Analyst: Design, UI, Apps & Games Will Make Apple Television Revolutionary, Not Content

A couple of days back we told you about how Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, a long time Apple analyst, was confident that an Apple Television is now just a matter of “when” rather than “if.”

Business Insider has the entire note from Munster in which he speculates that Apple’s software offering with the television will make it revolutionary. 

Firstly, Munster believes that Apple won’t just enter the television market and right away convince content providers to agree with Apple’s terms:

While many believe content will be the key differentiator for the Apple television, we expect at launch Apple may not necessarily revolutionize the content industry. Ultimately we believe that consumers and Apple want unbundled channels and more options including time shifting to watch content, but note that content owners are hesitant to change. For example on the Disney Mar-12 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger suggested that unbundling channels would make cable bills more expensive. Our take is consumers are willing to pay more for each channel as long as their overall bill goes down (i.e. pay more for fewer channels you actually want). The bottom line is that we believe in five years Apple will have a significant hand in changing how people consume content on their TV. We know the end point, unbundled channels and DVR in the cloud. However this will take time (3-5 years.), and while we believe Apple will innovate on its existing TV content offering at the launch of Apple Television, we caution that the initial offering may more closely resemble the current Apple TV content offering (Netflix, iTunes, and eventually Hulu).

Instead, Munster believes that Apple will play to its strengths and deliver a killer software experience, just like it did with the iPhone:

We expect the TV to include Siri and compatibility with third party devices as well as potential integration with content guides, offering consumers improved control which should lead to greater value from their monthly cable subscription. We note that cable companies could charge a fee for consumers to use Apple Televisions ($5-10/month similar to cable box rental fees). Some investors do not believe Apple will be able to gain control of cable interfaces due to advertising on the interface, but we note that the ads are typically house ads and are not significant revenue contributors.

Then there’s of course the idea of Apple bringing the vibrant iOS and Mac developer community to the television platform to create great apps for the big screen. Rumors have it that Apple would be holding sessions during WWDC to brief developers with an OS for the television. Munster believes that through the App Store, Apple would also address the demand for great games on a large screen. These games could be controlled by voice, other iOS devices and even motion sensing.

apple tv

The television would obviously have great hardware design like all other Apple products, including aluminium casing and minimal wires. As we’d written yesterday, Munster expects the pricing to be somewhere in the $1,500-$2,000 range for a screen size in the 42″ to 55″ range.

A lot of this would be much clearer after WWDC where it is rumored that Apple will unveil the operating system for their upcoming television set.

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  • Sajid hussain

    I thought apple devices were all about the content, it taken them 5 years to change the UI of the iphone, nd it made it this far with the apps available in the app store, if its not broken dont fix it

  • Grime

    Here’s an idea, how about using control pads. All the top selling console games use control pads primarily. Although games use motion controllers and touch pads, they lack precise control and are still somewhat gimmicky. I’m not a gamer, and I’m not saying that’s how apple should market it. Its just another killer feature that could make a great selling point.
    I’m not really sure what makes a great smart tv experience. I own a Roku and what I like most is that I can subscribe for a messily $16 a month and get near unlimited content via Netflix for movies and Hula Plus for tv shows. Since I’m a casual tv watcher it works well for me and my wallet. With that same $16 dollars on Apple tv I could rent about 8 movies if I’m lucky. Rentals rightfully have their place, but Apple’s favors them more because its more profitable. What I’d like to see is more subscription content and more content in general. Presently the Apple tv 3 isn’t jailbroken and until it is its not a viable option. Its just to limited. Guess I’ll have to wait and see what Apple television offers when it hits the shelves.

    • dankvwguy

      id be worried about buying an apple TV, regardless of content. it amazes me how much control apple likes to keep of a product that we all paid top dollar to own. i want to know i can do what i want with my TV. i feel like owning an apple TV will just result in me needing to buy EVERYTHING through them (cables and other hardware). I would not own my apple TV without a jailbreak so you wont see me buying an apple television anytime soon. And knowing apple they will come out with a new model one month after the first one so that every mac fanboy dumps $1500 on a tv only to blow another $1500 when the next model comes out. it happens every time apple releases a new product, even if the product isnt that much greater. i know plenty of people that sold their iphone 4s dirt cheap just so they could get a 4S. I understand it has siri but aside from that the phone isnt much greater. even siri works 70% of the time (i understand its a beta but damn apple, stop making it the selling point of your phone when it doesnt even work right. dont even get me started on these screens). i didnt pay for this phone to get to use it sometimes and i feel like an apple TV is just going to end up in the same boat….

  • Joe

    $1500 for a 42-inch TV? I would not even consider paying to lock myself in Apple’s sandbox for 1/3 of that cost.

    • dankvwguy

      exactly. i paid $1100 for my 46″ and at the time it was one of the best you could buy. im not shelling out $1800 for a tv that will probably be less fun to use than my current smart tv. apple will probably end up charging an extra fee to use netflix on their tvs…