updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu April 26, 2007
Apple TV Canadian Success
The Apple TV media hub's best market may actually be Canada, according to a member of the Apple Independent Retailers Council. Associate and Carbon Computing president Ron Paley notes that the device has been "selling as fast as we get them" at his store chain, which is one of the largest unofficial Apple reseller networks in the country and competes with three Apple-run stores in the Toronto area. The success is especially notable given the lack of content in Canada, as the region's iTunes Store currently goes without the full-length movies and TV shows that form the backbone of Apple's selling tactics in the US.
Paley argued that the advantage of its southern neighbor was unnecessary and pointed to the content many users already have, such as music and video podcasts, as enough for most users.
"A lot of people have content on their Macs and PCs to begin with and you can put other content into iTunes," he said. "Is it as useful as it will be in a month's time? No, but it will be."
Apple Canada sales manager Mary Percat noted that the success may be in part due to the limited number of channels where the Apple TV can sell. The device's shop presence is deliberately limited to those resellers that can properly demonstrate the hardware to stores, she says, and will be expanded mainly when extra content is available through iTunes. Company CEO Steve Jobs said during last year's "Showtime" event that it hoped movies and similar services would be accessible in other countries during 2007.
Paley admitted that it was "early" and that it was hard to determine whether or not the Apple TV would enjoy iPod-level success, but said his experience showed a genuine attraction to the technology and its inherent simplicity, even at its price of $349 Canadian.
"It will absolutely double Apple's market share," he claimed. "It just gets people to think about the architecture of the things they use."