An alternative view on Apple and TVs

Lots of rumours this week about an upcoming Apple TV reintroduction.

The partnering with major cable players makes sense to me, that is just the iPhone playbook all over again — pick off one carrier, create a great experience with them, help them gain share, and then the rest of the providers will crack. I’d think that Apple would go after the satellite guys first as a solution with them could be marketed and sold nationally, tho of course the internet side of a satellite solution kind of blows. But whatever, Apple will certainly try to work the iPhone playbook again.

On the device side, maybe Apple will roll out a super-TV with iOS embedded in it, but I kind of wonder about this. Apple is already a central part of my TV experience — I sit on the couch with my iPad and use it to fill voids or augment what I am seeing. And the iPad is the best remote control for a Tivo or Comcast box — just install the respective apps, way easier to navigate the guide. So I kind of wonder why Apple just doesn’t hollow out the TV and STB — let them stay as dumb tuners and a display surface, but all the app smarts migrate to the iPad and the cloud. This is basically what has happened to in-car electronics — nav systems and fancy cd players have been replaced by the phone. I’m not convinced jamming iOS and apps into the TV or STB makes for a better experience — my new TVs have all kinds of internet and streaming junk jammed into them and I never use.

I wonder if the upcoming iPad 3.0 will have more features for augmenting TV viewing. Seems like it should.