Many industry watchers have opined that Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) much-celebrated entry into the TV business, combined with Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) ongoing moves into the space should cause some concern for the cable industry. In reality, when the first layers of the onion are peeled, the real concern appears to be whether the two interlopers can succeed this time where they and others have failed in the past.
Apple has already been there, done that, to the extent that co-founder/CEO Steve Jobs felt it necessary to call TV a "hobby." Now, its latest iteration, which it's trying to call iTV, "faces the strongest competitive environment for over-the-top video to date (and) does not seem to address a sufficient enough value gap in the market to entice customers," according to IMS Research senior analyst Paul Erickson.
Google TV, meanwhile, "faces challenges that may be insurmountable," according to a story in Multichannel News. The biggest hurdle, the story intimates, is convincing viewers to put a little extra into a viewing experience that has traditionally been passive and, with Google's applications-based service, would become more computer-like.
The idea won't fly, said TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) CEO Tom Rogers, who said in the article that Web TV has failed because it's "always been about turning the television into a computer experience--and television viewers have voted overwhelmingly for a TV experience."
Google TV or Apple TV? How about just cable TV?
Apple prepared to branch into a la carte programming with News Corp. and Disney