Want a “Market Research” and AppleTV Rant 2 in 1? YOU GOT IT!

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Forrest Research, who seem to be riding that “Apple headline high” that most of these research groups go through from time to time, is back again telling us all how much of a failure the AppleTV is.

They have number estimates, and blah, blah, blah…

Does this “research group” crap get under your skin as much as it does mine? These companies take small surveys of select groups of people and then do the math to spread them out and basically make numbers up. I understand this may have been a great way to do things in the 1950s, but can we please get with the new millennium here?

Surveying 250, or even 2,500 people for a survey on a tech product these days is just plain stupid. It’s stupid when these companies say something is a success, and it’s stupid when they say something is a failure.

You want to do a survey?

Survey the readers of the NY Times, survey the readers of Engadget, survey the readers of Reader’s Digest, and then survey the readers of Cat Fancy. Mix all that into one big pot, THEN give me some numbers. Don’t stand out on a street corner, survey 20 people and then tell me that you know anything about market penetration or brand awareness. This archaic way of doing things is exactly how popular and successful shows (take Family Guy and Futurama for example) get cancelled. The Nielsens is a perfect example of how this system is completely out of date, and worthy of ridicule and shame.

(for those of you that are thinking of crying fanboy – please keep reading…thanks)

So – that’s the ramble about the survey companies (just to be clear – I don’t like them).

Having said all of that about how sick I am of these guys – I do think it’s safe to call the AppleTV a failure. When’s the last time you saw an ad for it? Or actually saw it mentioned in any sort of way other than being called “a hobby”?

It’s too proprietary for the price, and now that the Xbox 360 is a pirate’s paradise (it plays Divx and Xvid – just burn those files to a CD or DVD in a few minutes and BAM – you’re watching entire seasons of stuff you downloaded illegally), the AppleTV seems even more ridiculous.

Now, I use my AppleTV almost every day. I watch a ton of podcasts that I like to enjoy on my television. It’s great for that, and I’m happy that I have it, but I think it’s clear that in its current state the AppleTV is doomed for “failed product” lists on future Apple blogs, but its possible that the machine could make a comeback – but if its going to do that, Apple better do it soon.

Oh, and – just for the record – this is the LAST time Forrest Research is getting free publicity from me.

Comments

  1. Yes, Apple needs to do something quick. I was all about getting one when they came out because it was the cool new Apple gadget. Unfortunatly my TV doesn’t have an HDMI interface, so I’d have to wait. I figured come Christmas, I’ll have a new TV and then we’ll see.

    Well, it’s December and it looks as though I won’t be getting an Apple TV for Christmas, seeing is that I have no use for one. The dust has since settled and it’s become clear that I just don’t have a need for one, and Apple hasn’t added any bells or whistles since. (YouTube does not count.)

    So, unless they add something that replaces my Tivo, I won’t be adding it to my Christmas list any time soon.

  2. @krye

    exactly. At this point, the only thing I can see purchasing it for is to watch all the independently produced podcasts on your television at home – and that’s an awful big investment to make for that.

    Especially when there are cheaper alternatives. Of – you know, you can buy an Xbox 360 for the same price, still be able to watch all your online content, and do a whole lot more.

  3. I think what made it unsuccessful was the lack of S-Video. There are still a lot of people who don’t own HD TV’s with HDMI. Even if I didn’t watch movies on it, I would put all my music on it to use it as a jukebox.

  4. AppleTV is amazing … love mine and have had three friends all go out and get them after seeing it in full swing.

    1) iTunes – My entire music collection accessible in the lounge, all connected up to a high quality sound system that also displays my …

    2) Pictures at the same time … My digital life has never been so easy to view as it has since I got my AppleTV (which was at launch). Always on on the house, particularly when family/friends visit … saves going through a pile of photo albums …

    3) Home Movies … beautifully editied in iMovie HD … then transferred to my Apple TV and accessible at the click of a button … Brilliant.

    That is not to mention You Tube and Podcasts … Get the ability to purchase direct from iTunes and I’m an even happier man that I was before!

    Apple have done a good job with the product, they are slipping a little on the selling of it …

  5. I also use my AppleTV everyday, and it is by far the best purchase I made in 2007. I love it. I use it for podcast and also for video downloaded from Bit Torrent. Thanks to VisualHub, I have been able to play every single thing I have downloaded from BitTorrent on my AppleTV.

  6. I use mine every day. For those that like to show photos to familiy and friends and/or watch your downloaded/created videos, it’s hard to imagine a better solution.

    Coupled with VisualHub, ATV is a great product. Apple could (and should) make several easy improvements that would really help. It should be able to play whatever we want to throw at it without conversion.

  7. I think AppleTV is just ahead of its time. It needs a few tweaks and content providers need to figure out –Duhhh!–that they don’t want to have to do the content delivery by themselves.

    This a market where NOBODY dominates. TiVo is lsing money. XBox is a lousy platform for watching video, and expensive to buy if you are NOT a gamer.

    The roughlydrafted site has a piece along these lines today.

  8. I have used Apple TV everyday since its release for videos, photos, movies, etc. It is great! Especially useful for watching Video Podcasts, many in HDTV resolution. Nothing beats it for viewing podcasts in your HDTV. This is only the beginning for Apple in this area. They will learn and move forward with much-improved products!

    Alan

  9. I think a product refresh and a software refresh (iTunes store) is coming soon, but I will agree it hasn’t been very successful. I consider it similar to an iPod, why would they give it a major refresh before its even 1 year old.

    Macworld is approaching quickly and it will be a year old then. Expect your update there.

  10. I remember when selling a half-million units in less than a year, at full price, with no advertisements, and generating a profit with each sale was considered a GOOD thing.

    “Hey, it’s not AS successful as the two most popular gadgets in history! What a failure!!”

    AppleTV sold more units in it’s first 12 months than the iPod did.

    “OK, then! It’s more popular than the most popular gadget in history was at this point in it’s history! What a failure, anyway!”

    In analysts minds, “selling faster than the iPod” is a failure.

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