Pingpong debate as Apple's TV plans are weighed up

Posted on by Mike Evans

Last week I commented on the rumours that Apple could enter the domestic television market and the debate continues to rage in the blogosphere. First Marco Arment, he of Instapaper fame, weighed in with his logical view that the domestic tv market is too fragmented and low-margin to warrant Cupertino’s attention:

A bigger problem is that Apple prefers to offer fully integrated products, but a modern TV is just one component in a mess of electronics and service providers, most of which suck. Apple doesn’t want their beautiful, it-just-works TV to need to interact with Onkyo’s 7.1 HDMI-switching receiver, Sony’s 3D Blu-ray player, Microsoft’s game system, Comcast’s awful Scientific Atlanta HD DVR, Canon’s newest camcorder, the photos on your point-and-shoot’s SDHC card, and your Logitech universal remote. (The need for TVs to have a more complex remote than the Apple TV might be fatal alone.)

Quick as a flash, M.G.Siegler responded:

All of the reasons Marco Arment lists as to why Apple won’t build an actual television are good ones. But they’re also all good reasons why the market badly needs to be disrupted — and is ripe for it. The argument that televisions are “an extremely competitive, commoditized market with very slim margins and most purchasing decisions going to whoever has the most features” sounds exactly like the PC market 15 years ago. Remember, Apple was going to fail at computers because price is all that matters. A decade later, Apple was going to fail at phones because price is all that matters.

More commentators have joined the fray. Judging by the interest and the conflicting opinions, we can probably conclude that there IS a television market out there for Apple.

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