I’m really trying to think about this ipanel project because I think that unless apple really comes up with something that really kicks ass they will have a hard time maintaining the earnings growth that they currently have.
Currently, Apple seems to make the majority of its money off of the iphone. I just bought an android samsung for 200 dollars that does everything the iphone does and some things even better. While for yuppies and fanboys they are willing to pay a 500 dollar premium (especially if it gets paid by the cell service providers) I really wonder if this is sustainable in the long run. I think this next earnings will show that providers don’t want to pay it anymore.
Apple needs a new next big thing to keep people coming back and to keep the brand fresh. There is nothing that I can imagine they can possibly do with the iphone or the ipad with today’s technology that I think will make a whole hell of a difference. Apple has no choice but to branch out into other stuff.
I’ve been long apple pretty much since I was in highschool. I am currently short it, but looking to get back in after a correction which I think might happen after April 24 earnings (or possibly even yesterday depending on how you look at it).
In order for me to really believe this is a trillion dollar company the ipanel is gonna have to do a lot more than just be a tv with a sick display and connectivty to movies and games.
My opinion. The TV should basically be controlled by your phone or your ipad and yes, maybe some sort of norminal remote if need be. The TV though will not be a touch screen. If it is I’m shorting.
However, I think the TV will also and MORE IMPORTANTLY be controlled by something like siri. Why? Because I think you’ll be able to tell it do things around your house for you. Starting with the basic stuff that you can already imagine:
Siri, “Turn on CNN.” This is easier than finding or remembering which channel CNN is on especially when you have 400 channels. Easy for Siri to look up. Imagine going into a hotel room in a new city and being able to say, “Siri, find me skinimax or the PGA championship.” Would be handy.
Siri, “Let’s watch a the latest episode of ‘Entourage.’” This is easier than having to go through your on-demand cable and finding it. Might be tricky for apple to work this out with the cable providers, but certainly possible.
Siri, “Are there any good baseball games on,” This is easier than having to look it up yourself. Siri looks it up for you and comes up with recommendations based on your location. Easy.
Siri, “Record every episode of Gossip Girl between now and eternity and save it for later.”
The TV will have some sort of game functionality. Probably similar to the ipad which means you can have some decent games on it. I’m not saying it will compete with xbox. Don’t think it needs to.
Siri, Let’s play “Assasin Creed,” or “Angry Birds” and there you are. This is pretty much a given.
I also think that there is room for something a little more sci-fi in this. For ages we’ve been waiting for the automated computerized home. I think we are actually at the point where that could be done relatively easily and cheaply with the right technology and army full of smart ass engineers working on it.
“Siri, make me some toast.” Well, it probably won’t do that. But it probably could do other things like, “Siri, turn on the surround sound in the bedroom.” Siri, “Turn the Thermostat to 72 degrees.” “Siri, I’m tired, turn off the lights.”
It’s not such a leap to me that Apple couldn’t come up with something like this. The past 15 years of their product history has been around centralizing and integrating appliances and electronic devices into one system that you use. Rememeber how we used to have separate webcams, separate telephones, separate monitors, separate mice (we use touch screen now or just our voice), separate car stereos with cd players. Now we all do it with our iphone or our ipad.
I think if Apple did start to move in this direction people would buy it. I know I would. Because Apple has the high end consumers, the people who make appliances will no doubt cooperate with Apple the way Car Makers have using the iphone as a stereo, the same way printers now have wifi and bluetooth.
I think it is very feasible. It is relatively easy and cheap to connect just about anything to wifi these days. But how do you monetize it?
Simple, you make them buy your overpriced TV. Just like ipad can make telephones but doesn’t, could have siri, but does, apple will make you buy the ipanel just to get this service. Would you pay 2000 dollars for a TV? Probably not. But would you pay 2k for a TV if it did some of the stuff I’ve mentioned above? Yep. My guess is that the iPanel will be the brain of this household system. It will be a TV, a Multimedia Center, a Game Console, Web-browser, etc. But it will also control your whole house for you, just like those really sweet Asian hotel rooms with all the buttons that do everything. The benefit is there will be no buttons and no wires. Just voice commands and wireless signals. Wouldn’t it be nice just to walk into your hotel room and say, “Put on a porn, and turn off the lights?”
I’ve been waiting for apple to head more in this direction for years. They have actually been slower to do it than I imagined. But I think working with designers like Phillip Stark (even though he is now claiming it is a yacht) is evidence of where they are going. It might be awhile before our ipanel notices that we are running low on milk and orders some on amazon automatically, but I think that could be the future of apple post a shitty little phone.
A thought on a potential supplier:
- Im having a look at Sharp. I don’t own anything Japanese. Never have. I think thy are most likely going to provide the display technology for the new Macbooks and the rumored iPanel. Anyone have any thoughts on how much they could benefit from having Apple as a customer? The CFA would tell us that Sharp would get the majority of the benefit of the new technology’s profit. I’m doubtful, but wondering.