Apple conducts survey about Apple TV, asks users for input

Mon, Feb 9, 2009


Apple is conducting an online survey of Apple TV users in order to better understand that particular segment of users in an apparent effort to build on the increased consumer interest in the device. The survey asks a number of questions ranging from what kind of Television sets users own to what type of content they primarily use their Apple TV for. The survey even asks users outright, “If you could change one thing about your Apple TV, what would that be?”

Apple has long considered Apple TV to be a mere ‘hobby’, but its 300% increase in sales has certainly piqued Apple’s attention to the extent that it’s now asking users directly what features they’d like to see in future iterations of the Apple TV. This is an interesting development because Apple typically loathes using these sorts of public mediums in order to attain feedback about its products. Under Steve Jobs, Apple has typically taken a stance of “Customers don’t know what they want until we show them what they want.”

With that said, Apple’s recent survey is significant for two reasons. One, it shows that Apple is starting to take Apple TV more seriously, and that significant updates may already be in the works. Two, it shows that Apple realizes how high the failure rate is when it comes to being a digital hub in the living room, and by asking existing users for their opinions, Apple is acknowledging that as smart as they are, they might not have all the answers when it comes to the Apple TV.



16 Comments For This Post

  1. Ryan gardner Says:

    Apple – HINT: THE 300% increase in sales is probably 80% due to Boxee on the AppleTV

  2. Anon Says:

    They should probably do a survey of people who “dont” own it.
    Its so sad to see Apple basically falling down with this product, it could be so great

  3. Michael Says:

    ‘Survey inactive’. Can’t take it anymore?

  4. TonyP Says:

    And they shut down the survey, before I (An actual AppleTV owner) could participate.

    Ill summarize the reasons that I dont use the thing anymore.

    1) I dont want to pay for ALL my content. I can go jump on Hulu and watch a lot of really entertaining stuff on my pc..Yeah its not as comfortable as the couch. But at $2 a show, its a sacrifice Im willing to make. Based on my knowledge of monetizing this kind of content Id bet that fewer than 15% of AppleTV owners feel differently. I would have installed Boxee on it, but I just dont care anymore…The AppleTV is dead to me…or at least in a coma. When friends ask about it, I point them to the Roku Netflix player.

    2) They COULD revive AppleTV if some important features were added.
    a) Make free content available. In economics of scale, it could EASILY be monetized in an ad based format that would satisfy not only the infrastructure demands, but the IP owners.

    b) Netflix…the way, the hope, the light. I understand that iTMS competes directly with Netflix in this channel, but its a losing battle for Apple; Apple just doesnt have the penetration neccesary, and because of their closed attitude to hardware platforms, never will. Netflix owns iTMS in this space and the sooner Apple realizes this, the better it will be for them, us and America.

  5. mrbattle Says:

    Apple TV is amazing, if you know how to use it… I have my entire dvd library on there ready to stream when I want to watch it. With programs like MetaX you can add cover art genre and all that stuff so its just like buying it but its movies that you have around the house or already downloaded

  6. Duane Storey Says:

    I think that’s BS — it’s never been a hobby, they just spin it as that due to lackluster sales. Truth is, the content on Apple TV sucks, and Apple doesn’t spend enough time keeping it up to date. Plus, it used to be about renting movies, now Apple is always trying to shove movies down your throat to buy. It’s a bad experience. They’ll often release movies “to buy” weeks before you can rent. Also, since December all the users have been complaining about slow apple TV downloads (movies that used to start instantly take *eight hours* to start now), and Apple hasn’t confirmed or done anything about the problems. Their stonewalling tactics are from the stone age, and I hope they start taking an economic hit due to their abandonment of Apple TV and the shoddy OS they released as Leopard.

  7. everton Says:

    XBOX Media Center (XBMC) has been successfully ported to the Apple TV. Now does anyone wonder why it’s been selling ALOT more lately?

  8. spacedoggy Says:

    mrbattle: If you have your entire dvd library on Apple TV how do you get the 5.1 surround and DTS etc… I was under the impression that Apple TV doesn’t support 5.1 solby surround, dts etc… Also what rip program did you use? Cheers

  9. matt Says:

    Have them just buy boxee and integrate it. i have a apple TV and love it – I can download shows from MegaTV or wherever and convert them to appleTV with quicktime pro (can even batch them).

  10. Justin Says:

    I largely agree with TonyP. I use my ATV to rent movies at home, but am severely disappointed that Apple has yet to release any free content. If they would just release some free, ad-supported content (hello? Joost!) then I would likely get rid of my cable service and watch everything on ATV exclusively.

    I can’t understand why Apple is so reluctant to give their customers what they (we) want.

  11. Alex Says:

    I love my Apple TV. I had no interest in it whatsoever until I went to a cocktail party and saw it in action. It was playing music from an iTunes library and displaying beautiful photography on a plasma TV. After talking to the host about how it actually works, I decided to buy the 40GB.

    I have now encoded my entire DVD library which streams from iTunes. The quality is great, and I encode my audio into two tracks so I can play Dolby Digital surround on the Apple TV and Pro Logic II on the iPod. Having my entire media library on 1 device is wonderful and I cannot imagine life at home without one.

    It does need video playlist support though; and it would be absolutely perfect if it had a Blu-ray drive built in.

  12. Tomm Matthis Says:

    AppleTV owner here … locked out of the survey as well.
    I echo the idea up-post: Apple should buy Boxee, and work with Netflix in order to get Netflix streaming working.

    Give in a little here Apple. You could get a lot.

  13. XK140 Says:

    get netflix

  14. Thomas Says:

    To SpaceDoggie:
    Apple TV does support 5.1 Dolby if you convert it correctly. Handbrake has updated pre-loaded settings that do it automatically.

    But just to chime in I also use Apple TV to manage my entire DVD library. I have ripped all 300+ of my DVD’s to my 2TB Western Digital MyBook Pro Mac Edition which works awesome with my iMac/iTunes and the Apple TV’s (I have 3 of them so all my HDTV’s can get to my DVD library.). Apple TV up converts to make the picture look awesome on all my HDTV’s even the 1080p 120Hz set! Like someone already mentioned if people use the Apple TV for what is was designed for then it is amazing. It was not meant to be a DVR or a game console acting as a wanna be media center. It was meant as a iPod for your HDTV and it does that PERFECTLY!
    I have got quite a few friends converted to the Apple TV (even some Windows guys) and everyone loves it because it works so great at doing exactly what it was meant to do, make it easy to watch digital content on your HDTV.

  15. Apple Die Hard Says:

    Just tried downloading Mamma Mia for rental on Valentines night. I have a 18 Mbps download cable internet that is working just fine according to my laptop speedtest, yet the rental has downloaded just 1% in 20 mins, giving me over a day until it is ready to view! Not going to keep any business that way Mr Jobs!

  16. Grace Suarez Says:

    I started downloading “Burn After Reading” 1 1/4 hours ago and I still can’t play it. This is the first time I’ve used Apple TV rental and it will probably be the last.

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