There’s a new report today that Apple is talking to content companies about doing channels as apps on a television set. Or not. It also really wants to work with cable companies.
We don’t know what’s going on, but it sure sounds like Apple can’t get what it wants.
And this shouldn’t be a surprise. Steve Jobs laid out why the TV industry is a mess in 2010. Nothing has changed.
We just ran this quote, but it’s worth running again.
Anytime you read about Apple and TV industry, just remember this from Steve Jobs.
The break through for an Apple TV isn’t going to be about hardware or software, it’s going to be about making good deals, and figuring out the best, most profitable way to take an Apple TV to the market.
Clearly Apple hasn’t landed on the right formula just yet.
“The problem with innovation in the television industry is the go to market strategy.
The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everybody a set top box for free, or for $US10 a month. And that pretty much squashes innovation because no one is willing to buy a set top box. Ask TiVo. Ask Replay TV. Ask Roku, ask Vudu, ask us, ask Google in a few months. Sony’s tried, Panasonic’s tried, we’ve all tried. So, all you can do is add a box onto the TV system.
You can say … I’ll add another little box with another one. You end up with a table full of remotes, cluster full of boxes, bunch of UIs. The only way that’s ever gonna change is if you really go back to square one and you tear up the set top box and design it with a consistent UI and deliver it to the customer in a way they’re willing to pay for it. Right now there’s no way to do that. So that’s the problem with the TV market.
We decided, do we want a better TV or a better phone? The phone won out because there was no way to get it to market. What do we want more? A better tablet or a better TV? Well, probably a better tablet. but it doesn’t matter because there’s no way to get a TV to market. The TV is going to lose until there is a viable go-to-market strategy, otherwise you’re just making another TiVo.
That make sense?
It’s not a problem of technology, it’s not a problem of vision, it’s a fundamental go-to-market problem.
There isn’t a cable operator that’s national, there’s a bunch of operators. And it’s not like there’s GSM, where you build a phone and it works in all these other countries. No every single country has different standards. It’s very ‘tower of babble-ish’, not that’s not the right word. Balkanized. I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out. But when we say Apple TV is a hobby, that’s why we use that phrase.”