Nothing good on: Losing it about the Apple TV


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

If an Apple product is sold in the forest and doesn’t sell as well as the iPhone, how big a failure is it?

Huge, of course. Why are you even asking, Terrance? We’ve covered this. If you’re not going to do the reading, why bother coming to class?

Jeremy Bowman explains “How Apple Lost TV”. (Tip o’ the antlers to Paul Salzman.)

They lost the TV? Wow. The Macalope can see losing the remote, he loses that thing all the time, but the whole TV? Someone needs to clean up Phil Schiller’s living room.

Almost 10 years ago, Apple introduced a groundbreaking device in a new market, setting the stage for potentially skyrocketing growth over the next decade.

Let’s really play up the Apple TV so it sounds like an incredible failure even though, as we’ll see, the comparison being set up is absurd.

No, let’s do that. Because it’s Tuesday.

The device I'm talking about isn't the iPhone, which did take over the world, but the Apple TV, which launched the same year as the iPhone but missed multiple opportunities to dominate a new industry, leaving a trail of disappointments for investors along the way.

Note the implication that the iPhone is “dominant”. The only way the iPhone is dominant is in profit share. Is the Apple TV not dominant in profit share? The Macalope doesn’t know and heck if Bowman does.

Apple doesn't break out results from TV, instead lumping it in with its "other products" segment, that includes the Apple Watch, iPod, Beats products, and other accessories, which generated over $10 billion in revenue last year.

Well, the Macalope doesn’t think we need to know anything more than that, sounds like a failure to him.

So… lunch?

With billions in revenue over its history, the product hasn't been a complete dud…

Not a complete dud. Because it had billions in revenue, you see.

When shopping for ridiculous standards, please consider Ned’s Ridiculous Standard Shack, off the I-95 corridor in Yulee, Florida. Tell them Jeremy Bowman sent ‘ya.

…but next to Apple's marquee devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, those numbers aren't much more than a rounding error.

Adding to the disappointment…

If it doesn’t sell as many units as the marquee products of the most profitable technology company in the world, it’s a disappointment.

You really are single-handedly keeping Ned in business, aren’t you?

Even with solid growth from Apple TV last year, research firm Parks Associates estimated it to be fourth behind Google, Amazon, and Roku in streaming device sales last year.

You probably can see this coming up de Anza Boulevard but for 10 months last year, Apple was selling a three-year-old device. The 4th generation Apple TV, although it was announced in early September, didn’t ship until the very end of October (so that’s almost two months of a holding pattern). Let’s just say Apple might have had a slight disadvantage in 2015 in terms of unit sales. Not to mention the fact that its competitors sell more than one kind of device, including cheap streaming sticks that are less capable but cheap, cheap, cheap. Of course they’re going to move more units. But is Amazon making any money off their-HA-HA-HAAAAAA.

Bowman faults Apple for not selling a TV set — because clearly they would have produced one of those at a low price point in order to push units — and for not magically creating a streaming video service.

Apple has been in negotiations with networks and content creators, but the problem is that it waited too long to develop such a service.

Apple waited too long or the networks and content creators still haven’t realized what world they live in?

Apple sometimes seems to be able to works miracles (it can’t) but only where it has complete control. Here it doesn’t. That's it.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon