The current Apple TV streaming box was designed to be an add-on to your existing TV, for a time when most TVs on the market were not Smart TVs. In 2018 however, most TVs you see in your local Best Buy or JB HiFi are Smart TVs. This means that Netflix, YouTube and apps, which are key features of the Apple TV, are now integrated in the TV.
This begs the question, for someone who is upgrading their TV and almost certainly is going to buy a Smart TV anyway, what is the point of buying a separate Apple TV box?
The answer – they shouldn’t have to.
The original Apple TV box, released in 2007, was designed to be a way for you to access your iTunes content from your home computer on your TV. Since then, the Apple TV has become an internet media streaming device, and now includes it’s own App Store.
Apple has been investing lots into their tvOS platform recently. Thanks to the ongoing creation of Apple’s own video content, there have been plenty of speculation about them starting their own Netflix-style media streaming service. It was widely reported that Apple was approaching key media companies to make a media distribution deal.
In my opinion, I believe Apple has been working to develop the tvOS platform, including the App Store and video streaming platform, to prepare for the imminent arrival of the Apple Television. At the time of the third-gen Apple TV’s launch, ACEO Tim Cook said that “the future of TV is apps”. To me, this statement is Cook’s commitment to the Television market.
There were pictures of an Apple Television in a testing lab a couple years ago, but since then there has been no news at all regarding their television project. Obviously we don’t have any confirmed specs, but a 45/55/65/75-inch TV with 4K HDR compatibility and tvOS would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of opportunities for integration with more of Apple’s services. For instance a ‘movies’ scene in the Home App would turn the television on, launch Netflix, dim light bulbs and adjust the air-conditioning.
For me personally, who owns a ‘dumb tv’, the existing Apple TV is perfect. But now that people I know are buying 65 inch Smart TVs, I’m starting to get TV envy.