An Apple HDTV won’t be the first Internet-enabled television on the market. The market for so-called smart televisions has actually gotten pretty crowded over the past couple of years with products based around the Smart TV concepts of Samsung and LG as well as companies that offer televisions with GoogleTV.
Apple’s edge over the existing smart and connected television options is the company’s focus on creating a seamless and intuitive user experience. Based on a recent study, if Apple can deliver an interface half as good as expected, the company will make a killing in the HDTV market.
The study from Strategy Analytics found that although connected TVs are attractive to buyers, many consumers find their interfaces to be slow, clunky, and unintuitive. As a result, many buyers find themselves ignoring most of the smart features built into their TVs. In complaining about overall performance and user interfaces, many smart TV owners said that the experience should feel at least as smooth and intuitive as the experience on their smartphones.
The ability to install apps, a feature that Google and others have used in differentiating their solutions from the current Apple TV box, doesn’t appeal to consumers in the way that manufacturers had expected. In fact, most smart TV owners don’t bother exploring app stores for their TVs. The slow performance of the overall interface is one reason. Another reason is that many consumers just don’t see apps as adding much to the TV experience and/or believe that there aren’t any apps out there that will interest them.
Analyst Caroline Park authored the report and noted that the study focused on app use and why consumers haven’t embraced apps on their televisions.
Connected TV owners clearly need some form of motivation to begin the apps discovery and download process as they are not using this feature regularly. Improvements in the speed of the smart TV interface and overall usability would encourage users to take part in searching for and discovering new apps.
She also indicated that the findings speak to issues beyond just apps and encompass the entire smart TV experience.
All in all, smart TV manufacturers have a long way to go before they match the fast, intuitive user experience now familiar to owners of smartphones and tablets.
That, of course, offers a great opportunity for Apple.
Source: Strategy Analytics