Would an Apple Television have an antenna port?
I mean, seriously, would it?
Wouldn’t a television signal be counterintuitive to Apple’s own digital storefront goals, and wouldn’t it be weird for Apple to make a TV that sucks in content through the old-fashioned airwaves?
I’m assuming Apple may have reached this conclusion themselves, judging by a WSJ report saying they’ve cancelled their TV project. Because in the end, how would a TV benefit Apple without being either more expensive or more restrictive than the competition?
Ever since the first iPod, for example, Apple have always attempted to burn our ideas of linear entertainment delivery. If you lived in an Apple world, you wouldn’t even know that an FM radio was a technology, at least up until recently. You wouldn’t know that This American Life was a thing unless you’d downloaded the podcast from iTunes, and you wouldn’t know that a new Katy Perry song had dropped until iTunes actually dropped it. Apple has always been this way, working to destroy anything that might hurt their iTunes Store ambitions. Even when they added FM Radio to some devices too, it included an option to tag a song later for purchase on iTunes.
The first Apple TV box had no way of recording actual TV, contrary to competition from TiVo and other set-top box makers. And the Apple TV is still just a gateway to the iTunes Store. If you could just DVR TV shows, how would Apple make Apple-amounts of money? Exclusive content?
Mac’s don’t have DVD or Blu-Ray drives, Apple Watch’s only support music from your device’s Music app, and even the ‘post-PC’ iPad only supports AirPlay natively.
Even factoring in HDMI ports for cable boxes and other set-top boxes, why would Apple want to be the home of antiquated technologies? Why would Apple want to associate themselves with over the air HBO, or to dedicated gaming systems (especially if they still plan to open an Apple TV App Store).
Just to be channel 0? To be the default UI?
Neither really benefits Apple, apart from the potential to boost their Apple TV business, and in the end they can do that from the side-lines.
With a separate box, the Apple TV is exclusionary. It dictates what it should be, and it also remains competitive with other boxes. It doesn’t run OTA television, it doesn’t let you DVR the Mad Men finale, and it doesn’t let you skip the iTunes Store for a cheaper Google Play rental offer. It’s in Apple’s best interests, and their existing character, to remain as simple another entertainment box, until they actually can comfortably release a TV that can comfortably ship with a competitive, iTunes-only alternative to all of the above.
Because until then, the Apple Television would just be that. Another television.