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Google TV means trouble for Apple TV

23 May 2010

While Apple is normally the one leading the pack when it comes to technology, the recent announcement of Google’s new TV service, which will be launched in the US in a few months, will force Apple to start improving its Apple TV offerings. Apple has long referred to the product as a hobby.

Google’s idea is to operate on an “open” standard and combine the web with traditional TV experiences rather than separating the two. Users can purchase a new TV with Google’s services integrated or they can opt for a set-top box. 

The service will run on Android and include an app store and the ability to control the TV through Android devices or a remote control and keyboard. Users can search for content directly through the TV and receive both web and traditional television results. 

Google has partnered with some big names to make the hardware. The service will be integrated into Sony televisions and Blu-ray players with Logitech producing the companion box and accessories and Intel chips powering all of the components. 

While Apple had a head start to the market for web on the TV, its Apple TV offering only allows users to purchase content from the iTunes store or watch YouTube content without allowing access to the internet. 

Apple has let its TV offering languish and it hasn’t received a significant hardware or software upgrade since its release in 2007. 

The limitations of Apple TV make it seem like a very weak contender against Google’s proposed offerings, and Apple needs to completely refresh its Apple TV concept or concede and let Google take over the living room. 

But as the two companies continue to spar, it’s likely that Apple will do whatever it takes to even-handedly stay on par to compete with Google, which means that an improved Apple TV is already is in the works.