Aug 18th, 2012

Google’s entrance to the TV market has been a bit polarized; it is substantial, but not up to par with expectations. Google TV never took off and needs some serious work, but it seems Google has been ignoring the platform lately. In contrast, Google Fiber’s offer is impressive, but it is growing slowly (currently only available in one market). Could it be that Apple might have a better chance at this?

Let’s look at the situation before you start flaming me in the comments. I am an Android/Google fan, too. Trust me, there is nothing I would love more than to see Google succeed in this field. Google TV and Google Fiber are great services with major potential, but Google isn’t taking the necessary steps for it to take off.

Google TV continues to be luxury more so than a convenience or fun product. Many of these Google TVs can be expensive. Though recent offerings are affordable (the VIZIO Co-Star being the most notable), the general consumer usually doesn’t see the benefit in it. Yes, they have been selling like hot pancakes due to their price, but one company alone can’t make Google TV succeed.

What we need is a unified service, and this is why Google missed out on a great opportunity while launching Google Fiber. A Google TV could have been offered with the launch of a very popular and anticipated internet and TV provider like Google Fiber. This boost is what would have ensured Google TV’s future, and it seems like Apple is planning a similar move.

Cupertino might not have the best internet in the world, but rumors state that the iCompany is in talks with major cable providers in the US. This means that Apple TV could soon become much more than a cool little streaming device, it could become a “smart” set-top box that lives in most cable subscribers living rooms.

This updated Apple TV hardware/software would work as a hybrid, featuring live TV and other cable TV features, as well as internet apps and interactivity with mobile devices. But what about DVR? We all want to start recording out shows, right?

Well, rumors state that Apple is also working on a cloud-based DVR service. This means that users would be able to record shows in the cloud. Any recorded content will probably also be able to be watched from any Apple device, as it would most likely be linked to iCloud.

Apple is known to keep its mouth pretty shut about upcoming products, so all of this is still considered speculation and rumors. Where does Google stand on this, though? The point here is not that Apple may be threatening Google TV’s and Google Fiber’s future. Any company with enough resources, popularity, a good idea could do it. And most importantly, the will, which seems to be what Google lacks.

Will Apple take this market from Google’s hands? Maybe, maybe not. Google TV is a platform with great potential, and Google Fiber will start spreading like a virus (in a good sense of the word) soon. I say it is time for Google to get working on this – do you?

[Via: The Wall Street Journal 1, 2]

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