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Is Anyone Interested in Buying an Apple Television?

Is Anyone Interested in Buying an Apple Television?
Steve Jobs was quoted in the recent Walter Isaacson biography saying he had “finally cracked” the television conundrum and just last December Tim Cook’s said television was “an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that." These comments and other signs have been fueling rumors about Apple announcing their own television. We’ve been supporting this rumor for years believing that a television makes perfect sense for Apple’s ecosystem and an effective way to help them beat Samsung and others in the battle for the living room but what happens if Apple does announce a television sometime soon? This Gadgetology study asked online shoppers how they might react to an Apple television to get an idea for how an Apple television might be received and how well it might compete with the established television manufacturers like Samsung and Sony. What we found was some encouraging news for Apple along with some challenges.
Very Large Number of Online Shoppers Willing to “Consider” an Apple TelevisionAn impressive 81% of respondents who use an iPhone or iPad only indicted they might consider buying an Apple television and that wasn’t far off form the 69% of the general group who said they would also consider it. Of course it’s easy to say you might be open to the possibility but at least Apple has some receptive online shoppers willing to take a look.
Just an Announcement Could Put a Dent in Television SalesAdding to an optimistic outlook for an Apple television is the fact that almost a quarter (22%) of the respondents said they would hold off purchasing some other television if they knew Apple was going to bring out a television. That number rises to almost 30% when you just ask Apple iPhone and iPad owners.
Apple is Not Perceived as a Television Brand but Amazon is Even Less So

What brand of television would you feel comfortable buying?

  Everyone Apple Only Users* Android Only Users**
Samsung 51% 53% 52%
Sony 39% 40% 44%
LG 39% 40% 44%
Vizio 32% 31% 38%
Apple 15% 23% 8%
Google 7% 7% 9%
Microsoft 6% 6% 6%
Amazon 5% 5% 5%

* Apple iPhone and iPad only** Android smartphone and tablet only

An Apple branded television would have an uphill battle with the established players but would do much better than Amazon, Microsoft or Google. When we asked online shoppers what brand of television they would feel comfortable buying Samsung (56%) and Sony (51%) topped everyone’s list with Apple (15%) far down the list but at least twice as high on the list as last place finisher Amazon. Naturally Apple loyalist picked Apple more than the general group, while Android users liked the idea of an Apple television almost have as much as most online shoppers.

Apple Could Face Resistance Over a Price PremiumWhen answering the question of what they would do if they knew an Apple television was in the works only a small handful of online shoppers (4%) said they would pay more than a comparable television from some other manufacturer. Furthermore, when asked what would prevent them from buying an Apple television the overwhelming majority indicated a price premium would kill the sale. Surprisingly Apple users who normally accept a price premium for Apple products objected more than the general group. Younger, Gen Y online shoppers (53%) objected even more.
No One Will Be Camping Out For an Apple Television If Apple is expecting to generate the same kind of frenzy it did for the iPhone and iPad it’s going to have to get the marketing machine into gear otherwise, you won’t see any pup tents and lawn chairs circling the block at Apple stores.
Apple Will Need An iTV Store Offering Premium Programming

Which features would you like to see in an Apple television?

Ability to watch programming that normally requires cable or satellite 54%
High resolution screen, like a Retina display 53%
Great audio system 50%
Integration with other Apple products 40%
Ability to run Apple apps 39%
Airplay or the ability to display what's on your Apple device on the television 30%
iCloud integration 29%
3D capability 28%
An Apple store where you could buy or rent movies and programs 26%
New user interface using gestures or Siri 21%

Of the features that Apple might include in a television, three features stand out as favorites. Finishing at the top of the list is premium programming. Apple will need to create deals with the studios in much the same way it did with music. Second is a high resolution display. Apple could be looking into some new display technology like IGZO but having set the bar for high resolution smartphones and tablets, online shoppers expect them to come through with a super high resolution television. Third on the list is good audio which could come in the form of a soundbar or high quality built in speakers. In other words Apple will need to deliver a high quality home theater experience in order to stand out from the competition

ConclusionThe world is watching to see if Apple introduces a real Apple television. The idea makes a lot of sense in the context of an ongoing battle for the living room with Samsung and others. The good news for Apple is that a large group of online shoppers appears willing to consider an Apple television even to the point of holding off purchasing some other television. The bad news is that it doesn’t appear that online shoppers are willing to pay a price premium for an Apple television as they are accustomed to doing for other Apple products.
About the StudyThe Apple Television Study was conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,200 ecommerce retailers in the US and Canada. Data from this study was collected from 3,910 online buyers from February 22nd – 25th, 2013.
About RetrevoRetrevo.com has been helping shoppers discover, evaluate and buy gadgets since 2006. The site offers product reviews, product ratings, editorial recommendations and other product landscape perspectives that inform what, when and where-to-buy decisions.
About Bizrate InsightsFor over 12 years, Bizrate Insights has helped retailers listen to their customers in a way that is fast and measurable, resulting in insights, action, conversation, and customer loyalty. The Bizrate Insights customer feedback and ratings platform allows retailers to collect seller ratings directly from verified customers. Standard ratings are published across the leading comparison shopping site, Bizrate.com, and syndicated across the web’s largest search engines to help drive conversion and traffic. Collecting over 16 million surveys annually, Bizrate Insights is one of the largest sources of consumer-generated review content in the world, delivering actionable insights and valuable shopper data to key decision makers in e-commerce.

Visit http://bizrateinsights.com to learn more about our FREE and paid buyer and site abandonment survey and reporting products.

Graphics from this study can be downloaded here.

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