Newsletter Issue #844: The Nature of Getting TV Right

February 1st, 2016

Apple is interested in the living room. Apple wants to conquer the living room. That appears obvious from what Tim Cook has said on the subject. As soon as Apple expresses interest in anything, you know that loads of money are being poured into development for — well, something or other. But what that something might be has been the subject of plenty of guessing, and only one product has been released, at least so far.

When the late Steve Jobs boasted of having cracked the secret of the best TV interface ever, an Apple “Smart” TV set was widely expected, and expected. But it never arrived despite the rumors of prototypes and possible configurations. Eventually stories appeared that Apple decided to give it all up. All this about something whose existence had never been confirmed in the first place.

So just how was Apple planning to conquer the living room? Just another Apple TV? Well, that may have seemed the case in light of the release of the fourth generation model last fall. But in large part, Apple seemed to be playing mostly catch up with a more expensive product. So there were apps, and there was voice command, courtesy of Siri. But that wasn’t especially unique. What’s more, two other streamers, the Amazon Fire TV and Roku 4, supported 4K video. But not Apple.

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