Do You Need Cable?

As I have told people before, I lived without cable or network television for 3 years. Part of my saving grace was my Apple TV. I hooked it up to a projector in my home and watched TV when I wanted to (and I read a lot more). As we enter 2014, what’s next for the hobby of Apple Inc?

Future of Apple TV

Remember when iTunes launched and Apple made a deal with the record companies that allowed people tolegally buy one song for $0.99? This model changed how we listen to music.

Apple TV has the potential to do the same for television and the content we absorb. The “boob-tube” has gone high tech and is being integrated into our homes and businesses in a way that empowers the consumer. With only 9 million units sold, there is a lot of room for growth (iPhone 5S and 5C sold 9 million units in the first weekend and cost 3 times the price).

The iTV?

My clients frequently ask me when the real Apple TV is going to be released. My opinion is this: Apple devices, like Porsches and BMWs, don’t come cheap. If Apple builds a physical TV, it will cost a considerable amount of money for a 50-60″ screen. It will be a beautiful picture (4K quality), award winning design and easily integrate with the Apple eco-system. However, what happens when the next model comes out? I appreciate the fact that if a new Apple TV comes out it is only a $100 investment and the hardware doesn’t cost much. I think Apple would do better to direct users toward content like they did with iTunes.


The a la Cart Model

The television set is not broken; how we receive our content is. Cable companies set up viewing packages:

  1. $60 / month Entry Level Package
  2. $80 / month General View Package
  3. $120 / month “Power User!”

The next Apple TV should include channels “a la carte.” You’ll be able to pick channels (e.g. – ESPN, HGTV and CNN) for each month that you want. As with iTunes, people will start off purchasing a few channels. The convenience of picking and choosing your channels will drive people to initially spend $20 – $30 / month. After a few months, we will be buying Pay Per View and premium channels and matching those with our Netflix and HULU Plus accounts – all managed through our iTunes account.

Ok Apple…

My 6-year old daughter loves using my Nexus 5 and saying, “OK Google, play candy crush” or “Ok Google, find puppy pictures.” The interface on the Apple TV is slow and cumbersome – even when using the iPhone App instead. The next Apple TV needs an easy to use method of connecting user and device. Apple devices are known for their simplicity and elegance.Therefore, look for a device, like the iPhone, that improves the user interface.

Apple TV has come a long way from being the giant heat sink hard drive that it used to be. To become more of a mainstay in the business and home community, it will need to change a few features and add some others. I look forward to the continued changes that improve my interaction and gets rid of my cable bill.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.

Next Week: Social Media = Lead Generation