After the lights went down on Elvis Costello and Apple’s September 10 iPhone event came to a close, the Internet was abuzz with stories discussing what the company didn’t announce at its event.
Surprisingly, the discussions surrounding what wasn’t announced didn’t solely reside in news about the iPad or long-lost Apple television. Instead, the Apple TV made an appearance in many of those reports, with analysts, Apple handicappers, and consumers wondering where in the world their updated set-top box was.
As an Apple TV owner since its inception, I can personally attest to the issues one would experience by not having an updated Apple TV. For years, Apple treated the device like the hobby that it was, and the company made no indication that it truly cared about the entertainment-seekers who wanted something bigger and better.
More recently, however, the Apple TV has become more important at Apple as the company realizes that many of its competitors are moving to the living room to stand their ground. Apple, trying to ensure it doesn’t lose that key marketplace, has decided to focus its efforts there, as well. And that has come byway of some nice improvements over the last year to the Apple TV.
But the very fact that the new Apple TV wasn’t updated or shown off at the event seems rather boring to me. I can appreciate that there are some Apple TV owners that would have liked to have seen the device, but if we are to analyze the market as a whole, we can safely assume that the average person couldn’t have cared less.
Whether the Apple TV is still a hobby within Apple is unknown. And chances are, the device is becoming a bit more important to the company than it was in the past. But despite better sales, the Apple TV is still a niche product. And for the vast majority of customers, niche products aren’t enough to get them excited.
That’s precisely why I think most people who are complaining that Apple didn’t show off improvements to the Apple TV are blowing it out of proportion. Yes, I would have liked to have seen an updated Apple TV and I’ll freely admit that the device could be better. But to think that it deserves to be sitting alongside the iPhone at a major event is nonsense.
Whether we like it or not, Apple TV lovers, our set-top box is little more than a streaming hub that delivers a somewhat-desirable experience. And for the vast majority of people, it’s that black device that a friend or two has that would serve no purpose in their lives.
The way I see it, the Apple TV is a stopover on Apple’s trek to a television. And that device? Well, that device will deserve all of the attention it will get.