Apple TV

This is a digital media player developed by Apple Inc. It is more of an entertainment device that has the ability of receiving digital data from a variety of sources and streams it to the relevant audience. The device can be used to play on enhanced TV sets by the use of HDMI technology whereby the set-box is connected to high-definition widescreen television. The Apple TV is not a new product in the market. It has been there since 2006 (Carlson 12). When it was first introduced, Apple wanted it rhyme with the other products being produced by the company. As a result, the device was initially known as iTV. The assumption was that the consumers would associate with it as a recognized brand hence increasing its prospects of capturing a substantial market share. When Steve Jobs introduced the company’s first television streaming appliance, he referred to it as “a hobby” (Cunningham 3).  To be honest, at that time the device felt as something incomplete. However, Apple TV has gone through various transformations over the years.  With all the enhancements, the new Apple TV feels like a device that has the capability of taking the industry with a storm (Cunningham 3).

The digital entertainment industry has gained quite a reputation in recent days. It is an industry experiencing various innovations hence increasing the nature of competition. It is composed of cable channels, traditional TV networks, Internet broadcasters such as and Netflix among others. Each of these companies has their own ways of keeping the consumers excited and content with whatever is being offered. Nevertheless, the increased options being provided on a daily basis might be troublesome to some of the companies that are not well equipped to adapt to the changes (Rayburn 17). It might be a bad thing to companies already offering these services, but a blessing in disguise to consumers. This is because it gives them a variety to choose from hence it improves their bargaining power.

Streaming TV has not quite brought the anticipated satisfaction to clients. All the internet-based services usually require separate subscriptions. Each of them tends to have different user interface. This means that it varies on how people tend to tune in from one show to another. These aspects combined with the complexity of standard cable system are what the Apple TV intends to solve for its consumers.  The device provides a single interface, which is quite simple to navigate for all TV shows and movies. The new Apple TV’s cost is slightly high compared to the previous version. The one with 32gb memory goes for around $149 and $199 for 64gb (Cunningham 4). A part from the increased memory, the newer version has a peppier processor chip compared to its predecessors. It is also equipped with a new operating system tvOS. This operating system will make it easier for software developers to engrave sophisticated apps for the appliance. This is just the same way as they do for iPads and iPhones.

Apple TV includes quite decent high-quality video games similar to the ones that people play on their phones. It gets even interesting while playing them on the Apple TV due to the improved remote control that comes with the device. It is a slick aluminum that is rectangular in shape. It encompasses a glass miniature with touch screen capabilities that make it easy to navigate virtual battlefields.   There is an additional feature on the remote that encompasses Siri speech control system. The feature enables consumers to search for videos using their voice. Siri has the ability of searching iTunes video inventory, and internet video from Hulu, Showtime, HBO and Netflix.In case one misses a dialog, they just have to ask Siri, “what did he say?” (Cunningham 6). The video will skip backwards instantly for few seconds.  Generally, the new Siri remote appears to be much better compared to the previous version.

Just like other entertainment devices, Apple TV has its good, bad and ugly side. The good side is that the device is small and fast. Being small means that it is easily portable and people can carry it around when they are going for getaways or any other forms of adventures. The aspect of being fast helps eliminate the frustration that comes along with media streaming devices. When such devices are slow, they can be really frustrating to consumers. Apple TV also has a wide range of media streaming apps. This includes Plex for the local streamers. Presence of a full App store is an indication of more things to come hence giving consumers the desire to explore more (Carlson 97). The new remote also has some positives. Rewinding, scrolling and fast forwarding are operating well. Siri tends to be accurate and fast even though at times it does not necessary find what people want. The bad side of Apple TV is that there is no guarantee of services like Amazon video always being there. The absence of 4K might also be a big deal in future. The device is also somehow expensive while compared to other appliances like Nexus Player, Fire TV, Chromecast and other streaming boxes out there (Cunningham 8). This might deter some of the consumers that were initially interested in the product. Most consumers are price sensitive and usually opt to use the substitutes when the price differentials seem quite obvious. The ugly side of the Apple TV is that text entry on the remote can be quite miserable.

Apple TV has the ability of impacting the future of the digital media industry. The industry has seen great insurgency in the past. Based on how Apple TV functions, this seems to be just a beginning of greater things to come in future. It all began with the brick and mortar stores like Blockbuster, which came to be faced-off by online streaming companies like Netflix. Now comes the improved Apple TV. The device combines activities that people undertake across device into one appliance. This posses a significant threat to cable companies. Their services have been doing quite well in the past years based on the fact that numerous households use them. Apple TV is set to be the biggest foe for to cable companies. It is a sophisticated device yet quite easy to use and navigate. The device combines social media, on-demand content and mobile-friendly apps (Williams 2). This is an interesting aspect that many consumers will be looking out for. Everyone wants something that can make their lives easier since there is already a lot going on in their lives. Having a centralized access to most things that a consumer likes comes as an appreciated gift. Cable companies have been known to dominate the airwaves particularly with live performances like sporting events. However, they have always found it difficult to compete with new innovations as people tend to cancel their services in favor of getting their entertainment online. Apple TV makes it even worse for these companies. It has more features that are likely to intrigue consumers to drop cable services in its favor (Williams 3).

Apple TV also has the ability of filling the void that was created by the high court ruling against TV startup Aereo. The company was accused of an unfavorable business model that snags over-the-air broadcasted signals. This aspect gave consumers the ability of streaming live TV using various devices illegally. The company had already established a growing market. It had fulfilled consumers’ need of having the ability to control their television experience. Apple TV will once again give these consumers   the satisfaction that they once had, but not long lived at that moment. The potential of Apple TV combining with Periscope will brings more uncertainty to cable service providers in the future. This is because consumers will have the ability to combine social networking, sports, and real-time content (bound to network contracts or scattered across the internet) among others on one platform (Williams 2). To make it even better is that this will be legal. In case the deal does not materialize, Apple’s new TVOS has the ability of bringing consumers closer to that reality. It all means a revamped future on how people enjoy their digital media, and a nightmare to cable service providers.

Apple TV will also have an impact on technology in the digital media industry. Linear TV has dominated the market over the years. However, the future does not look bright based on various innovations taking place. Internet TV is starting to grow and at the moment the reception from consumers is quite good. In the next 20 years or so, it is highly likely that internet TV will be the means that people use to consume video. This means that the future of television will be based on apps. Tim Cook; Apple CEO, asserted that 60% of the streaming is usually done via an Apple device.  100% of this streaming takes place through an app (Williams 1). According to him, apps tend to deliver a better experience to consumers. There are other companies that deliver app-based videos for streaming. Involvement of Apple in this category is likely to make things better due to the competition. There will be lots of innovations that will help move technology in the industry to the next level.

The resurgence of Apple TV will also have an impact on the lives of consumers. Due to the levels of competition that is likely to be initiated, a lot will be offered in the market. This gives consumers a bargaining power in showcasing what they want. Every product or service developed must meet consumers’ needs at all times. Failure to do this will result to shifting to close substitutes.  The aspect keeps companies on their toes. Fulfilling consumers’ desires becomes the driving force. In the long-run, this will mean development of high quality products and services at reasonable prices (Carlson 119).

To some extent, Apple TV will also have an impact on education. Continued improvement of the Siri operating system brings a favorable experience to students. It has the ability of replacing reference books. People do not need dictionaries or encyclopedias when they have a system that can provide instant answers (Einav 63).  The aspect seems good since it saves time, but people have to wonder how such an experience could affect our brains. Teachers may also have to take different roles with technologies like Siri around. The operating system is not yet sophisticated at the moment. In future there is a probability of having major advancements. Despite this, Siri has the ability of answering several factual questions related to science, history, math and other school subjects. With such a platform, the way teachers interact with students might change. Students will get most of the basic information from technologies such as Siri. Teachers on the other hand will shift their focus in helping students understand and apply that knowledge (Rayburn 153).

Earlier, there was a look of how Apple TV would help transform technology in the digital media industry. This aspect is two-tailed. Technology can work for or against Apple TV. Looking it from a different perspective, the introductions and renovations made by Apple on their device won’t go unnoticed by the competitors. Everyone is in business to enjoy the profits for as long as possible. This would mean doing everything possible in order to remain viable. Due to this aspect, other companies will be intrigued to invest heavily in research and development. The main objective here is to come up with new innovations that would help to keep Apple TV’s competition at bay. This might result to development of other technologies that are even more sophisticated to what Apple is offering at present. We live in a world whereby “if you can imagine it, you can create it” (Einav 213). Whether apple TV will remain viable depends on whether the company has plans to advance its product beyond what exists currently. Setting pace for competitors without having an alternative plan can be considered as a business suicide.  There are many instances when technology has come back to haunt pioneers of various inventions.


Works Cited

Carlson, Jeff, and Dan Moren. The Connected Apple Family: Discover the Rich Apple Ecosystem             of the Mac, IPhone, IPad, and Apple TV. New York: Peachpit, 2014. Print.

Cunningham, Andrew. “New Apple TV Wants to Be More than Just a Streaming Box.” The         Apple Ecosystem 6.1 (2015): 8. Print.

Einav, Gali. The New World of Transitioned Media Digital Realignment and Industry         Transformation. Aufl. 2015 ed. Cham: Springer International, 2015. Print.

Rayburn, Dan. Streaming and Digital Media Understanding the Business and Technology.             Burlington, MA: Focal, 2014. Print.

Williams, Laureen. “How The New Apple TV Could Actually Be The Future Of Television.”        Think Progress 3.2 (2015): 2. Print.


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