Jim Darlrymple knows his stuff, and his take on Apple and the TV market is very interesting. In an article published on The Loop, Dalrymple said that Apple would only enter the TV market to solve a problem and have a significant impact.
More interestingly, he said that it wasn’t so much about the hardware, it was the intangible innovation that would be special.
The impact of Apple entering the television market will not be whether they release a physical television or a box — those are only the vehiclesthat will deliver the innovation that Apple will bring to the industry. [...]
There is no doubt that Apple is interested in the television market. While it is a hobby, they have kept it around for quite a while. That says to me that they see something in the future, we just don’t know what that something is. [...]
Apple has transformed itself into a problem solving company. They did it with the iPhone, iPod and iPad and I think that’s what they will do when they enter the television market in a serious way.
While I agree that Apple would want to make an impact if it was to go into the TV market, I completely disagree that it is a problem solving company. It is an innovative company, and there’s a difference.
The iPhone, iPad and iPod were not really thought up as problem solving devices, because that’s wasn’t Steve Jobs’s thought process. It was about finding a different way of doing things, and creating a need for a product.
And that last one is key. People didn’t know they wanted a tablet before the iPad. People didn’t know they wanted a touchscreen phone before the iPhone, and people didn’t know they wanted a clickwheel or a modern MP3 player before the iPod.
That, for me today, is the fundamental problem at Apple. Of course it will be able to bring out problem solving products – almost anyone can do that. What it won’t be able to do without somebody like Jobs in control is create a need. There are people out there who can that, but, at least at the moment, not at Apple.