Marco Arment on Apple and the HDTV Market

He doesn’t think Apple will make one:

It causes practical problems, too: TVs usually require large warehouses and very large retail display areas, which Apple’s retail stores aren’t ideal for. And large TVs usually require in-home service, which Apple doesn’t offer for any other products.

They could get over those problems. They’re inconvenient and limiting, but not fatal.

A bigger problem is that Apple prefers to offer fully integrated products, but a modern TV is just one component in a mess of electronics and service providers, most of which suck.

I used to think Apple might get into this market — selling big high-quality TVs with built-in Apple TV functionality — based on the following logic: “Why settle for selling a $299 box instead of a $2000 TV set?” Now, of course, Apple TV is a $99 box. I agree with Marco — I don’t think Apple is going to get into the TV set business. “There’s money to be made” just isn’t reason enough.

The fundamental question Apple always wants an answer for before entering a new market is “Why would someone buy this instead of what’s already out there?” I don’t think there’s a good answer for that if an Apple-branded HDTV is just a big screen with built-in Apple TV functionality.

Monday, 18 April 2011