Apple has scheduled an announcement for September 1st and the rumor mill is working overtime that the new AppleTV will be unveiled. While the Hub and enthusiasts were disappointed when Engadget recently reported that the device would only be capable of 720p not 1080p resolution, the reality is that most people don’t care.
People love TV because it’s easy. You can press a button on your remote, lay on the couch and veg out. The box that lives in that paradigm will win the set top box wars. That’s where AppleTV has the opportunity to succeed where others have failed. Historically, they’ve created devices that are simple to use. Now, not only are they looking to introduce a set top box but also provide a way to easily watch your shows anywhere: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and now on your TV. Add in Apple’s app store and now you have the potential to fill the gap missing from not having live TV (well, most folks aren’t ready to kill their cable). Outfits like Major League Baseball will offer apps that lets you pay to watch games anywhere. The key word is anywhere. In another words, there’s the potential that your shows will live in the cloud.
What are the potential pitfalls? Pitfall #1: It will be to be too difficult for most consumers to hook it up their TVs. Pitfall #2: While there is speculation that you can rent a show for 99 cents, apparently it’s only available for 48 hours. Pitfall #3: How will it work with your existing iTunes library that lives on your hard drive? What do all of these pitfalls have in common? They have the potential to create a complex experience. Steve Jobs has been the master of turning the complex into easy. While audio and videophiles may not like not having the best audio and video, it’s been a winning mass market formula. Ok, time to go, I need to go buy some blu-rays.
More commentary in September.