The Apple World Wide Development Conference came and went without mention of a fourth generation Apple TV, much less an Apple branded television. Is apple resting the laurels that Steve Jobs grew and getting passed by? Apple TV as it is earned 1 billion dollars of profit in 2013 between sales of units and the purchase of iTunes content. Maybe the company feels like there is no need to roll out a new product at the time. The bosses at Apple may even be right in this assumption, but while the company that changed, personal computing, cell phones and made the tablet a must have item is sitting on 3 year old technology other companies are moving forward with the innovations people expected to see from Apple.
Roku, announced and demonstrated televisions with its operating system firmly in control of the window to the world. The televisions are fully capable of using cable or any other service but the default interface on the devices is the Roku interface. This fall people will be able to purchase Roku TV’s from at least two manufacturers. The imminent roll out of an Apple HD Television was the favorite rumor on the internet for a good three years and instead a product line that did not exist before the debut of the iPhone has beaten Apple to the punch before the company took a swing at it.
Amazon Fire TV Voice Search
Before the Amazon Fire TV was more than a rumor there was talk of how the next Apple TV would likely feature Siri and voice control. We now have the Fire TV and its surprisingly accurate voice based search (still almost exclusively for Amazon content). To be fair it does not talk back. The Xbox One, from Microsoft also has a voice command feature.
Apple may have a bigger picture plan
Something Apple has been Amazing at as a company over the years was taking things that other companies had already done and improving on them so much that it appeared it was their idea in the first place, kind of like McDonalds co-opting the dollar menu from Wendy’s. The iPhone was not the first smart phone, the iPad was not the first tablet but Apple made them so much cooler than anybody else could. Maybe the company is simply letting Roku, Amazon and Microsoft knock out the first draft of these innovations while it studies the market and later releases a product so superior that it makes the Fire TV or Roku look irrelevant the way the iPad did the PDA. We know that if Apple were to invite the media to an event with a cryptic clue in along the lines of “have a conversation with the biggest screen in the house”, the media reaction would be euphoric and the item would become the hot product of the sector, but as of now others have the spotlight.
Are you still waiting for an Apple TV Set? Do you think Apple has something up its sleeve?