Underestimating Potential

These quotes from Chris Moseley, AV product manager at Samsung (via Pocket Lint) on the possibility of an Apple TV have had me thinking for the past few days:

We’ve not seen what they’ve done but what we can say is that they don’t have 10,000 people in R&D in the vision category,

They don’t have the best scaling engine in the world and they don’t have world renowned picture quality that has been awarded more than anyone else.

TVs are ultimately about picture quality. Ultimately. How smart they are…great, but let’s face it that’s a secondary consideration. The ultimate is about picture quality and there is no way that anyone, new or old, can come along this year or next year and beat us on picture quality.

So, from that perspective, it’s not a great concern but it remains to be seen what they’re going to come out with, if anything.

I can’t believe people are this stupid. Are TV’s really only about picture quality? Says who? Sure it’s something I consider when deciding what to buy but to say it will forever be the only factor is foolish. I spend just as much time watching TV shows on my iPhone’s tiny screen or low quality youtube videos on my HDTV, neither of which are providing me with maximum picture quality. But, I don’t care because it’s about the content I’m watching, not how I’m watching it.

To believe that the only possible differentiator is limited to picture quality is laughable. The only reason that it may be number one at the moment is because there’s no other metric . Apple (or some other company for that matter) could easily destroy the current television market by providing a better overall experience beyond the picture. Maybe some sort of new content delivery? Or better user interaction? It’s true that Samsung has no need to worry about that Apple making a TV that rivals them in picture quality. What Samsung should be worried about is Apple coming up with a feature that makes picture quality unimportant to the average consumer. Consider how phones changed before and after the iPhone. Apple gave consumers better things to care about than call quality.

As for Apple as the potential disruptor, it’s been clearly stated that Apple is only interested in markets where they can make a difference. We’ll see an Apple TV when (and if) they’ve figured out their differentiator and I can guarantee that it won’t be picture quality.