If the Apple TV Was Discontinued, Would Anyone Care?

Apr 24, 2011
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Since the second-generation Apple TV has been on store shelves, 2 million units have been shipped, a recent report claims. That report followed a release Apple sent out late last year saying that it would hit one million Apple TV sales in December.

Now, like everything else related to Apple, debate rages over whether 2 million Apple TV shipments are good or bad. Some say that the device is selling well and catching on with consumers. They point to the general lack of interest in the first Apple TV for proof of that.

But I’m not in agreement. Like many others, I’m not very impressed by 2 million Apple TV shipments.

The Apple TV is a device from the world’s top technology company. It’s a product that, on paper, would give consumers the ability to extend their entertainment in the living room -- a prospect that is becoming increasingly popular. Most importantly, it only retails for $99, making it one of the cheapest set-top boxes on the market.

When all those factors are considered, wouldn’t it make perfect sense for Apple to sell many more Apple TVs? The device seemingly has everything going for it. And yet, as far as I’m concerned, it’s only enjoying lukewarm demand.

So, I can’t help but wonder if anyone would care if the Apple TV was discontinued. Consumers aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to buy an Apple TV. And Apple has once again done little to promote the product on its own. Like its predecessor, the Apple TV is being treated like a hobby.

Admittedly, there are some good reasons for that. The Apple TV lacks storage, access to an App Store, and any integration with the user’s DVR. It’s simply a streaming box.

For its part, Apple says consumers want that kind of functionality, and storing content isn’t important to them. But that’s debatable. As far as I’m concerned, having storage could drastically change the Apple TV’s value proposition. Most importantly, it would make the device far more useful, since with storage, Apple would almost undoubtedly provide access to its App Store.

As an Apple TV owner, I view the device as a fine first step. But it seems unfinished to me. And if I didn’t have one running in the living room, I don’t think I would miss it all that much. After all, many of the things I can do with my Apple TV are available to me via other devices. I can watch Netflix on any number of devices in my living room, and streaming my iTunes music library to my speakers is quite simple with the help of an AirPlay-compatible receiver.

I just don’t think I’d care if Apple discontinued the Apple TV. And quite frankly, I don’t think I would blame the company. Until it can deliver a device that the mainstream cares about, and Apple itself actually wants to get behind, why should it continue on the same path?

But that’s just me. Would you care if the Apple TV was discontinued? Let us know in the comments below.


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