Apple TV: If You See Something, Say Something
It's tough being one of the lone voices that acknowledges Steve Jobs is dead, but refuses to render him and the culture he built at Apple forgotten. Tough job right now, but somebody's gotta do it.
Of course, Apple management appears uninterested.
That said, I pride myself on looking at the story from multiple angles. As down as I am on how Tim Cook and his fellow executives have handled things lately, there could be light at the end of the tunnel. After watching Cook and his crew lash out at Jobs at WWDC, tunnel light is a relative long shot, but, while these guys might be stupid, they're not dumb. Neither am I.
And neither is a guy named John Martellaro at the Mac Observer. Late last week, he published a must-read article -- What Apple is 'Interested in' with the HDTV Viewing Experience.
Talk about nailing it. While Apple might not even be thinking along the lines Martellaro suggests, a chance exists. Not holding my breath, but Tim Cook did make those comments a while ago about feeling like he was stepping back in time while in his living room with the television on. And it didn't sound like he meant there's 57 channels and nothing on. I think he meant the hardware blows.
That gives me hope that, among all of the horrible decisions he has made, Cook can salvage the ineptitude by, ultimately, staying true to what has made Apple great.
Martellaro opens his piece by detailing the current state of Apple's reported living room aspirations:
There was a time when many observers thought about Apple changing the way consumers watch content on their HDTV. Over time, it's become clear that the content holders have an iron grip on content, and so the new question may be: what can we do with that big display that we haven't been doing? That's something Apple is uniquely suited to change.
Martellaro's introductory paragraph displays an understanding of Apple rarely seen. He smartly shies away from this nonsense about content, software and services, focusing on Apple's bread and butter -- beautifully-designed, easy-to-use, groundbreaking hardware:
Perhaps one reason the rumored Apple HDTV project hasn't happened yet is because Apple has given up on the notion of how we pay for and watch content, and is instead exploring avenues that they have control over. As Tim Cook has said, Apple remains keenly "interested in" TV, but that may not mean content offerings so much as it means what Apple can do with the hardware.
Martellaro goes on to "connect the dots" by linking to various Apple and Apple-related articles before coming back to his spot-on observation:
... maybe Apple is conceeding (sic) to the content holders in order to then move on with its own agenda that it can control.
There's not much to add, other than I wish more people took this angle. I'd love more company. But, more importantly, I hope Apple is thinking along the same lines. So, keep the heat on Cook -- somebody has to -- but keep the thought in the back of your mind that he might be quietly doing the right thing with Apple TV, even if it doesn't seem like it.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.