Techcrunch posted a piece a few days ago about a Samsung product manager saying “TVs are ultimately about picture quality”, so he’s not worried about Apple’s rumoured TV efforts. They point out correctly that it’s a dumb thing to say, but don’t discuss a few specifics related to that.
I have an Apple TV box hooked to a Sony HDTV. My dad has a pretty new Samsung “SMART” HDTV. Of these three devices, Apple’s is the only one that’s easy to use and blazingly fast. The Sony and the Samsung have annoying reboot time. The menus stop to think too often. The Samsung’s smart capabilities seem like a value add-on that wasn’t allowed to cost anything, judging by how poor the software is and how slow the UI is. The first time I set it up (because it was too obscure to use for my dad), it took about 15 minutes to download and install software updates, and the first boot of the YouTube app took something like a minute. After going through some apps, I figured the user experience is simply so poor that I’d rather go do the laundry than frustrate myself more with the confusing, slow menus.
So, based on that experience, if Apple releases a TV with iOS capabilities in the tune of the Apple TV box, I assume I’d be very tempted. What they have now is a TV add-on that’s lightyears ahead of the competition in the few things that it does. And if the iPhone taught us something, a simple but super well executed solution is better than type of a diluted crap experience the Samsung is.