Practical Technology

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Why Apple TV will win, and win big


In the last couple of months, analysts and columnists have been piling on Apple TV. They’ve been calling it a failure. Some have even compared it with Vista’s mediocre acceptance.

The horror! The horror!

I think the Apple TV naysayers are wrong.. Was it a rip-roaring success like the iPhone? Nope. Did it not sell as well as many expected? Yep. Doesn’t that mean it’s a flop? Not at all.

Even with relatively low-sales, there are still more Apple TVs out there than any other media extender. What’s far more important, and frankly I hadn’t realized it until Daniel Eran Dilger of Roughly Drafted pointed it out in his stories, Apple TV Digital Disruption at Work and Should Apple TV Copy TiVo and Media Center? is that Apple iTunes owns the TV episode market with over 99% of the legal downloads and has the lion’s share of movie downloads with 42%.

Yes, most of those sales are going to video iPods and iPhones, but as Dilger points out, iTunes video content is the razor that can be used in iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV razor holders. With an iTunes compatible video, you can watch the same movie or TV show episode, on the road, in front of your PC, or on your TV.

There’s nothing else like it. DVRs, Microsoft-based media-center computers, other media extenders, and downloadable movie services like Vudu and CinemaNow .

What iTunes, with its multi-platforms, offers is freedom of video choice at an affordable price. The online video market, while no longer in its infancy, is still a child. From where I sit, though, Apple TV, with iTunes backing it, is still by far the most likely to grow up into the dominant force of this new market.

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