TV or not TV

Lots of virtual ink has been spilled in recent days on the likelihood of an Apple TV set. I’m not going bother looking up all the links; I’m sure you’ve seen most of them.

But in all the talk of margins, commoditization, and the power of the cable companies, an obvious point is being missed: when Apple has gone into a new market—whether it’s with the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, or even the Mac itself—it’s gone in not so much with a new product, but with a new way of using the product. From icons and windows to click wheels to touch screens, Apple’s success has come from changing the way we interact with products.

I have no idea whether Apple will come out with its own TV set, but I don’t believe they’ll do it until they’ve figured out a user interface that’s both unique and an improvement on the way we use our TVs now.