Here’s why Steve Jobs hated market research. Strategy Analytics has released the results of a study asking people about their willingness to buy an Internet-connected HDTV, or iTV, from the Cupertino giant, and they make some pretty silly points.
The results themselves aren’t particularly erroneous, though who can accurately determine their accuracy with no iTV in sight?
The new research from the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices (CHD) advisory service shows that nearly half of all iPhone users surveyed “would be very or somewhat likely to buy an Apple iTV soon after its launch.” “Although the details of a possible Apple smart TV are still unknown, existing Apple customers clearly demonstrate strong interest,” says Jia Wu, director and report author. “Meanwhile, consumers are still sensitive to price, even if Apple does launch another groundbreaking product. The success of an Apple iTV hinges on Apple’s ability to match innovation with appropriate price points.”
Really? What about the iPhone, the iPad, and the MacBook Air? Surely everyone agrees each and every one of those is expensive (by many people’s standards), yet they’re selling like hot cake. Perhaps Strategy Analytics forgot to take into account the Apple cult.
Before the hate-comments come in, that's not to say I agree with people spending a month's worth of hard work on the new iPad simply to look cool.
The market research firm continues: “Apple, traditionally reliant on high device margins, would be challenged to find the right price/demand balance for an iTV. While 35 percent of surveyed US consumers indicate willingness to pay $1000 or more for an Apple-branded TV, only 14 percent would be willing to pay any more than $1600.”
It's likely that Apple is only challenged by the established business model for content distribution. Until the company breaks that model, or comes up with a new one altogether, we shouldn’t expect any iTV. Steve Jobs said it with his own mouth.
As far as the price is concerned, $1,000 is a bargain for any smart-TV experience. What this research shows is that people aren’t willing to spend a fortune on this type of product, either because they can’t afford it, or because they prefer not to spend this much money on the Apple logo.
But in no way does this research show reluctance towards Apple’s rumored set
or Apple's high price points
And there aren’t many people who can afford a $1,600 TV experience any day of the week either. So, yeah, that’s
going to be a challenge. Even for Apple. Perhaps that’s another reason why they’re not delving right into this industry just yet.
The research continues (pay attention investors, you want to bet all your money on this): “Samsung, Sony, LG and other major TV manufacturers are most threatened by the prospect of an Apple iTV launch,” notes Kantideep Thota, analyst. “More than one-quarter of non-Apple TV owners could potentially migrate to an Apple-branded TV in a fairly short period of time.”
Well, it's hard to assess just how "threatened" these companies will be since they'll be the ones to produce the chips and displays for this iTV.
Just like Apple realized it didn't have to beat Microsoft to win, so could these companies benefit from increased component orders from Cupertino.
You want to know who’s really threatened by Apple’s potential iTV? The UK broadcaster with the same name, as well as broadcasters worldwide. Disclaimer
This is a Personal Thoughts piece reflecting the author’s “personal” opinion on matters relating to Apple, its products, etc. This article should not be taken as the official stance of Softpedia on Apple-related matters.