Greg's Bite: Apple Frightens the TV Industry
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite: Apple Frightens the TV Industry

Posted by Greg Mills

The tech rumor mill is in overdrive right now over the prospects of Apple revolutionizing another major industry: television. The television manufacturers, according to reports, is in full panic mode not knowing what Apple is going to do their market share.

Razor thin margins are the norm, so losing market share without being able to quickly pare down expenses could be disastrous. Not knowing what magic Apple will do leaves them very worried. The 3D and internet connected TV never really pushed sales and these days, 55 inches and up displays are not that big a deal .... so what does Sony or the other TV hardware companies do?

The TV "software" business is so fragmented it is bewildering to both consumers and the industry as well. NetFlix and other internet downloaded video content providers struggle to keep up with innovation and they all know Apple, at least, has its feet wet in that industry. What revolutionary digital video content download plan does Apple have up its sleeve?

Steve Jobs will go down in history as the innovator that up-ended the status quo of numerous industries that had settled for mediocrity and failed to innovate. Never suffering fools, Steve knew that the industries to go after had a number of characteristics that made them vulnerable to Apple elbowing its way in. Also, we can gather from the experience of previous industrial revolutions that Steve Jobs led what is different about the TV industry.

1. There is enough money in the target industry to be worth Apple getting into the business.
2. It is somehow related to the synergy of Apple, electronics or Internet related.
3. The industry is complacent and has not innovated or been able to reinvented itself.
4. The legendary Apple user friendliness and a fresh, innovative device of some sort (iPod for example) are perfected at Apple.
5. On the down side, hopelessly fragmented markets are a problem that is hard to fix.

Examples of this are:

The Music industry had become such a cookie cutter process of creating physical media and marketing that music in a set way, through established wholesalers and retailers. As storing music on computers became popular, the piracy rate suddenly became the elephant in the room. The copyright police began to punish the very few users who got caught downloading music and applied amazingly harsh fines. The publicity over massive fines for online music theft was still not enough to kill the growing music piracy problem.

Music sharing web sites were also attacked legally and finally shut down as others popped up. Once people got used to stealing or "sharing" music over the Internet, sales of music in media form at the local record shops of the world dropped off to unsustainable levels. Steve Jobs offered the music companies a cash flow that was less than the industry wanted, but more than they were getting at the time.

This marketing plan leveraged the iTunes Store with on-line payment and a very cool new MP3 player, the iPod. The iTunes Store and iPod changed music distribution and created what Steve Jobs called a new "go to market" plan that worked, made the industry money and Apple got a cut for every song they sold in addition to selling millions of iPods.

Digital publishing has begun to convert the dead tree book stores as people become used to buying books o- line and reading them in digital format. Magazines and newspapers have had limited success, due to greedy publishers who want to pocket the savings of going digital instead of passing it on to consumers. When the price for digital books and magazines settles down to fully reflect the savings of digital distribution, the revolution in publishing will have taken place. We already see the great books stores closing stores around the country.

Famously, the Daily newspaper launched for iPad users hasn't taken off very well. Murdoch can afford to continue to support the Daily for a while, but no matter how well funded, a basic law of economics has to be realized. There is a perception of market value that causes consumers to either anti up or refuse to buy something that seems too high. Market perception of a deal is critical for swift changes in an industry.

Ironically, the concept of digital publishing has allowed people to publish manuscripts and sell their books without going to the publishers, who used to have the power of an industrial god to make or break writers. Now, one can simply write a book in Apple Pages, export to ePub format and then upload the resulting file to Apple's servers and the act of digital publishing has been accomplished. The book is then sold by Apple with a 30% cut for them and 70% for the author.

I will divide the TV industry into to two major divisions for this analysis, TV hardware and TV software.

All of this relates to the industry of television, in that there is plenty of money to make it profitable for Apple to innovate. Actually, TV has a number of facets that are within the synergy of Apple, the industry isn't very innovative despite strong marketing for incremental improvements in TV sets. We will see what killer new hardware Apple brings to market.

The problem is likely to be content providers sometimes won't play ball. Steve Jobs isn't there to twist arms and it remains to be seen if anybody at Apple can play the GodFather as well as he did. The software or content is certain to be delivered via the Internet and likely will use the new server farm Apple built. The problem they will have to overcome to compete with the cable and satellite TV companies is the fragmentation of channels and copyrighted content that will have to be provided to make any delivery system competitive. Fox, for example, has had knockdown, drag-out fights with cable providers demanding unreasonable fees for content.

The rumor is that Apple is going to revolutionize the hardware of TV sets but without content, no hardware magic will matter. Steve Jobs didn't indicate anything more specific than he abhorred the spaghetti tangle of wires that plug into a generic TV set. He also hated the complication of the plurality of remotes we all have for all the various boxes that deliver digital content to our screens. Apple TV for example has an HDVI out port and operates with a one button remote.

His point is well taken, as our big screen Visio has a remote for the TV, a remote for the Dish Satellite box, a remote for the Blu-Ray player, a remote for the Apple Sound System, a remote for the PlayStation 3 and a remote for the Apple TV device. We have to rely upon our 12 year old daughter to keep it all working. I joke but she knows shortcuts using remotes that I never bothered to learn. All of this reminds me of my elderly parents who needed me to change channels since they could never quite grasp the concept of the cable remote, which required you to first address the device you wanted to change, such as TV, VCR or cable box.

I can appreciate the potential of Apple upgrading the existing Apple TV device and perhaps adding Siri to streamline the control of television. I have a hard time seeing how Apple could really revolutionize the screen portion of the TV enough to convert it from being a commodity item to being an Apple magical product, able to generate Apple sized margins. Apple has a history of making monkey out of tech writers, so lets see what comes out this spring, according to some researchers.

That is Greg's Bite

 
AAPL
$517.96
Apple Inc.
-3.72
MSFT
$39.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.57
GOOG
$536.44
Google Inc.
+3.92

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
MYStuff Pro 2.0.16 - Create inventories...
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
TurboTax 2013.r17.002 - Manage your 2013...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.769 - Route planning for...
Note: While the software is classified as freeware, it is actually donationware. Please consider making a donation to help support development. TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners,... Read more
Flavours 1.1.10 - Create and apply theme...
Flavours is a Mac application that allow users to create, apply and share beautifully designed themes. Classy Give your Mac a gorgeous new look by applying delicious themes! Easy Unleash your... Read more
Spotify 0.9.8.296. - Stream music, creat...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.475 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives 0...
S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives is a kernel driver for OS X external usb or firewire drives. It extends the standard driver behaviour by providing access to drive smart data. The interface to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

148Apps Live on Twitch: Pivvot’s Looper...
On our latest Twitch stream, we’ll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes... | Read more »
Word Cubes Review
Word Cubes Review By Jordan Minor on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SQUARESVILLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Word Cubes is fine, but it is barely any different from any other word game.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle o...
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein is Coming to iOS Soon Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Shenandoah Studio has become one of the go-to developers for war games on iOS, with | Read more »
Tank of Tanks Review
Tank of Tanks Review By Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TANKS A LOT!iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad This multiplayer game played on a single iPad is simple, chaotic fun.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Dungeon of the Endless J...
PAX East 2014 – Dungeon of the Endless Just Might Have a Shot at an iPad Release Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] I think it’s fair to say that | Read more »
SideSwype Review
SideSwype Review By Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ON YOUR SIDEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad SideSwype is a puzzler that takes inspiration from Threes, but becomes its own incredibly fun game.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Bigfoot Hunter Invites P...
PAX East 2014 – Bigfoot Hunter Invites Players on a Wild and Wooly Photo Safari Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Yeti. Sasquatch. Wendigo. | Read more »
Dungeon Quest Review
Dungeon Quest Review By Cata Modorcea on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NO STORY, BUT GOOD FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dungeon Quest does a lot of things right, but ultimately forgets about one of the core... | Read more »
Tempo AI and Speek Join Forces to “Kill...
Tempo AI and Speek Join Forces to “Kill the Conference Call PIN” Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Today Tempo AI, makers of Tempo Smart Calendar, and | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller Rev...
Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller Review By Jennifer Allen on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A SIGNIFICANT VOYAGEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Continuing the release of Fighting Fantasy titles, Starship Traveller... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save $50 on Mac mini Server
B&H Photo has the 2012 Mac mini Server on sale for $949 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
PhatWare’s “Ultimate Writing App For iOS” Ren...
PhatWare Corp. has announced it has renamed its new WritePro word processing app for iPhone and iPad: WritePad Pro. The decision to change the app’s name to leverages the strong brand awareness and... Read more
Full Resolution Photo Editor Tint Mint 1.0 Re...
California based independent developer, Jeffrey Sun, creator of the iOS app Modern Editor, has released Tint Mint, a new photography app for editing enthusiasts. The app costs a dollar, and it packs... Read more
16GB iPad mini (Apple refurbished) available...
The Apple Store has refurbished 1st generation 16GB iPad minis available for $249 including free shipping. Both black and white models are available. Read more
Save $120 on the 27-inch 3.2GHz Haswell iMac
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is about $120 off MSRP. Read more
Using a Mac Doesn’t Eliminate The Heartbleed...
Low End Mac’s Dan Knight notes that any time you visit a website with an https: prefix or see that secure lock icon on your browser, some type of security software is busy trying to protect your data... Read more
AirPrint Basics Tutorial Posted
A new Apple Knowledge Base article helps get you started using AirPrint, the Apple protocol that enables instant printing from iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac without the need to install drivers or... Read more
Speed Tips For Running LibreOffice On The Mac
LibreOffice is my favorite of several free, open-source application suites, and the one I have configured on my Mac as my default app for Word documents that one frequently has to deal with. It also... Read more
Snag a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro for $115 of...
B&H Photo has 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $115 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2489.99... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $50 to $100 off MSRP
Several resellers are offering $50-$100 discounts on 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs today, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and others. See the breakdown of deals on our MacBook Air Price Tracker,... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…Summary** As a Specialist, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other - uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences. As an Expert, you introduce people Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Being a Business Manager at an Apple Store means you're the catalyst for businesses to discover and leverage the power, ease, and flexibility of Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.