AppleScreen DigestDigital TVThe recently relaunched Apple TV "inherits many of the problems of its predecessor" and will not revolutionise television, a media intelligence consultancy has claimed.
Earlier this month, Apple unveiled a revamped version of Apple TV featuring a slimmed-down design and enhanced streaming capability.
Available at the reduced price of £99, the box can directly stream premium TV shows and movies via iTunes, as well as access content from YouTube, Netflix and other online services.
Screen Digest believes that Apple TV's new emphasis on streaming and its reduced price point fails to hide the fact that the product "inherits many of the problems of its predecessor".
According to a joint analyst comment produced by Screen Digest's Dan Cryan and Tania Loeffler, Apple TV should be better viewed as an "iTunes Store for the television, rather than the iPod (or even iPad) for the TV".
The experts further believe that the revamped Apple TV "may well struggle to attract an audience beyond the Apple faithful", just like its predecessor.
"Some of its streaming features even fall short of the similarly priced Roku, a standalone internet-connect device which offers access to many more streaming services than the new Apple TV, and which failed to capture the imagination of the mass market consumer," said Cryan and Loeffler.
"The cardinal rule being that internet-connectivity and streaming video services is still viewed by consumers as an additional feature of set top devices, rather than a reason to spend money on a specific piece of hardware."
The group said that Apple TV lacks a "significant point of differentiation" when compared to the functionality already being built into TV sets, Blu-ray players and games consoles.
Cryan and Loeffler believe that Apple will only make a splash in the TV industry if it launches an App Store for the television, just as it did so successfully for mobile devices.
However, the relaunched Apple TV's focus on streaming over storage could well put paid to that solution under the current generation of technology.
"The streaming-focused nature of the new Apple TV brings with it a marked reduction in on-board storage which means that local apps may not be viable on the device. In addition the bundled remote with its minimal button lay out is not well suited for apps that require rich and/or rapid interactions (e.g. games)," said Cryan and Loeffler.
"More generally, there are issues that are yet to be resolved revolving around the optimum user interface (UI) for applications (other than games) on the TV set which, with its '10 ft' viewing experience, is likely to require a new paradigm that evolves beyond the PC and the more direct UI of touch-based tablets and portables.
"Apple has a great track record of UI development and Screen Digest would not be surprised if it turns out to be the company that solves these issues in future but this is not the generation to do it."
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