Apple TV Is Coming: 10 Ways It Will Hurt Google, Android

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-02-07

Apple TV Is Coming: 10 Ways It Will Hurt Google, Android

The amount of talk surrounding the Apple television has hit a tipping point. Almost every day, there is a new rumor that crops up about a possible feature, a launch date, pricing and more. There appears to be no end to the speculation in sight, and Apple, as it has done in the past, has relished the hype without giving any indication that it might be offering up a television in the near future.

For now, let€™s assume that Apple is, in fact, working on a television. Furthermore, let€™s assume that the television will appeal to consumers and show why all the hype surrounding the device€™s launch was well worth it. Given that, it might quickly become clear that Apple€™s television could dramatically hurt both Google and Android.

Sure, Google and its Android operating system might not sound like the immediate stakeholders that could get hit hard by an Apple television, but further inspection reveals that Google might just be chief among those companies that will be negatively affected by the eventual launch of an Apple television.

Here, we look at several reasons why Google should worry about an Apple television.

1. Google TV, anyone?

The most obvious way in which an Apple TV could hurt Google is through the search giant€™s Google TV platform. That service, which is running on both televisions and set-top boxes, includes app support, lets some users control their DVRs and even includes a Web browser. In other words, it€™s the same kind of idea as the Apple TV. The only issue is, most consumers can€™t stand Google TV, and after Apple launches its set, Google€™s service could be in for trouble.

2. More products means more product sales across the board

As Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out during his company€™s last earnings call, the iPhone is helping sell more iPads and Macs. Given the likely popularity of Apple€™s television, there€™s a good chance that the set will do the same. Apple€™s products have a tendency to help all others see sales increase. And that could hurt both Google and Android vendors.

3. The iPhone, iPod, iPad might be the remote

Following that, it€™s worth noting that rumors suggest Apple€™s iPhone, iPod and iPad will be the remote for the new television. So if people buy the TV, they€™ll likely opt for an iPhone over an Android-based device. And if they already have an iPhone, they€™re probably not going to buy a set with Google TV running on it. That€™s a real problem for Google.

4. Developer considerations

As noted, Google TV currently supports applications. However, the number of apps available is quite small, and few of them have been appealing to consumers. Apple, meanwhile, is reportedly planning to integrate its App Store. And developers, remembering how important the App Store is to their bottom line, will probably jump at the chance to start creating programs for the television. Developers could really help Apple€”and hurt Google.

Apple Might Be Able to Create Brand Loyalty With Its TVs


5. TVs are game-changers

Although Apple won€™t be able to sell tens of millions of HDTVs around the globe each quarter, it is possible that the company could push a few million out the door over a three-month period. Televisions are game-changers in the technology space. They last in homes for well over a decade, and people tend to become loyal to them. If Apple can create (even more) brand loyalty with its TVs, the company might have a long-term Trojan horse hurting Google.

6. Cloud integration

If Google is trying to make a push for anything, it€™s the cloud. However, the company has been unable to find a way to bring its cloud initiatives to consumers on anything other than a computer. Apple, meanwhile, has achieved that with the help of iCloud. There€™s a chance iCloud will be coming to the Apple TV. And when it does, Google will have to scramble to get its cloud services into the living room in a meaningful way.

7. The TV war will erupt

Unfortunately for Google, it€™s fighting an uphill battle when it€™s facing off with Apple. The iPhone maker has nearly $100 billion in cash on hand, and its revenue and profit figures continue to soar. Although a TV war will erupt€”Google has no other choice but to respond€”it€™s unlikely that it will have the cash or staying power to match Apple.

8. There€™s no logical next step

Assuming Apple gets into the television market, Google will need to respond. The only question is, how? The company is so far content to be a software provider, but in the television space, especially, that might not be enough. The only move could be for Google to become a television maker€”something the search giant probably won€™t do. Google would find itself backed into a corner if Apple gets into the TV business.

9. It€™s a long-term game

The issue for Google and Android is not what the Apple television could do in the short-term, but what it might do over the long-term. Over the next several years, Apple will continue to sell televisions, and as it does, the pressure it will put on Android and Google will only increase. Apple is ready to fight over the long-term€”and Google just isn€™t.

10. It takes Android, Google off the front page

This might be one of the more overlooked issues standing in the way of Google and Android, but it€™s important to point out that the excitement surrounding the Apple TV will keep all others out of the headlines. That means Google won€™t be able to get its major initiatives into the spotlight initially and Android-based devices will be afterthoughts. Apple€™s products have a tendency to cast a huge shadow€”and the Apple TV will be no different.

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