Breaking news tonight from a long time personal friend that works in Cupertino directly with members of the elite Apple design group. Sadly, that group will never spill the beans on what they are designing, but earlier this week, one of the members of that group disclosed that Apple TV sales are absolutely through the roof, far beyond what Apple had planned.
Specifically, orders have already exceeded the original 100,000 order that Apple had placed with Inventec, and Apple is preparing to place a second order for twice that number. Apple is now planning to sell over a million Apple TV devices leading up to the 2007 holiday season, and at least that many again during the Thanksgiving – Christmas period this year.
Apple TV is succeeding where Windows XP Media Center has failed due to its simplicity and considerably lower price. It is odd to consider Apple to be in a value market, but strangely, that is exactly what Apple TV has become. You see, its competitor is not the various network vendor products, as they come no where close to the interface and simplicity of the Apple TV; further, they don’t have the iTunes store behind them providing content. Apple TV competes directly with Windows XP Media Center, and comes in at 25% of the price! While Windows XP Media Center has become a replacement for the terrible Windows XP Home, the actual sales of devices destined to be connected to TVs in family rooms, has been very poor. Their high price, along with the mess of patching, securing and maintaining a full Windows PC in the living room is not a very attractive proposition.