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Apple TV, their last frontier

Apple has been the talk of the town for the last few months, for various reasons, most of them not good. There is a lot of doubt in the air, falling stock, wounded culture, less than inspiring products and an overall slipping mind share, Apple is definitely going through some things.

What things? The iPhone 5 broke records and was better than the offering before it. The iPad 4 has enjoyed steady numbers even though it was launched along side its “was never supposed to be” brother, the iPad mini. Just to be clear, those who keep close tabs on sales numbers by their many different techniques, insist the iPad mini is the best selling iteration of the iPad yet, enough though I’ve yet to see one in the wild here in New York. But that’s neither here nor there, what matters in my opinion is the mind share. Samsung saw an opening and went for blood, the Galaxy is now the market leader and Android and its unstoppable army are now number one, by a lot.

IPhone isn’t the only word consumers know these days. Apple managed to catch an entire industry slipping, and they made them all pay, but now, the entire industry is alive and well! Without the genius of Steve Jobs, I fear Apple is all but out if steam. The incremental nickel and diming tricks aren’t working like they once did. The designs aren’t as stunning and game changing as they once were. The magic just isn’t magic any more. I believe this has very little to do with Apple, and more to do with the industry not only catching up, but surpassing Apple.

So what now? Well, I highly doubt Steve was able to “teach” what made him special to Tim Cook or anyone else at Apple for that matter. What I do believe, is he left a road map. A plan to buy them time. He saw the roughs seas ahead and gave his orders to stall.

The way I see it, Apple’s untouchable demeanor came from their relentless behavior! They had something special, followed by something else special, followed by “one more thing.” I wholeheartedly believe Steve left a map to this treasure.

I don’t think the iPhone 5 is the entire story, I am almost sure there is a killer design with uber cool tech sitting around in the imaginations of the leaders of Apple. And to compliment that iPhone is a new version of Mac OS where MAC OS and iOS truly meet, and then one more piece to the onslaught. A TV!

To really let your imagination loose here means you must understand who Apple is. They are not the pioneers of technology some would have you believe, they are not the inventors of all things tech. They are perfectionists. They are the worlds best clean up crew! The most classy problem solvers we’ve ever seen in technology. Picture the smartphone market in 2001, boy oh boy what a tragedy. Apple stood by and watch as many of technologies biggest giants fumble the market from multiple angles. They took notes, developed solutions and executed with class. And when they did, there was no answer from the would be competition for a very long time. Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, they didn’t invent the touch screen, they didn’t invent the notion of laying in bed with carriers, but they did all of the above correct, coupled with some app and iTunes magic. Apple blind sided an entire industry with an avalanche.

Close your eyes one more time, picture the TV industry. Familiarize yourself with something called “The Smart TV” and all its buffoonery. We live in a new age of technology, where we rely heavily on services for all things media, an age where subscription models are quickly becoming king, all the while, the conglomerates scramble to reverse it all. We are at war with the very people who produce the content, at war to simply enjoy it as we so see fit. In the Smart TV age, every last bit of the mangled pie is available on my TV by the push of a button. But wait, as if enjoying the content like we would like too wasn’t segregated enough, actual navigation to these services adds another layer of frustration to the experience. One would assume, a $1,800 52″ TV would be at the very least as responsive and intelligent as a $200 5″ smartphone, but one would be wrong.

Although I appreciate the ability to access Netflix, Hulu, pictures and videos from my smartphone, Facebook, Twitter and a lot more from my TV, I’d still rather not have the ability, simply because it’s executed so poorly. Menus are hideous, “apps” take forever to load, most “apps” have no right being on a TV and remote platform in the first place, it’s just a mess. It’s everything Apple is NOT. With a keen eye, I anticipate the arrival of Apple with a long taught out plan from the number one genius himself. Steve had to have seen this coming, he had to have bare witness to the horror show that is the TV industry. But what did he think up? What was Apple’s get away plan?

Well, allow me to speculate, coming from Apple, you know the hardware will be stunning! We already know the TV set itself will be something everyone will want on their wall or stand simply because of its breath taking design, even if it isn’t the best in class when it comes to performance. Secondly, I want to imagine Apple is on course to make Smart TVs truly smart, I wouldn’t be surprised if the TVs themselves ran the same ARM architect as the current or even last generation mobile technology. This then opens doors for an entirely new sub division of iTunes, a bevy of apps designed especially for the TV. But how will you interact with these apps? I see Apple coming to market with two simple solutions, something simple yet powerful like the magic mouse, or the magic pad, or even, the magic remote! But aside from the magic remote, you’d have a seamless control solution between your TV and yourself using your iPhone or iPad as a remote as well, something a bit more refined than what is currently offered in AirPlay.

Hold on, I am not done dreaming, keep those eyes closed! And here is the best part, because Apple is who they say they are, we could expect some sort of media unity among all our streaming services using iTunes as the mediator. One search, instant content, no matter who the provider or service! So what do we have? A powerful, responsive, super useful TV with the ability to aggregate all of your media consumption with class and uniformity, all the while pulling it off with beautiful hardware and true interactivity with your current smartphone and tablet. WOW! Remember that avalanche I was talking about? Factor in an all new iPhone design with mind blowing tech, a completely reimaged iPad with full blown Mac OS on it and now you could start to see Apple’s get away, once again!

What makes this possible in my mind is slow and steady pace Apple is currently moving at, I really think this is by design. Coupled with the many TV rumors, as well as a gaping hole in any type of polish in the TV industry. Not to mention, I strongly feel Steve had one more “one more thing!” My only question left, is when will we see the fireworks!