Companies take on the Apple TV that doesn’t exist yet - CES 2012

At the 2012 International CES, the major consumer electronics vendors were hard at work pre-emptively making the case against a product which thus far only exists in rumor – Apple’s connected TV set.


IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceAt the 2012 International CES, the major consumer electronics vendors were hard at work pre-emptively making the case against a product which thus far only exists in rumor – Apple’s connected TV set. Though Apple’s rumored Sharp-manufactured TV has yet to appear or even have any official details released, it seems that the top CE companies have been busy working on connected TVs that incorporate features aimed squarely at Apple’s offering. Collectively, Samsung, LG, and Sony showed off a host of next generation UI technologies and features, including: gesture, motion, and voice control; revamped user experiences optimized for these technologies; cameras for video chat and facial recognition; cloud-based content sharing; more-refined DLNA-based sharing of content across devices; and utilization of tablets and smartphones as connected companion devices to the TV viewing experience. Many of these features, or ones like them, have been expected to appear in Apple’s rumored TV.

In addition to the aforementioned, there were other notable factors highlighted at CES that may hinder Apple’s competitive fortunes in the TV market. Samsung’s Smart TV platform now boasts over 1,400 apps – a library having arguably all of the essentials needed by consumers for their connected TV experience. Google TV made a resurgence, with Sony, Samsung, LG, and Vizio all on board for version 2.0. Sony, LG, and Samsung continued to showcase pay-TV applications allowing the connected TV to replace a traditional set-top box. Companies also demonstrated the latest versions of their alternatives to Apple’s AirPlay, to ease media sharing across different devices – Samsung with AirShare and LG with Smart Share Plus.

Perhaps the largest issue for Apple that has yet to be directly and overtly exploited in marketing by competitors, is access to content. The company continues to have issues with licensing content from content providers, and late last year had to stop offering TV show rentals through iTunes. The breadth and depth of content available via iTunes, and by extension Apple TV and any TV set that Apple launches, have largely been acknowledged by industry reviews as limited compared to that of alternatives. Apple’s traditional style of revenue sharing does not seem to mesh well with the entertainment industry in the video arena, with CBS’ comments in the past that the ad split desired by Apple for video content was undesirable. It is expected that Apple will continue to face challenges in expanding its content offerings for at least the near term.

With more vertically-integrated CE heavyweights such as Samsung and LG already deploying variations of the rumored functionality that was expected to be a differentiating factor in an Apple TV, and also better-equipped to utilize price differential as a weapon, Apple faces a difficult road ahead for Apple TV and any potential TV set that is launched. Apple will need to price its rumored TV set more competitively than it has priced its products in the past relative to the competition, and will need to have a strong feature set and usability advantage – its competitors have already beaten them to the punch in incorporating the same next-generation UI technologies, combined with more diverse content offerings and a “good enough” answer to AirPlay. Though the Apple brand is strong enough to overcome competitive barriers that stop lesser companies, connected TVs are expected to be the toughest market for the company yet.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.