Can Apple do for TV apps what it did for mobile?

Apple 2007wideApple will bring its seemingly magic touch in the apps game to the TV set this fall. At least that’s according to Kevin Rose, founder of the tech site Digg, who lately has been using his personal blog to make (what he claims are) informed technology predictions. Among the predictions: The iPad will become a monster remote control, picture sharing (for a fee) will come to the TV and, most importantly, Apple will move apps to the TV in a big way.

According to his blog post/prediction:

- iOS TV applications: Expect to see an iPhone-/iPad-like marketplace for television applications: video sharing/streaming/recording apps, interactive news apps and, of course, games.

- A la carte (app) stations: With Apple’s iAds, content producers (e.g., ABC/NBC/etc.) can directly monetize and distribute their content. This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an Internet connection. Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.

karpinskiicon copyConnected Planet’s take,
Rich Karpinski:

We’ve seen TV apps (formerly called widgets) before. Yahoo! debuted its take on TV widgets back in 2009. I’m going to assume no one out there is using those widgets on their big-screen today. That’s what’s so exciting about the Apple TV apps play. It isn’t a stretch to believe it can move apps from the phone to the iPod Touch to the iPad and now to the TV at all. It really does feel like a natural progression.

So what’s the impact? First of all, it will help cement Apple as the go-to provider of apps (of course they probably are already, but Android is at least making it a game). With mobile device, in-home tablet and now TV apps in tow, Apple would have a really interesting stranglehold on the apps world.

Open question: Would Apple let its TV app environment run on other set-top boxes, or would it require Apple hardware? If history were to hold, you would think it would be joint hardware/software play.

The larger, also open, strategic question is raised in Rose’s second bullet above. Could Apple TV plus Apps actually change the cable/TV distribution game — i.e., offer over-the-top video players a realistic path to the TV in a way that other consumer electronics plays (for instance, Boxee) do not? That’s the real disruptive play here, and we’ll know exactly how seriously Apple is taking this latest stab at Apple TV by how aggressively it tries to disrupt the status quo — including broadcast TV, cable and telco video.

That’s our take on this. Let us know what you think in the comments section below:

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