Analyst: Apple TV 'interesting, potentially important'
He says that Apple isn't the first to try to extend Mac/PC content to the living room. Microsoft's Windows Media Center strategy has been attempting this since 2002 with mixed results, and various other media adapters have come to market since then and gotten only minimal consumer acceptance, he adds.
"On the other hand, you could say the same for Apple's late entry into the MP3 space," Bajarin writes. "Though MP3 players had been around since 1997, Apple's iconic player didn't arrive until 2002. The iPod's design and simpler, easy-to-use interface has propelled it to a market share of more than 70 percent. Although I don't expect Apple to have quite the same spectacular results with its Apple TV product, the market impact may be similar to that of the iPod. Apple TV could make moving computer content around the house another mainstream digital activity."
He says that what separates Apple's approach from Microsoft's is a three-fold strategy. One: the company will deliver Mac/PC content to the living room via wireless technology. Two: the new user interface encompasses a "powerful yet simple ecosystem" that, especially in the Mac version, ties it directly to Apple's iLife suite of products, which will make it easy to take the content on the Mac or PC and move it to the TV. Third: Apple will use its own retail stores to demonstrate how the product will work to mainstream consumers.
"Regardless of how successful Apple TV will be, its entry into the digital-living-room clash will someday be seen as a milestone in our digital world," Bajarin writes Bajarin writes. "Although others have labored long and hard to deliver on this concept with only minimal success, I believe Apple's reputation for delivering iconic products will extend to this market as well. By delivering a well-designed, easy-to-use solution, Apple will be the one that finally gets customers to understand what it means to move their content around the house. And, perhaps in the way that the Apple iPod redefined MP3 players, Apple TV will become the product that redefines the PC-to-TV digital media experience."
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