Apple and TV.
It’s a long running, unrequited love story.
People desperately want Apple to make a television. Apple has yet to do much in the TV market aside from the Apple TV, its $US99 box that serves up a variety of streaming video apps.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster talked about Apple TV today at our conference, IGNITION.
Munster has been repeatedly loud wrong on Apple’s television plans. He admitted as much today on stage saying Apple TV has “almost become the bane of my existence.”
Still, during his talk, he said there’s one thing that people are getting wrong about Apple and TV.
Investors have believed for a long time that Apple’s television is being held back by content.
The idea is that Apple needs content companies like Fox, CBS, NBC, etc. on board before it releases a TV. Without the content, the TV would be useless, the thinking goes.
Munster thinks this line of thinking is wrong.
He says he thinks that when Apple releases a television, the content will follow.
Look at the iPod. When Apple released the iPod, it didn’t have iTunes. The music industry was upside down, says Munster. But, the music came later.
Look at the iPhone. When Apple released the iPhone, there was no App Store. The apps came after the phone.
Similarly, when Apple puts a “stake in the ground” with a TV, content will follow.
There’s a few reasons Munster is so focused on Apple doing TV.
One, Apple CEO Tim Cook just keeps talking about the tv market. Repeatedly he as called it an area of great interest.
Two, consumers really, really, really want a TV from Apple.
Munster said that he’s surveyed people about buying an Apple Watch. Only ~25% of people said they were interested in buying a Watch. And that’s interest has been steady for years, including before and after the official announcement of the watch.
When Munster asks people about an Apple TV, he says 50% of people say they want a TV from Apple. (He notes it drops to 15% when he tells them it might cost $US2,000.)
The indication here is clear: People want a TV from Apple. If Apple launched a TV without deals from the current TV industry, it might not matter. Apple’s affluent user base would buy the TV. And then, the content makers get their content on an Apple TV.