How Apple would approach making a TV

In the latest episode of Angry Mac Bastards, John Welch, Darby Lines and their lovely guest Kelly Guimont discussed an article from Business Insider, which cites UBS analyst Maynard Um titled “If Apple Television Is Next, Then So Is A “Genius Squad,” Says UBS”.
(The fun starts at time index 01:04:20)

They pulled the story apart pretty thoroughly, but there were two things in the article that got me thinking:

One newish idea from Um is that Apple will have to send out its geniuses to hook up Apple televisions in people’s homes. This would be another one of Apple’s competitive advantages, although Best Buy has a similar advantage.


What we envision of Genius Bar is similar to the Geek Squad, which is fairly well known in the US as Best Buy’s service department to facilitate technology adoption – television set installations, wireless router installations, repair services, content transfer from one PC to another, file backup, set-up services, general troubleshooting, tutorials, etc

Now to be clear: I don’t think Apple will or should build a TV, because this market is even more of a standard-resistant minefield than the cellphone business and the Apple TV seems to work fine for most people and helps Apple sell content.

Addressing Um’s two points —and talking entirely out of my ass here— this is what I think Apple would do:

  1. Build the device, the software and the packaging in a way that people won’t need help setting it up. In other words; make it idiot-proof.
  2. Get contracts in place with their favourite logistics providers that will have the delivery guy(s) carry the thing into the customer’s sitting room and maybe even heave it onto a wall.

The first thing is called intelligent design, which is something Apple seems to be really good at and the second thing is called outsourcing of non-integral tasks of the supply chain, something that Apple is also really good at.

Alex Hoffmann @mangochutney