Apple Inc. is set to unveil its new products today. CEO Tim Cook will give a keynote address that will increase investor confidence and upgrade customer loyalty as it outlines Apple’s visionary plan for the future. The Internet is already awash with leaks and rumors of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus and it is doubtful that the firm will be able surprise with “One More Thing”. Apple is also set to unveil a revamped Apple TV, but the success of the set-top box is hinged on a robust content plan.
David Rolfe, Chief Investment Officer at Wedgewood Partners notes that the iPhones will always be iPhones irrespective of the news specs. He says, “Apple usually knocks new iPhones out of the park—they are very polished in revealing new features.” The key to Apple maintaining its awe in the tech space lies in other products such as TV and Apple Car. He says, “The other products—that’s going to give us a road map of where Apple thinks their company is going.”
Apple TV is already behind the competition
The TV hardware was once the top dog in the streaming space after its first launch in 2007. It was reported that the firm sold 25 million units between 2007 and early 2015. In 2013, the firm made more than $1B in set-top box device sales and media viewed on the device. However, the firm’s TV service now lags Google, Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV. Michael Wolf an Insight Analyst with NextMarket notes “Apple TV has historically seemed an afterthought for Apple… It needs to focus on pushing this box.”
About two weeks ago, news broke that Apple was already in talks with Hollywood execs with a view to finding a producer for its original video contents. In fact, it appears that Apple is keen to make a quick hire so that it can get the ball rolling with its original content.
Nothing concrete has been heard on that romance with Hollywood. Apple needs to confirm that it has gotten a Hollywood producer if its wants to be taken seriously in the TV streaming space.
Apple needs to do more than stream from its TV
When the new Apple TV is unveiled today, it will sport a fancier body, a touch-enabled remote, casual gaming capability, and more apps. However, Apple lacks a robust content network (in TV deals and original programming) that could give it and edge over the competition.
Parks Associates research director, Barbara Kraus notes that it is pricey at a rumored price of $149 and Apple won’t win buyers over if all its TV does is stream. She says, “If I just want to stream, I can do that with a $35 stick.”
Apple has a lot to do to make the Apple TV appeal to buyers. That work won’t be seen on Wednesday afternoon when Mr. Cook and his team show off what they’ve come up with. We’ll have to wait for months, if not years, to see if Apple is really serious about making a space in the living room.