So I broke down and got one of the new Apple TVs, despite my initial objections. There was a few reasons why I did, some of which I’ve detailed at our sister site TheAppleBlog recently. But the future possibilities of the Apple TV for web working also intrigue me.
Of course, there’s a huge “if” involved in that. That being that the Apple TV’s web working prospects are only as good as its ability to support and run apps in the future. If apps do come to the platform, it could become a revolutionary device for the person who works from home. That’s because if it does get apps, and if, like the iPad its internals are based on, it can support external keyboards or other input devices (maybe an iPad running a virtual keyboard app?), it could become the cheapest productivity computer available.
Running iWork, Docs to Go, or even just Google Docs with its upcoming iOS editing capabilities, the Apple TV connected to a display could prove a fine word processor, number cruncher and presentation tool. Perhaps best of all, at just a little bit larger than a pack of cards, it’s also incredibly portable, and can theoretically work wherever you have access to a TV or computer monitor with an HDMI input.
But would Apple really risk cannabilizing its own iPad and notebook sales for a $99 device that could do pretty much everything many basic users would need from a computing device? While it’s true that Apple probably wouldn’t want to trade sales of $500 or more for ones at $99, I don’t think an app-capable Apple TV would really do that; there’s enough of an advantage in owning a Mac and/or iPad compared to an Apple TV, even with apps, to make sure that people will still go for the more expensive devices.
Apple TV could be more than just Apple’s means of gaining entry into the living room. If the company plays its cards right, it could be the way to broaden the iOS customer base far, far beyond its current numbers. A $99, extremely portable, easy-to-setup and use device that plays nicely with Macs, iPhones, iPod touches and iPads would definitely have a place in the toolbox of any web worker.
What do you think of the potential for the Apple TV as a web working device?
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