Skip to main content

TV set manufacturers stand by as Apple threatens to take their core business

As Apple took millions of global pre-orders for its new super high-definition iPad this week, sales of traditional home television sets remained stale. It was if the traditional notion of a home television sets was at a tipping point.

However, that’s not the case at all. More people than ever watch television. It’s just that TV viewing has radically changed—expanding beyond the living room to a myriad of portable devices.

Simultaneously with the iPad, Apple introduced a new 1080p Apple TV set-top box. That’s just a placeholder until Apple introduces a full-blown home television set, presumably later this year. When that happens, computing will have expanded to the living room as well in a very elegant way.

In “The New York Times,” writer Nick Bilton noted it’s as it the entire traditional home television experience is broken. He asked: “So why is it that Samsung, Sony, LG and other TV manufacturers seem like they’ve given up making the next best thing since sliced bread and are just making the bread slices thinner?”

In response, James L. McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, said the TV set manufacturers companies are trying to figure out the future. “They just don’t have the ability to make these things work,” he said. They know Apple is going to introduce a television set, but “they are not just competing with hardware, they have to think about content too, and that is not something TV makers have ever had to do before.”

The “Times” noted that Apple has an advantage with its thousands of independent developers that make apps for the iPhone and iPad. Those developers, it said, will make all the difference in the race to re-define television.

“The winner in the living room,” the “Times” wrote, “won’t be decided by the size of the screen, or how thin it is hanging on the wall. Just like the smartphones and tablets that exist today, those ‘features’ will quickly become standard. Instead, it will come down to apps and the software that ties them to the hardware. And as we have seen with the iPhone and iPad, Apple knows how to rattle sleepy industries.”