The Case for Apple Building a Real AppleTV

The AppleTV has been called Apple’s little project, but this year they decided to step things up and introduce a pretty cool little box. It streams Netflix, runs HD, and is smaller than an iPad.

Still, it seems like something is missing; Apple could do more with the concept, and really give it that Cupertino shine. In fact, Apple should just go ahead and build a real Apple Television.

They Have the Capability

Apple has billions of cash at its disposal. Back in March, they reported having 40 billion in cash available to them, which meant that they had the ability to play a few risks and try things out. The iPad is most likely an example of that experimentation, as is the newest AppleTV. But there’s more to building a television than having a lot of cash on hand.

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The New AppleTV

Part of that is manufacturing costs. Right now, Apple’s focus is on smaller goods that can be produced en masse in small factories overseas. A television takes up more real estate in those small buildings, and therefore they couldn’t build and sell as many units. But therein lies the genius: most people don’t buy a new TV every year they way they would a new iPod or iPhone. So Apple doesn’t have to make millions, they just have to make enough to keep up with demand.

They Have the Desire

Steve Jobs once said that he didn’t think people wanted another box in their living room, and I think that for the most part, he’s right. In my personal setup, I have five devices which connect to my TV via the HDMI cable, and only one port on the television. Having yet another box in the living room is a pain, and makes life more complicated.

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A real AppleTV

By building the AppleTV into the television itself, they could eliminate the “one more box” problem. In the process, they also bring iTunes further into the living room, making it easier for them to sell more movies and TV shows. Customers today hate having four remote controls, and if there was a way for them to cut the cord to their cable system and still keep all of the functionality, they would. If Apple built a television, they could work in a TiVO-esque system right into the OS, as well as providing the same AppleTV experience. It’s win-win.

They Have No Real Competition

When the iPhone took off, so did the popularity of the word “App.” It’s now the buzzword for every product with a microchip it seems, including televisions. Samsung is currently pitching a new television with “built-in apps,” making it easy for you to use Pandora, stream Netflix, or view your Twitter feed. How exciting.

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No Seriously, This is the Competition.

No one gets the concept of apps the way Apple does, and this would really improve in an Apple TV. Let’s say that they produce a slim LED television in four different sizes, and then they put iOS inside. Now not only is Netflix included, but so are potentially several thousand other apps that could make using the television a completely different experience. Even if Apple didn’t sell a million units, they would make a killing on app sales. It makes sense.

The Bottom Line

At the end of it all, this comes down to risk versus reward. Does Apple want to take the huge risk of creating a line of televisions to make potentially millions of dollars, or is it too high a price to pay? Ultimately, they have the cash, resources, and motivation to do it. They just have to make the leap.

What do you think? Should Apple seek to revolutionize the TV market by introducing an iOS powered television? Or should they just stick to the current exterior box model? Leave a comment and let us know!