Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)
Steve Jobs isn't convinced new Apple TV will be a mainstream hitChief Executive Steve Jobs reportedly does not expect the forthcoming Apple TV refresh to be an instant overnight sensation like the iPad, because most consumers aren't ready to cancel their cable TV or stream content from iTunes.
Following up on his earlier report on Apple's alleged forthcoming Apple TV refresh on Sept. 7, Peter Burrows of Bloomberg revealed that the $99 device and 99 cent TV show rentals are not the "big video news" that the company hopes to get across. Instead, the focus will be that users can watch their favorite TV shows and movies on an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The new Apple TV, the report said, will be the "tail end" of Apple's video strategy.
"Even with the refresh, Jobs isn't convinced the new version will be a mainstream hit, says the person familiar with Apple's plans," Burrows wrote. "Most consumers aren't ready to cut the cord on their cable company, or put up with the tech-nastics required to stream content from the iTunes collection on their PC to their living room big-screen TV.
"In other words, it's a product that at best will delight some of the 'hobbyists' that have always been interested in the product."
He added: "My sense is that Apple doesn't want to overplay its hand, by making too much of this mobile TV opportunity. This isn't another 'revolution' in the making. Even if Apple wanted to try that, studios have all but nullified the possibility by refusing to let Apple sell subscriptions to your favorite shows, to be watched whenever and as many times as you like."
The report, and Jobs' alleged approach, is consistent with what the Apple co-founder said in June. In an interview at the All things D Conference, Jobs said Apple TV remains a hobby because it's hard to break in to a market where consumers are used to receiving a cable box for free or for $10 per month.
"The only way that's ever going to change," Jobs said, "is if you can really go back to square one, tear up the set top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to consumers in a way that they're willing to pay for it. And right now there's no way to do that."
But with a rumored $99 price and access to the App Store, the new Apple TV could also be a great value for consumers who want to do things other than rent TV shows and movies. Numerous reports have stated the device will run the iOS operating system, and one rumor has suggested it could access games and applications currently available in the App Store for the iPhone and iPad. Such an inclusion could represent Apple's entrance into the set top box gaming market.
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