Apple’s TV: Twice the Price of Other TVs?

Apple TV

Apple’s TV is generating big-time buzz. Gene Munster, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, has reaffirmed Peter Misek’s claim that a full-fledged television has made its way into Apple’s product pipeline. At Business Insider’s Ignition 2011 conference, Munster told his audience to hold their horses if they are looking to buy a new television, as the upcoming Apple TV is going to be great.

Munster says it will come in several different screen sizes and have a standard remote control, but could also be controlled with an iPhone, iPad or by yelling “ESPN” at your Siri. It will be tightly integrated with the App Store and iTunes, and will come with iCloud, which will keep it in sync with other Apple devices or a PC.

The only caveat: It will cost twice as much as the TVs sold by other companies.

And I can’t say that’s the best strategy. For many decades, televisions have been nothing but a dumb screen. Most decisions made when purchasing a new television revolve around the screen size, screen quality, and aesthetic value.

And unlike a mobile phone or a computer, which typically get replaced in a year or two, a television set doesn’t get replaced nearly as frequent. Mine has lasted for over a decade. That begs the question, how long will Apple’s new TV last before its technology gets outdated, like any other smart devices would?

And how many users are willing to pay a premium only to have to get their television replaced every few years? Is it not better to buy a cheaper television with a superior screen, use it for many years to come, and smarten it up with a cheap set-top-box, like the existing $99 Apple TV?

As usual, until there’s any official announcement from Apple, let’s just take everything you’ve just read with a grain of salt.

One Response to “Apple’s TV: Twice the Price of Other TVs?”

  1. As far as obsolescence: EPROMs are cheap, Bluetooth and WiFI chips are easy expandability vectors. Toss in a USB and Thunderbolt port and you can avoid obsolescence for the life of the TV.

    If I were Apple I would toss in 32GB–128GB of flash storage with DVR capabilities built-in and offer a TV-centric API for all those TV apps to tie into. Dual or quad QAM ATSC tuners and that’s a pretty good start. iSight, Microphones, OS X capable and you’ve got an iMac in disguise.

    Price concerns: often those comparisons take the cheapest and lowest quality device in the same space and compare it to Apple products which use gold band parts. Not only that they fail to account for added features that would cost more to add to competitors products. Will Apple’s TV cost more than others? Obviously. Will it be 2 times as much as comparable models? I seriously doubt it will be more than 10% more when you factor in parts quality and build. That 10% is for not having to bother with a confusing interface.