Jesus Diaz, that is.
Why should Apple make a television? I’ll give you 6 reasons:
1. The trend is towards content on demand, and away from traditional content providers. Netflix, Hulu, etc. are prime evidence of this. In fact, I’d dump DirecTV and its never-ending “Searching for signal in Satellite In 2” message in a heartbeat if I could access most of the shows I care about online. Apple is very good at identifying and accelerating trends. I think on-demand TV via the internet is the next big thing, and I think Apple may be the one to ultimately drive the masses that way
2. Everyone hates their current content provider. I have fought with DirecTV for months trying to get a permanent fix to my signal problem. DirecTV sent yet another repair tech out a week ago Thursday. A week ago Saturday, the message returned. I’m paying for service I’m not getting, for months on end. Cable is no better (though in the absence of a third option, I may soon be a cable customer again). There is a very dissatisfied population of satellite/cable customers waiting for a way to stick it to their current provider. Apple may show them the way.
3. Everyone loves Apple. Apple has incredible brand loyalty, which is why people (like, say, me) stand in line for hours to buy the newest iPhone. Part of love is trust, which means that consumers will trust a product delivered by Apple more than one made by another brand. Recent antenna problems notwithstanding, Apple has a pretty good track record of delivering quality products.
4. Who cares if you can buy televisions for less than $2,000? You can buy every single product Apple makes for way less. Apple is living at the high end of the market, where $2,000 for a television is not the hurdle it would be at the middle and lower end.
5. It’s not really $2,000 anyway, when you consider all the gear it would replace. You’d no longer need a separate DVD player, home theater receiver (assuming the Apple sets have adequate speakers and audio outputs) or universal remote control. Depending on the OS and available apps, you might be able to get rid of a computer and monitor or two as well, along with the associated peripherals. $2,000 for the iMac of home theaters would be a pretty good deal.
6. Perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t have to be an either/or thing. By the time any Apple television comes to market, there will be even more streaming and downloadable content available. An Apple set, with an OTA antenna or just basic cable service, would still be a whole lot cheaper than the couple hundred dollars a month many people currently pay their cable or satellite provider. That monthly savings would allow for a lot of iTunes purchases. I think that’s Apple’s end-game.
If I were a satellite or cable provider, I’d be very nervous. As a consumer, I’m hopeful.