updated 12:15 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
Fortune: Apple TV 'a dud'
The editor-at-large of Fortune magazine, Brent Schlender, has tested the Apple TV for several weeks and declared that it's "as uninspired as another prominent dud," the Microsoft Zune. Schlender extends this simile to four points: like the Zune's Wi-Fi, the Apple TV also has a crippled central feature, in that while intended for HDTVs, its videos may often be as fuzzy as broadcast TV. Schlender also complains that just as the Zune's best feature is actually cosmetic (a third color, brown), the Apple TV benefits most from its "ethereal" photo screensaver and that even those photos are handled awkwardly.
While users can stream music from multiple computers, photos are restricted to one machine, an oddity that supposedly mirrors Microsoft's blocking of legal music in its own earlier format. Schlender lastly observes that neither the Zune nor the Apple TV can buy music directly, despite their built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.
This leads to speculation that the iPhone might likewise prove disappointing, for reasons of implementation rather than concept. It is suggested that EDGE bandwidth may turn out to be too slow, or that the virtual keyboard may prove impractical. Schlender is, however, withholding his verdict.