Samsung’s dismissal of the forthcoming Apple television is moronic – here’s why

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Oh, I love a good laugh.

If you haven’t already heard the hilarious headlines that hit the web yesterday, Samsung‘s AV product manager Chris Moseley boasted in an interview with Pocket-lint that Apple‘s ‘iTV‘ is nothing to worry about because his company have great picture quality. As Business Insider put it, the guy is utterly delusional.

There’s a few things to add to this conversation though that makes this statement look even more stupid than that, though.

Firstly, let’s just ignore the fact that Apple have been putting the nicest looking, industry shame-serving LED displays in their iMac and MacBook lines for a while now and are likely to demand at least that level of quality (or higher) in an Apple television.  Let’s even ignore the fact that Apple are likely to go straight to the best technology on the market, OLED, as the choice for its premium brand of square-eyed entertainment.

There are two prime reasons for Samsung to be shaking in their boots, irrespective of their apparent confidence:

1. The Apple ‘fanboy’ cult-like devotion to the brand

I don’t say the above as a slur but as the best possible way that I can describe the pure and unbreakable bond between the Apple company and the Apple customer.

The company are obviously on a high right now and anything they make (hardware wise) is being bought up in mountain piles.  Apple could get into the automotive industry tomorrow and sell half a million iCars in one weekend.  That trust of quality has been earned and if these same people had the choice between an Apple television and an Samsung one, they’d be sticking with Apple as much as they can.  They expect the best and Apple usually deliver that.

The other side of this equation is what really sticks though: Apple make things easy.

Right now, people with giant Samsung TV’s are either renting DVD/Blu-ray discs from the local VideoEzy or Blockbuster or are downloading stuff, transferring onto USB drives or pushing stuff around on shared network drives or using dedicated media players and the like.

Quite frankly, these sorts of things are only done by people who are technically savvy enough to want to bother with different devices, multiple things to do and all the dicking around that comes with it – and that is not the long tail of the market.  If people can just turn something on and hit play, they’ll buy it in bucket loads, and that is the message that Apple have implanted in people’s brains – buy our stuff and it’ll be dead simple for you to entertain yourself.  This is what people want.

The other reason, though, is the doozy.

2. Apple have an exceptional amount of untapped potential with their connected ecosystem

If you guys thought that the ridiculous amount of iPhones and iPads being bought in the marketplace made an Apple television an automatic slam dunk in the marketplace, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Lets take, for example, some news that was published on the very same day as Moseley’s comments: the fact that 100 million iCloud users have sprouted up already and that only 3 million Apple TV devices were sold last year.

Clearly, Apple would be looking at _those_ numbers and seeing the dollar signs.  With iTunes acting as a store that is bolted on to the iCloud storage solution, Apple see the potential to see a whole pile of TV’s to people with iCloud accounts to stream music from.

That potential can’t even be fully appreciated based on the fact that iCloud has been such a runaway success – of those 100 million accounts, 15 million of them were added just in the past three weeks alone.  If you’re keeping count, those three weeks are all well after Christmas, meaning that people are not only buying other iDevices that play multimedia content, but they are branching out into the Apple ecosystem and actively embracing the tightly controlled and ridiculously easy framework for instantly syncing entertainment across iOS devices.

And what does Samsung have to counter?  I’m willing to say at this point, right now, that iCloud is the most underrated technology that Apple own.  Not the iPhone, not the iPad and not the Macbook Air.  If any single consumer electronic device out there doesn’t seamlessly connect to a cloud-hosted service like iCloud at this point right now, it is under threat from Apple – and that is what Samsung should be focused on.

If there were smart, they’d be shipping their Galaxy phones, Galaxy Tabs and Smart TV‘s with common software that pushed entertainment around the home using hosted infrastructure, because if they don’t then it won’t be too long before people start considering devices without this sort of service as crap – it’s not only just about the ‘device’ and the delivery quality; people will soon re-focus their purchasing decisions based on what kind of plumbing comes with the device that they buy, just like people are already doing with iPhones and their previous app purchases.


I’ll leave it there for now but I’m interested to hear your point of view.  If you care to agree or disagree, say so in the comments below.  This is an interesting discussion and the viewpoints of the greater community are always interesting to capture in these kinds of situations.

So, what are you waiting for? Vent your spleen below!

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