That Samsung bravado about a possible Apple iTV got me thinking. Obviously if Apple is going to release a TV, it’s going to be much more than just a screen. It won’t be about display quality like the Samsung exec seems to think.
What would differentiate an Apple TV? I can think of a few possibilities:
1. Content access
The obvious scenario is a TV with a built-in iTunes store that lets you buy/rent TV shows and movies without having to have a cable TV subscription. This would be an extension of the current iTunes and AppleTV, maybe with better selection of content and integration with iCloud to store your media, à la Amazon’s cloud storage for media.
This is #1 plus “iOS apps come to the Apple TV”. (Maybe even Siri.)
So far, both of these can be done with a cheap separate device like the current Apple TV. What makes it compelling for Apple to sell you the display as well? So far, nothing other than skipping a bit of wiring set-up.
3. New input/interaction model
The simplest way to describe this is as “Apple’s response to Kinect”. If Apple has developed a remote-control-free interaction technique that requires new hardware like the Kinect box, maybe that’s compelling enough that if it were integrated into a display, you’d be willing to buy the entire display device. But Kinect isn’t tied to a specific TV. Can Apple come up with something so much more compelling that people will be willing to toss out their existing TVs?
I’m not sure which way to bet. I’m still skeptical about Apple going into the TV-display market.
Any other guesses on what’s coming?