Apple's subscription TV streaming ambitions include launching a service by the end of 2012, according to insiders, though the company faces ongoing struggles with content owners balking at its terms. "We decide the price, we decide what content" is Apple's one and only offer, according to sources familiar with the negotiations speaking to the NYPost; "They want everything for nothing" an unnamed media executive said of the Cupertino firm's ambitions.
Apple had its first annual shareholder meeting without the late Steve Jobs today. The company didn't make any major announcements at the event, but did address some longtime shareholder issues regarding the implementation of a majority-voting standard. Apple CEO Tim Cook was on hand of course for a few statements and a shareholder Q&A session, but dodged any questions related to the much rumored Apple television set.
It appears that both Samsung and LG are both keeping their panels to themselves this season as the Smart TV market fires up and Apple sets its sights on IGZO. Sources are speaking to the tune of Sharp being the next on the list for Apple to be looking to for Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide displays for their upcoming iTV production line. Meanwhile the competition in LG and Samsung, who've both provided parts to Apple in the past, are tipped to be holding back in this case to keep their HD Smart TVs strong in and of themselves.
Apple television obsessed analyst Gene Munster claims the Cupertino company has entered negotiations with a "major TV component supplier" over the possibility of using its parts for the much-rumored smart TV. The supplier itself is unnamed, but the Piper Jaffray analyst claims to have been informed by employees that Apple had been in contact "regarding various capabilities of their television display components."
I’m often asked by friends if they should buy an Apple TV. They usually head to the Apple Store to buy a new iPad or iPhone, and while there, they come across Apple’s little set-top box. For just $99, it seems like a bargain. And so, they ask me if they should plunk down the cash to buy one.
The first question I ask when I field the question is, “do you own an Xbox 360?”
I’m a little confused.
Remember back when Apple first introduced the Apple TV, and the company said that it was designed to be a hobby device? Well, in 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, after unveiling a new version of the device, said it was no longer a hobby. Now, though, it appears it is again, since Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that the device is still -- wait for it -- a hobby.
Apple TV has long been considered a hobby by the late Steve Jobs and it still is for the Cupertino company, which reported spectacular earnings today for fiscal Q1 2012. During the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook revealed that 1.4 million units of the Apple TV were sold in this past quarter, a record for the device. But, it still remains very much a hobby for the company, although one that Cook says he can't live without.
This week we're hearing that Apple, best known for their innate ability to gain news fervor even when the most gigantic event of the season is coming up without them attending, is currently getting prepared to release a set of Apple TVs, or iTV models, as they're being nicknamed here. The first model will be a 42-inch model, a supposed former Apple employee noted to USA Today, the other being a massive 50-inch model. It's also been suggested that iTV in this form will use Siri-powered controls, iOS app support, iTunes integration of course, and iCloud support.
Earlier this month, Apple opened a new store inside New York City’s Grand Central Station. This is not Apple’s only store in Manhattan and does not make a dramatic architectural statement like its Cube on Fifth Avenue. Much of its retail model has been seen before in other Apple stores. Yet when I visited it just before it opened it felt radically different than any other retail environment – even different from other Apple stores – and serves as an object lesson for how to sell and support digital products at retail in an increasingly online world. Even if you dislike Apple’s products (or just some of its more enthusiastic fans), if you’re in Manhattan, Apple’s store is worth a visit. Apple claims that it sells more per square foot than any other major retailer in the world, and while some of that is due to products that sell well on their own, Apple’s retail store processes, compensation structure, and architecture all play roles worth investigating.
Apple has reportedly ramped up its TV strategy, outlining a Siri and motion controlled television system in recent meetings with media executives and fleshing out its wirelessly-enabled smart TV set. The company has been courting several of the larger media companies, the WSJ's insiders tell them, selling the benefits of a cross-platform system that could recognize viewers whether they were using their TV, a tablet or a phone. However, the talks have fallen short of entering the negotiation phase for actual content licensing.