested in the platform and Apple TV Plus as it were could entice many of them to upgrade.
iTunes already offers a movie download service and Apple TV itself already has a core interface. A potential upgrade could see, if not a game changer, then at least a mover and shaker in the industry. Analysts, journalists and industry insiders have already pointed to the lack of 3rd party support for Apple TV as a negative and, with so much offered by built-in smart TVs the next gen TV must have something special up its sleeve to make headlines.
But this is Apple, let’s not forget. There will be headlines even if there is not much to write about. But if Apple is serious about TV then again, there will be something to write about. While info is tentative at the moment and rumours speculate about a more powerful device with more applications and 3rd party support than the original Apple TV it remains to be seen exactly what will be revealed next week.
But we will certainly hope that it is positive news, for more than entertainment’s sake.