Apple TV… heard but not seen

Months of waiting for the AppleTV is over. The device, which I believe is going to act as rocket fuel for the independent video community, and some day put the likes of TiVo on the defensive, has finally started to ship. A privileged few, such as Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, had a chance to play around and review the unit.

……our verdict is that it’s a beautifully designed, easy-to-use product that should be very attractive to people with widescreen TV sets and lots of music, videos, and photos stored on computers. It has some notable limitations, but we really liked it. It is classic Apple: simple and elegant.

The NewTeeVee gang wanted one quite badly, so we decided to charge our Mastercard, except Apple wasn’t willing to take our money – at least today.

Our extended friend network fanned out through Silicon Valley, looking for the device, but couldn’t find a single on in any Apple store. Even the company store in Cupertino hadn’t received any AppleTV boxes. It won’t be till Friday when you can walk into an Apple store and buy one.

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The non-availability of devices on the day of the launch in Apple’s retail stores does bring up the question: Apple had all these months to get all its ducks in a row, and rake in the big bucks on the “opening weekend.” Well, that clearly didn’t happen. Why not?

Our theory is that as Apple keeps adding more products to its portfolio, we are going to see more delays, and more technical snafus. Such challenges are commonplace for large consumer electronics companies (and handset makers.) Apple, however is going to get a crash course in CE reality, as it transforms away from being just a computer company with handful of product lines. It has to overcome these challenges inorder to keep the early adopters – who give a nice little bump to its revenues – happy. We know the NTV gang is a little disappointed today.

Photos by Niall Kennedy

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