Do you think speculation about an Apple
TV introduction will curb sales or spur interest in
smart TVs for the industry this year?
Rob Eby, D&H Distributing:
Apple will be a
major force in TV if they enter the category. We’re
not yet sure whether [Apple TV] will be a gamechanger,
but they will at least be a disruptive force.
I do not think it will curb sales [of other brands] at
this point. There are still a lot of older sets out there
that need replacement. But when and if Apple does
launch in the TV arena, they will make an industrywide
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics/Jack of
If Apple TV does hit the market, it will
put pressure on the higher-end TV manufacturers,
as price points have been rumored to be around
the $2,000 plus range for a 40-inch to 42-inch TV.
The average 46-inch and up TV is now in the sub-
$1,000 range, meaning that the Apple TV might be
priced outside of the average consumer’s budget
for that size.
Of course this is all speculation at this point
since no one knows what the price will be. Other
manufacturers besides Apple will have gesture and
speech features, as we are already seeing advertising
in the market for this type of product.
Warren Chaiken, Almo:
Anytime a new technology
is released it piques consumer interest in the
overall category. We embrace any new technology
because it stimulates the consumers desire to learn
about it, driving retail traffic and giving retailers the
opportunity to educate and sell.
Stephen Bodnarchuk, M. Rothman & Co.:
have generally seen a robust demand and universal
acceptance of Internet or Internet-capable TVs over
all. I think the “talk” of Apple TV will only continue to
enhance the appeal and generate additional excitement
for smart TVs. Whether it’s a full computer/TV
convergence or simple Internet streaming content
via the TV, end users definitely view the “smart” TV
as a demand feature, and at this point they are also
willing to pay a premium for it.
As with any technology a lot of its success is in
the marketing and ease of use.
Michael Flink, ADI Americas:
As we saw it
happen across the tablet market, the introduction
of a well-designed, well-featured Apple TV product
line will drive growth across the entire category.
Consumers will be drawn in as they see value in the
new technology and have less focus on price and
specs. We welcome the entry of Apple products
into this category.
Jerry Satoren, DSI Systems:
I don’t believe the
speculation about Apple TV will really do much to
either curb or spur sales of smart TVs. With the exception
of a small percentage of video enthusiasts
that follow the industry, most consumers are not really
aware of what we know as industry insiders. All
they know is that they are ready to buy a TV and
look for the best solution and value to fill the need
With that said, I think the success of smart TV
sales this year will be driven by manufacturers that
provide platforms that are easy to use and deliver
on a truly enhanced experience in the consumer’s
home. Retailers that can present these solutions
and show consumers how a connected TV can enhance
the TV viewing experience, especially with
multi-device interoperability, will do well.
Bill Stewart, Petra Industries:
anxious to see what new functionality Apple TV will
bring. That said, just like in the smartphone market,
there are some great innovators beyond just Apple.
I think smart-TV manufacturers will continue to find
ways to integrate with other pieces of hardware,
such as DVRs, Android devices, wireless and Bluetooth
devices, and they should remain successful
regardless of what Apple TV brings.