Steve Jobs is doing that all over again. He’s releasing a new cool product without unleashing its full potential, in a proven strategy of adding obviously missing features to a product with a follow up update — if the product sells well enough.
He did it with the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad (no apps on iPhone, no speaker on the iPod, no front facing camera on the iPad, etc) and he’s doing it again with the Apple TV.
At Surgeworks, we were already daydreaming about porting our apps like Divine Office, Prayer HD and our Letter Blocks game to the big screen, creating a whole new living room experience for the whole family…
Apple TV has been a “hobby” — in Steve Jobs words — for a very long time for Apple. The new Apple TV at a glance is going to be nothing more then the old one, and a lot less. With less storage and in my understanding less horsepower then its predecessor, it forces the user to rent videos and streams contents from other devices and computers, it really is not as far from any other device in its class as I’d like it to be. And of corse, it has no Apps.
Is it “better” then Google TV? A post on DigitalTrends summarizes the answer very well:
“Even without full specs or hands on experience with Google TV, it’s obviously entering the market as the better-equipped contender. But the details lie in execution. Devious as Apple’s storefront approach sounds, Apple has proven to make this closed shopping experience feel cozy and convenient in the past, and we wouldn’t surprised to see the ease of use combined with a $99 price point sell the more capable Google TV under the table. Google’s ambitious approach to interconnectivity with cable boxes and other hardware could also cause setup nightmares that negate all of its potential capabilities. After all – a home theater PC can already do pretty much everything Google TV will – but how many people do you know with computers under their TV sets?”
If you ask me, Apple TV is the foundation for something bigger, better and smarter then what we see now, and they really wanted to introduce this revamped product before the Google TV comes to the market this fall. I expect the full potential of this product to be unleashed sometime next year… will it be enough?