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Bryan M. Wolfe
| November 11, 2013
Wearable Devices, Not The 'iTV' Are In Apple's Immediate Future
Citing supply chain sources, NPD DisplaySearch has announced that Apple won’t be launching a television set next year, as once planned. Instead, Cupertino is focused on rolling out wearable devices. According the report, Apple had been successful at lining up hardware suppliers for the so-called “iTV.” In particular, the company was readying 2-3 displays with 4K resolution. The problem was with content. In order for Apple to succeed on the television front, the company needed to achieve three goals, according to NPD DisplaySearch:
That last point has been the one most difficult for the company to achieve. Apple had long been committed to providing an entirely new television experience. This meant either delivering “some exclusive source of content that the other brands cannot, such as a la carte pay-TV channels, or proprietary content not available on other devices.” So far, the entertainment industry has mostly balked at Apple’s approach. [caption id="attachment_484798" align="aligncenter" width="455"] iTV concept, Sam Beckett[/caption] I’ve always felt Apple had to create something unique to find success in manufacturing television sets. That success, in my humble opinion, would only be achieved by giving us a new way to receive content. In other words, replace satellite or cable with some sort of a la carte offering. Since that isn’t possible, at least for now, Apple is wise to put the brakes on the entire project. Hopefully, conditions will improve in the future to make the iTV a reality. In the meantime, it’s time to get excited about the so-called “iWatch.” Stay tuned. See also: LG Could Soon Be Supplying Flexible OLED Screens To Apple For The 'iWatch', Tim Cook Hints That 'New Product Categories' Could Come From Apple In 2014, and Apple Probably Needs An Entirely New Product For Retail Traffic To Increase. Photo: iWatch concept, Jivaldi
- Sell enough units to generate sufficient content purchasing points, especially among households who do not yet own Apple TV set-top boxes.
- Offer a unique point of differentiation to capture market share from leading TV manufacturers such as Samsung and Vizio, while at the same time being able to sell the products for a high enough price to deliver typically high Apple margins.
- Create follow-on replacement purchases to keep hardware sales from flat-lining once household penetration peaks.