There is clearly a viable market for streaming media players like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. However, the bigger opportunity is breaking into the market for Pay TV set top boxes, which today are less compelling products but retain access to the content consumers want. The only way any tech company will be able to pull that off is by having a TV Service to accompany their hardware. Of the companies with streaming media products on the market, only one is rumored to be working on such a service.
Unlike its competitors, Apple is playing the long game in the TV market. Apple TV’s long term goal is not about beating Amazon, Google, or Roku in the streaming media player market, it’s about redefining the TV market by building a true smart TV platform. One that seamlessly integrates with the Apple ecosystem and converges all the different functions (gaming, long form video, home automation, and who knows what) we want from our TVs into one product. In other words: the only thing you need to hook up to your TV.
From The Rajam Report.
Also well worth a read, a report on Apple's product development mindset (based around the latest addition to the iPhones) by Bloomberg.
From the iPhone’s rounded edges to its imperturbable Genius Bar employees, Apple would like its customers to think of it as an effortless company, where transcendent technology emerges like freshly baked bread from an oven. It’s just as much an illusion as Disney’s happiest place on earth. “Engineering-wise, the hardware to build a display that does what [3D Touch] does is unbelievably hard,” says Schiller. “And we’re going to waste a whole year of engineering—really, two—at a tremendous amount of cost and investment in manufacturing if it doesn’t do something that [people] are going to use. If it’s just a demo feature and a month later nobody is really using it, this is a huge waste of engineering talent.”
Schiller believes that 3D Touch is a breakthrough, but the designers aren’t so sheltered that they’re oblivious to his point. “I mean, it’s remarkable that within a corporation that has to deal with so many absolutes … so many metrics …” Ive says, trailing off. “You know, it’s so very hard to measure [what designers do]. We can be working on something for a long time and still not know quite how it’s going to work out.”