Apple & Google Battle for ‘The Master Screen’

And now for the battle of the living room . . . blah, blah, blah.

However, the report from Engadget today that Apple TV 2.0 (or 2.5) would be more connected to the iPhoneOS, run apps, have new features/content and, most importantly, be super cheap ($99) is pretty interesting:

A tip we’ve received — which has been confirmed by a source very close to Apple — details the outlook for the next version of the Apple TV, and it’s a doozy. According to our sources, this project has been in the works long before Google announced its TV solution, and it ties much more closely into Apple’s mobile offerings.

The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage — 16GB to be exact — though it will be capable of full 1080p HD (!). The device is said to be quite small with a scarce amount of ports (only the power socket and video out), and has been described to some as “an iPhone without a screen.” Are you ready for the real shocker? According to our sources, the price-point for the device will be $99. One more time — a hundred bucks.

It’s the price point that’s the most compelling part of this.

In a long post at SEL I tried to second guess and predict what the price of the Google TV Logitech box would be. I came in at under $300 (probably $200 – $250). If in fact Engadget is correct and we see a $99 Apple TV box it’s going to force a corresponding price reduction or adjustment from Logitech and/or any other Google TV hardware partners (though not Sony). It’s very much like the smartphone market: you can’t hope to sell a subsidized smartphone in the US for more than $199 these days.

I was at a UBS conference earlier this week where a speaker argued that TV was now irrelevant because of the cloud and all the other screens we use for content. I quite disagree.

The living room (or family room) TV is arguably the “master screen.” And it’s going to morph into a multipurpose media center that includes Internet access, phone/video chat, social media, transactions, local search, apps, games and so on.

Things like yellow pages search on AT&T’s U-Verse or the “Visual 411″ widget for Verizon FIOS TV are going to seem very primitive by comparison to what’s coming.

Indeed, it’s time to prepare for the coming of “Internet TV” in earnest.

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2 Responses to “Apple & Google Battle for ‘The Master Screen’”

  1. Mike Halleen Says:

    Don’t forget Apple and Google are entering a battle that’s already in progress. I was amused how much of the Google TV talk was about what it means for Apple TV, but outside of tech circles no one has been talking about Apple TV for a long time. There’s a lot of buzz here, but the connected TV segment is already established and the leaders are Yahoo, Adobe, Roku, Vudu and (one could argue) Microsoft through both Xbox and the media server.

    Apple certainly has the potential to enter the fight, but don’t assume they will win or that Google is the only other player.

    More…

    http://thehollywoodgeek.com/2010/05/28/will-google-tv-destroy-tv/

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yep. Fully aware of the other efforts. However it’s not yet a “mainstream” phenomenon and None of the other folks really have the credibility or brand awareness to make it so.

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