Why hand your TV  remote to Apple?

The rumours of an Apple-branded television are coming thick and fast, but I still don’t think they make much sense for Apple or for us. Apple’s future is in content and services, supported by tiny portable devices sold at premium prices. Why would Apple want to get mixed up in the cut-throat television market when it can sell you content via gadgets such as the Apple TV media player?

I don’t think an Apple Television makes sense for shoppers either. Yes, I know that “Smart” TVs are all the rage, but I’ve always felt the best approach to shopping for televisions is to buy the best picture quality you can afford. Ensure it’s got plenty of HDMI inputs and then let your set-top boxes do the heavy lifting.

Yes, that’s the alternative, buy a dumb television with a great picture and hook up a few smart devices. Smart devices such as games consoles, internet-enabled Blu-ray players and media players like the tiny Apple TV. You might be prepared to replace these set-top boxes every few years but, if you’re going to spend thousands on a new television, you certainly don’t want to get stuck on a smartphone-esque 24-month upgrade cycle.

Owners of the original Apple TV got burned when Apple released a new model and declined to add many of the best features to the old model. Now imagine this was all built into your television, so you were looking at $999+ for a new Apple television rather than $99 for a new Apple media player. If you don’t think Apple would do that, just look at every other product it sells. Once it’s 24 months old it’s obsolete.

Also keep in mind that Apple products tend to lack the advanced features of the competition, a price you pay for elegant gadgets which “just work”. What kind of functionality will Apple expect us to sacrifice in return for an integrated Apple Television? Do you really want Apple to rule your television life with an iron fist the way it does smartphones and tablets? What won’t you be able to watch? What won’t you able to connect to your television? Which features will Apple add or take away on a whim via a firmware update?

Considering the Apple TV media player already integrates your television with the iTunes ecosystem, Apple will need to add something pretty amazing to entice people to upgrade to an Apple Television. It can’t be merely content, as the Apple TV has that covered. If you want even more online content, your money should go towards a Sony Blu-ray player or D-Link’s Boxee Box.

Chances are the Apple Television’s big attraction will be Siri, but I don’t think the ability to talk to my television is enough to entice me to hand over complete control of my lounge room to Apple. The other drawcard might be an iOS-style app-driven interface that some people have been expecting to see on the Apple TV media player. But keep in mind that iOS5 now offers video mirroring via the Apple TV, running from iGadgets with the new A5 processor.

What killer feature would entice you to buy an Apple-branded television? Which features do you think it might sacrifice for the Apple logo?

Sourced & published by Henry  Sapiecha

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