UPDATE: Engadget’s Ryan Block covers Steve Jobs’ announcement at the D Conference. Jobs says that Apple TV is “a hobby.” But says lots of other things too.
How did Fortune disparage it? By calling it “Zune like.” Ouch!
Personally Fortune is right, but doesn’t quite expose the elephant standing in the middle of the room.
The elephant in the room? Simple: Apple could have really taken over the HDTV world and held it for decades. Instead it has left the door open to its competitors.
Microsoft loves competitors like Apple who leave doors open.
What am I talking about?
Do we have a wide-screen iPod yet? One that matches the form factor of my 60-inch HDTV? No. Microsoft executives say that a wide-screen, 16:9 form factor, Zune is on the way this fall.
Do we have a 16:9 1080-full-res MacBookPro out yet? No. Dell has one. So does Acer. Just look for an WUXGA screen. But Apple hasn’t shipped one of those yet in a laptop.
Do we have HDTV iTunes yet? No. But ABC.com is giving us HDTV Lost. Stage6.divx.com has tons of close-to-HDTV content. Joost is going to bring us close-to-HDTV content. Where’s Apple?
Do we have an entertainment system that joins our computers and our big screens? Microsoft has Media Center and Xbox. Plus Xbox Live now joins gamers on PCs with those on Xbox. Why hasn’t Apple made a deal with Sony yet to bring PlayStation 3 to MacBookPros?
But, actually, the AppleTV +is+ going in the right direction. Apple should take over the HDTV market. The fact that it’s not is emboldening its competitors. It’s just that AppleTV’s reliance on HDTV, without having the other parts of the ecosystem in place, is exposing Apple’s weakness in dealing with HDTV.
That said, I love my AppleTV. If you actually get some high resolution stuff into iTunes it works really well. I watch tons of stuff on my AppleTV. It’s just that folks who have a big HDTV screen expect a lot more than Apple’s delivering currently.