Apple TV Still Green, Not Ready For Pickin'

Apple TV is not -- at the moment anyway, according to reports -- a ground-breaking product like the company's iPod.

For $299 consumers can transfer anything from their iPods, iTunes library, or purchased shows on iTunes Music Store to the big-screen TV. Best Buy, Target, CompUSA and CircuitCity are a few of the big retailers that will carry the product and be nervous about whether it sells.

Still, it's early in the game. While few are totally pooh-poohing Apple just yet, others say as long as HDTV movies are not available on the iTunes Music Store, Apple TV will stay on the tree.

Some bloggers are suggesting people are better off with just TiVo. Interestingly, the two companies have a common meeting ground: both TiVo and Apple have intuitive, child-like-easy software that has made their products almost instant hits.



All of which leads to an obvious observation: Why doesn't Apple just buy the TiVo company outright, which could make sales of Apple TV go through the roof?

The short answer is that Apple isn't the kind of company to buy its way to a better technological future. Its mode was always internal -- and, like most good technologically gifted companies, rather secretive.

Using the lure of easily downloadable music for a decent price, Apple took the gateway of the struggling music business to sell lots of iPods. Though it has similar deals with TV companies, somehow the company's vision isn't that clear yet for Apple TV.

Apple is smart enough to stick on a $299 price tag -- which is similar to a number of versions of the iPod. Perhaps consumers are waiting because Apple left out the finished product -- that of the TV screen itself.

On Wednesday, Apple might let us in on the real story. That's when, during its fiscal second quarter report, it is likely to hint at Apple TV sales numbers.

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