Elgan: How Apple will kill cable TV
Apple is going to do to your cable TV box what it did to the audio CD: Make it go away
Here it is: Apple's mission is to replace old-and-busted content-consumption products and services with new-hotness Apple solutions.
The company is like a shark in the water, seeking out weak and wounded content-delivery systems.
The reason Apple focuses on the content experience is because there's just so much money in it. Apple can make money on hardware, on software, on cloud services, on providing content, on allowing others to provide content and on advertising. The content focus is why, for example, the profits Apple receives from the iPhone are twice as high as those of all other phone makers.
It started with music. Apple saw that music fans were being abused by the industry, forced to buy $13 CDs just to get the one song they wanted. The devices required to play those CDs were huge, and the interfaces were clunky.
Apple set out to replace that lousy content experience, and it did so with iPods and iTunes.
Next, it noticed that people started consuming a lot of content on mobile phones. But the experience was terrible. Phones were ugly and clunky. Mobile interfaces were awkward and counterintuitive. The carriers were gouging users and offering lousy content. So Apple fixed the horrible content consumption problem on mobile phones with the iPhone and the App Store.
Then, Apple noticed that people like to consume content like Internet videos, websites and ebooks while they're sitting around the house, away from their desktop PCs. But they were doing it with laptops and netbooks, awkwardly balancing them on their laps. So Apple came out with the killer iPad tablet to solve the around-the-house content-consumption problem.
As Apple looks around for other bad content experiences to replace, the elephant in the living room is television.
For the past few years, Apple's "hobby" has been solving the TV and home video content consumption problem. Now, it looks like Apple may turn pro.
How Apple will change your channel
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that "people familiar with the matter" say Apple is working on "new technology to deliver video to televisions" and may "launch a subscription TV service."
The article says that former Apple CEO and current Chairman Steve Jobs "often criticizes, in public and in private, the experience of watching TV as clumsy and bad for consumers" and says that the "existing system, where consumers get content from different cable and satellite providers that use different technologies, makes it difficult to innovate."
Translation: "We are going to kill cable TV."
This news makes perfect sense in the context of recent announcements, reports, rumors and speculation about Apple's other plans.
Apple already has licensing deals to sell individual TV shows or entire series in the form of a "Season Pass" on iTunes. The problem is that those season passes are way too expensive. Hot new cable shows like Breaking Bad run about $35 per season, which is somewhat reasonable. But even crappy old reruns like MacGyver and the original Hawaii Five-O cost $20 for a season pass. Selection is poor, but the iTunes and Apple TV experience is great.
- Hands on: Apple's Mac Pro is the fastest Mac ever
- Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53M stock award
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks
- Apple patches critical 'gotofail' bug with Mavericks update
- Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
- Apple takes top spot in brand value computation
- Apple gets a patent for health-monitoring ear buds
- Apple shifts to hardware-first TV strategy with revamped set-top box
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts