Apple’s TV strategy

From a recent MacRumors post, Apple’s neglect of home/living room hardware has gotten even Apple’s own engineers concerned:

In his latest “Power On” newsletter, however, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman says that Apple engineers have personally expressed concerns to him about the direction of Apple’s living room hardware strategy.

The pundits are all suggesting that what Apple needs to do here is start making cheaper and simpler Apple TV hardware, similar to the sticks that Roku and Amazon make.

This has strong echos of how Apple really needed to make a netbook back in 2010 because so many PC makers were making them and they sold well.

I hope Apple stays in this business. Having iOS at the core is a really strong asset and the living room has lots of really interesting potential applications if Apple could just dedicate some resources to it.

But there’s no point in Apple making a $50 stick. You can already buy a $50 stick from Amazon or Roku, and you can watch Apple’s own TV content on both! I have trouble seeing Apple put out a device like that, especially given how much they love margins.

Apple should focus on making TV devices that are able to do things only Apple can realistically do. I’d love to see them really give gaming a shot on the TV, with good and interesting controllers (maybe even some motion-based ones in addition to a high-quality standard looking controller). A good camera would be great for family FaceTime calls!

There’s so much interesting stuff Apple can do in the living room still. Also, though, I’m happy to see that there are a few players in fierce competition with one another on making devices for the living room, and the stuff they’re making is… pretty good!


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