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Apple TV “won’t be a TV”, claims Forrester

US research firm Forrester is predicting that if and when Apple finally enters the TV business with its own large-screen display, it will be a “non-TV” that might more accurately be called an ‘iHub’.

James McQuivey of Forrester Research

James McQuivey of Forrester Research

James McQuivey, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, imagines the device in the following terms: “Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates for planning, talking, or eating — in more and more US homes, that room is the dining room or eat-in kitchen.

“By pushing developers to create apps that serve as the hub of family life — complete with shared calendars, photo and video viewers, and FaceTime for chatting with grandma — this non-TV TV could take off, ultimately positioning Apple to replace your 60-inch set once it’s ready to retire.”

Mr. McQuivey cites in his blog post (here) a number of advantages Apple has over its competition to make this happen: a highly-engaged customer base, its bevy of hungry developers, its ability to turn consumers on to post-PC computing form factors, and its “spectacular” track record with generating elegant new experiences.

The Forrester analyst believes that Apple has not yet made much headway in the TV market due to a number of reasons, including tight control of content by “monopolists” unlikely to give Apple the keys to their archives, and the much slower product upgrade cycle in the TV business as compared to the mobile phone industry.

Mr. McQuivey made the bold assertion last week that Microsoft has already started to win the battle for the TV business, thanks to its huge success with the Xbox 360 games console, which it has developed into a highly capable media device through software updates and content partnerships – more details here.

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