It’s All In How You Look At It

Speculating about the next Apple product is a cottage industry that’s generally useful for nothing more than driving clicks and feeding the trolls. But today, Ben Kunz at BusinessWeek had a thoughtful piece on the much rumoured television from Apple. He doesn’t have any supply chain evidence, but this is the first analysis I’ve seen that suggests that makes any sense. Why would Apple get in the crowded, low margin, slow turnover, big TV game? Kunz suggests that it is a different game that they’d get into.

Apple will sell small screens in a unique format, likely with a pure glass bezel or, if the technology permits, an entirely transparent screen—and seek to fill your entire home with secondary television/video devices…We want more screens, and we want to do other stuff while watching, so why wouldn’t Apple sell pretty little panels to spread throughout our homes?

One thing Apple has done well is see how people are interacting with their information and media, and then creating devices that support those trends. They hit ease of use (iPod), ubiquitous computing (iPhone), and convergence (iPad) right on. People want their visual media everywhere these days. The cable providers attack the problem with the inelegant solution of DVRs that play in multiple rooms. But you still need the TV. And the wires. And the subscription.

I know a lot of people who, instead, just take their iPad from room to room. For that set, a small, connected, wireless tv device is a perfect solution to a problem that I never knew I had. When you put it that way, I could see them selling a lot of these. And a lot of content following.

That is, if Kunz is right…

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