Apple TV 2.0 – Will It Fly Or Fall?


AppleTV.jpgAt last years ‘All Things Digital’ Conference Steve Jobs labelled Apple TV ‘a hobby’, playing down the significance of the product and lowering expectations for it’s future. it is rare for Jobs to comment on such matters but I believe he did so as a damage limitation exercise. It has become clear in the months since that Apple TV has not gone down well with consumers. Sure, geeks have put their hand in the pocket and ponied up the cash. But in a clear sign that they felt the product was crippled, many went on to hack their Apple TV’s, increasing HD space and installing workarounds that enable the device to cope with many more codecs (such as DivX and XVid). In comparison to other Apple products of recent years, Apple TV 1.0 was a failure.

Fast forward to Macworld 2008 and Jobs unveils Apple TV 2.0 admitting on stage that their first stab at the digital living room was flawed. Although Macbook Air went on to steal the limelight at this years keynote, the real game-changing news to come from Cupertino was that Apple had secured digital rental deals with every major movie studio. In addition Jobs showed off a complete rewrite of the Apple TV software which no longer require the device to interact with a computer. Movies, TV shows, podcasts and music can now be purchased directly from the iTunes Music Store without the user ever having to leave the comfort of their sofa. To top it off Jobs went on to announce that the new features would be a free upgrade to existing customers and that the software update would usher in the ability to play HD content encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, all using the existing hardware out in the field. Sounds like a home run right?

Well maybe not. I believe the Apple TV’s future rests in the hands of the advertising agency. In recent years Apple’s ad campaigns have been schizophrenic. No-one can dispute the success of the silhouette iPod adverts. And the iPhone ads do wonders to demonstrate the capabilities of the touchscreen marvel. But despite the increase in Mac market share over the last couple of years I seriously doubt whether the current ‘I’m A Mac, and I’m A PC’ ads do much to encourage the average Windows user to switch platforms.

Sure, they are witty. If you are already a Mac user.

But to a PC user I suspect ‘Mac’ comes across as condescending. Macs have many advantages over their competition, two of these being the beauty of their hardware coupled with the elegance and robustness of Mac OS X. The ads do little to demonstrate either.

As of yet Cupertino has done Apple TV no favors. In the twelve months between its launch at Macworld 2007 and the unveiling of Apple TV 2.0 at Macworld 2008 it’s reputation has been left to languish. First impressions are hard to shift. And although the second coming of the device elevates it to one of the most compelling devices released by Apple in recent years, it’s announcement by Jobs was overshadowed by the Macbook Air (which secured the psuedo ‘One Last Thing…’ spot at this years keynote).

As of now, subtlety is not an option. If the marketing department decide to use the Apple TV adverts as a demonstration of the devices abilities it could spell the end for Blockbuster and seriously dent the HD-DVD/Blue Ray formats. However, if they opt to make the adverts more cryptic and artsy then Apple TV will struggle to shake off its reputation as a lemon.

14 Responses to “Apple TV 2.0 – Will It Fly Or Fall?”

  1. But when is the update actually out ? it says soon….. but that could be weeks or months ?

  2. I talked to the apple reps on the booth at macworld. They believed that an early February is likely. However the picture may be a little different for apple TV owners outside of the US. Movie rentals are not going to be available to EU countries until later this year. What this means as far as the software update goes I am not sure. I would imagine it will be rolled out worldwide simultaneously, enabling the ability to download music and podcasts directly but with no access to movies.

  3. Apple needs to release a Front Row update where you could rent/watch movies ala AppleTV or an AppleTV App for Mac. This might lower sales of the AppleTV, hardware, but it will be well offset by sales of software. I don’t need another piece of hardware when I already have a Mac more than capable of performing the same function plus would enjoy the added flexibility to watch movies anywhere. And if I don’t have a Mac at all, it is unlikely I would venture into Apple territory just to purchase AppleTV.

  4. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you might
    be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back someday.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

  5. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the
    message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic
    blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  6. Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this
    website with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and excellent
    style and design.

  7. After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you can remove me from
    that service? Many thanks!

  8. You made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for
    more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on
    this website.

  9. Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a data! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.

  10. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best

  11. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my
    own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  12. It’s very effortless to find out any matter on web as compared to
    textbooks, as I found this post at this web page.

  13. Good article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.

  14. Awesome! Its genuinely awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this piece of writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: