What if Apple's iTV wasn't a television at all?

By on May 25, 2012, 11:00 AM

We’ve all heard the rumblings of an Apple television set and what it may or may not include but a new take on the iTV suggests it might not be a television at all. Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey believes that Apple should release a device he has dubbed the iHub, something he has been discussing with clients for over a year.

McQuivey feels that Apple has all of the right ingredients to successfully market and sell a companion to the television. The iHub would be a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture and voice control that could be hung on the wall wherever a family congregates, like in the living room or dining room.

The device is described as the center point for an Apple-powered home and could eventually replace traditional televisions. According to McQuivey, Apple’s base of super-engaged customers and hungry developers combined with their ability to enlighten people with regards to post-PC form factors and a solid track record for building simple and elegant products could be the perfect recipe for success.

It’s a novel ideal but unlike anything we have heard thus far. As he points out in his blog post, the television business is difficult to break into as monopolists aren’t likely to give Apple full reign over their content. Simply providing a new display to watch content on wouldn’t be anything groundbreaking for the company or consumers and given all the hype around a device that hasn’t even been announced yet, it seems rather unlikely that Cupertino would bring something to the market that wasn’t truly innovative.




User Comments: 11

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

This severely limits the audience for the product. I have a couple TVs in my house, but I have no room for a 32" iHub nor do I have a family. This is merely the analysts idea anyway, he has no evidence to back it up.

Personally, (and I have no evidence to back it up either) I still think it's going to be a TV running iOS with an integrated Apple TV, plus some type of iTunes TV streaming option. If you look in iTunes today, there are a TON of popular shows that you can purchase season passes for already and watch the same day they air. They recently bumped the content up from 720p to 1080p too ... hrmmm.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

so basically instead of releasing a TV, they're going to release a touchscreen monitor with a built in computer so basically......Apple TV is going to be a HTPC.

Game changer indeed...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just what every home needs... A huge monitor with a fingerprint-attracting touchscreen feature that nobody will want to use (cause, you know, that would mean getting off your couch).

I'm thinking this analyst's theory needs to be reworked. Like them or hate them, Apple tends to find trends and niches to exploit, then creates a polished and targeted product that busts that market wide open - or creates a new one around a product that nobody realized they wanted. I can't see them wasting their time and reputation on a glorified touchscreen monitor. An actual TV with many features and a touchscreen component maybe, but they are not the type to try to slink in with some half-assed product to try to wedge themselves into a market. They'll hit the market hard with a full-on product, and dare the TV "monopolists" to try to keep them down.

Guest said:

This is risky for Apple and we (the consumers) may end up getting the worst of it. Imagine that this device (or some other) generates the same hype and adoption rate of other Apple products and they sell millions and millions of them. Doubling or tripling the amount people already streaming content in a short period of time. This would cripple the already saturated internet infrastructure. Everyone's bandwidth drops. And cable companies will not be in any hurry to update their infrastructure to help Apple (or anyone else). They will simply prioritize their streaming content (looking at you Comcast).

I really think we are coming to a crossroads here. Unless content providers and infrastructure providers are decoupled we will always have this problem. Or better yet, we need better technologies and companies that will give us that same bandwidth without the dependency of leasing infrastructure form existing companies (maybe satellite?). But it will need to be at a comparable price and they will not offer content at all. They simply provide the "connection" and have no vested interest in what or how we chose to stream, surf or download. I know there are "pockets" of solutions like this out there but like so many others, in my area, I am stuck with one provider (Comcast) and I have to pay for business class internet to not worry about caps.

MilwaukeeMike said:

<p>so basically instead of releasing a TV, they're going to release a touchscreen monitor with a built in computer so basically......Apple TV is going to be a HTPC.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Game changer indeed...</p>

Yeah, but it'll have Siri. So, like, it'll be way cooler.

Think of all the possibilities for a voice controlled TV.... Siblings yelling back and forth at the TV to change the channel and delete each other's shows.... it'll be great.

Guest said:

Yep apple is a gresious competitor they let you try first and fail. "HTPC" and then they jump in and save the day. I can do anything better than you. Yes I can! Go Apple.

Guest said:

It is not going to be a TV. It will enable families to talk with their loved ones from beyond the grave. It will be magical. You will be able to ask Steve Jobsy questions from beyond. It will be awesome. Tv without the TV.

Guest said:

What about a tv screen without tv a screen ?

Guest said:

It will be another pile of crap designed to punch money out of ******.

We need competitions for sure so I am glad we have some big players but I am sick of people drooling over blocks of aluminium.

Can we just have our content please. I don't care what colour the box is or where it is. I don't care who makes it as long as it makes sense and isn't riddled with adverts.

We've all got smart phones now and we are all paying a lot more to large companies. I have yet to see the benefit. If people like Apple start to take over TV we'll be well on the road to becoming oxygen thieves.

The threat isn't Apple so much but all the gready Mobile ISPs.

fteumer said:

You have misunderstood what this really is. It's not a TV. It's a HUB. It's what a family walks into the family room and pulls up the calendar on to see what everyone in the household is doing for the day. They can also track things like calories burned, food eaten, games played and all other things, similar to what the Wii has become useful for in Japan. I truly believe something like this is the future of TV. Society is quickly moving to a Post-PC, Post-TV era, and we're going to need crossovers like this.

Doctor John Doctor John said:

Sound rather like a communal smartphone?!

What a bonus to humanity!

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