Apple TV

by Keefe Tang

Listening to John Siracusa on the March 16 episode of Hypercritical this week has got me thinking once again about how Steve Jobs posthumously set off a round of speculation about that product Apple calls a hobby, the Apple TV, after telling biographer Walter Isaacson: “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

This suddenly became obvious to me because Apple have shown they are a company of pattern and Steve Jobs’ answer to cracking Apple TV might have been revealed on Apple’s January Education Event.

Apple’s education announcements is more important than what the public has given them credit. Apple is giving everyone—especially the underdog—a fairer chance to compete, exactly how Apple have opened up an entire ecosystem for mobile applications.

Imagine Apple developing a tool for any content creator to appeal to a very large user base. A tool like the iOS SDK & iBooks Author that allows people to use minimal effort to design and create a wrapper that presents their ideas or contents. And a platform like the App Store & iBookstore for anyone in the Apple ecosystem to consume those contents.

For content creators this would mean anyone, with a brilliant idea for a show, can start creating them and with virtually no experience in producing a show can start putting their show or maybe a pilot episode in front of every consumers in the Apple ecosystem in a very short time.

For those shows, it would mean they have a fairer chance to compete with big productions like “Game of Thrones”.

For consumers in the Apple ecosystem, this would mean the ability to subscribe or purchase the shows and only the shows that interests them. No more frustrating process to purchasing shows.

That would present an incredibly huge opportunity for content creators as the App Store presented for indie developers and as the iBookstore are creating for individual writers.

The App Store has been so successful—I suspect will be as well for the iBookstore—is because Apple have created a platform that allows content creators and developers to focus on their ideas. Everything else becomes secondary when Apple provided the tool, the infrastructure to host and present your idea to Apple’s large userbase.

Of course we can expect large networks to protest just like how the music industry have protested against Apple’s strategy to split and sell individual songs instead of one album. However I believe if Apple wants to go ahead with what they believe is the best strategy, they are certainly more persuasive now than in 2003.