While originally slated for unveiling at the Worldwide Developers Conference, then pushed to early September at Apple’s iPhone-centric event, the Apple TV release has now been pushed to 2016 due to contract negotiations. However, the iPhone 6 and 6s will still have their introduction at the September event. New iPhone releases always come with buzz and excitement for Apple devotees, “But the iPhone is not the product to be watching out for” writes one analyst at I Know First. People await the release of the new Apple TV because people want to know if “…Apple [can] effectively change the television market.” This is especially true following Apple’s music streaming flop.
Introduced in 2007, Apple TV has held status of a hobby project at Apple. While they continue to update and release new versions, it may have finally surpassed a mere hobby. Following the unsuccessful release of their streaming music project, Apple knows they need something new, something not yet offered to consumers. Tim Cook needs to do for the television market what Steve Jobs did for the mobile phone market and wanted to do for the television market. “Giving customers a simple to use, cheap streaming service that includes live television as well as the ability to stream content at their own time would be a huge step forward for the television industry, whereas improving curated content would be an incremental step from the work done by Netflix and its smaller rivals.” Therein lays the hold up to the release of the newest set top box and television service.
Rather than compete with Netflix, Apple’s television service would complement it because, in addition to streaming television services, Apple’s innovative service would allow users to watch live television. Contract negotiations have proven more time consuming than anticipated, so the live television feature continues to hold up the release. Furthermore, “the Apple TV service needs to focus on being as simple and easy to use as possible while offering a cheap, slimmed down package that users want.” The ease with which Apple users can synch their products should bode well for making the new service simple to use and easy to integrate with all the other Apple features that people have become accustomed to.
If Apple can manage to provide users with both streaming and live television options at the anticipated (and currently unheard of) price of $30 – $40 per month, they will revolutionize the television market. “Taking this view of Apple TV, it could become the largest provider of cable in the country, as most customers simply do not need all of the random television channels that come prepackaged in bundles.” In time, consumers will see if this Apple project comes to fruition. Until then, Apple devotees and other tech savvy buyers will monitor the progress of this project in the hopes that Apple will provide the public with another landmark technological advancement.
I Know First Research is bullish in Apple over the long term. The Apple TV streaming service plays a role in this bullish valuation, as it could revolutionize the television-viewing model and attract large numbers of users. This would improve the overall ecosystem, especially for the iPad, and provide a new revenue stream.