This is a post over at MacDailyNews.com from earlier today:
This is an open-ended question for our readers who are cable/satellite subscribers:What would Apple have to offer for you to seriously consider dropping your cable/satellite subscription?Certain networks? Tiers of networks bundles or à la carte network selection? Specific monthly subscription price? Cost of hardware? Additional capabilities Blu-ray, DVR, 1080p, etc.?
MacDailyNews Take: We’d need the major networks, certain cable networks, HBO, a robust sports package which would mean live streaming from Apple for a reasonable monthly fee that we wont specify for fear of tainting your responses below. Wed hope it would be something our current Apple TV hardware could accommodate via firmware update, but would consider a new hardware purchase depending on the additional capabilities offered.
I think, for me, it’s not about either cable/satellite or AppleTV. I have, and love, cable internet service. I wouldn’t get rid of that because it’s my ISP. I’m not a satellite user, so I don’t have much opinion there. Although I did switch back to cable about 5 years ago after using satellite for a few years. For me, cable has been a better value primarily because of high-speed internet access. There is no one offering anything remotely as fast as my cable company in my area. So, to discuss the question at hand, “What would Apple need to offer for [me] to drop [my] cable/satellite subscription?” I would have to answer that Apple would have to become an ISP with better value than my cable company.
With the context of AppleTV surrounding this question, though, I’d like to clarify. Isn’t MacDailyNews really trying to ask this, “What does Apple need to do to make the AppleTV no longer a “hobby”, but a product that’s as successful, if not more, than iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad?” Because if that’s the real question, we might want to think about how Apple’s been referring to themselves lately, as a mobile electronics company. AppleTV is not a mobile device. Sure some people may have one in their camper or tour bus, but it’s not going in your pocket or backpack. Not like the previous three incredibly successful mobile products. (Yes, I’m speculating on the iPad, but early indications are good.) How does AppleTV fit into Apple’s mobile strategy? That’s a better question if you ask me. And I’m not “dissin'” on MacDailyNews. They are still one of my favorite Mac news publications around.
I think there are some obvious and not so obvious possibilities. One of the obvious is tighter integration with iPhone, iPod Touch and the new iPad. Apple’s Remote app is pretty good, but it could still be improved. Can you imagine a newly improved iPad version of Remote for AppleTV? I can. Unfortunately I’m not a mock-up artist or I’d come up with something cool to express what I’m thinking, but I think there could be some really nice interface enhancements to Remote once the iPad hits. As for the not so obvious, what about the other recent patent filings that show Apple looking at smart/connected/automated home technology? What if AppleTV could become a hub for your home’s various systems, such as lighting, HVAC, security, etc. What if, again, the iPad allowed for amazing user interface and control of home automation? Now I’m getting more and more interested in AppleTV and how I can’t live without it.
I enjoy my AppleTV and I look forward to seeing how Apple makes it even better. But I still need an ISP. Unless Apple gets into that business as well, the question posed by MacDailyNews is irrelevant to me.
What do you think? Leave me some comments below.