Speaking at Code Conference Wednesday night, Apple’s head of online services Eddy Cue took a swipe at the current state of television and presented his take on where the future of that industry lies. According to Cue, Apple TV sales have risen in recent years and over 20 million of the set-top box have been sold to date. Cue says that the device is billion-dollar business now and is expected to continue growing.
However, the Apple TV isn’t a true TV replacement. Cue took a few moments to point out just how much using TV “sucks” and bemoan the current range of DVR devices. He even went so far as to compare current technology with the VCRs of a bygone era—and he’s not wrong. Cue cited drawbacks such as having to remember to set a recording or trying to manage storage on the recorder as reasons on-demand streaming through the Apple TV is growing in popularity.
That’s not to say he’s especially fond of today’s on-demand systems either, though. Not only did Cue have sharp criticisms for modern recording tech, he even jabbed at the streaming experience on the iPad, noting that the process of authenticating with a cable provider to access streaming content is less-than-ideal. So what’s his solution?
Unfortunately he doesn’t have one just yet. Cue says the TV landscape is a “complicated issue” due to the lack of universal standards between regions in the United States, let alone globally. Content rights, goverment regulations, the sheer number of companies involved in the production and distribution process, and a host of other issues have prevented the creation of a solid, user-friendly TV platform. For now, Cue says, the Apple TV “will continue to evolve” as the company continues to “improv[e] the experience.”
Jimmy Iovine, who officially joined Apple today as the company announced a $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, noted that he has no interest in creating content for Apple or anyone else. Instead, he’s focusing his efforts on perfecting content distribution and curation.