By Richard Menta 10/5/10
I took a ride over to the Apple store at Menlo Park Monday to pick up an Apple TV for review. I heard they came in just before the weekend, but I felt there was no need to rush to grab what Steve Jobs has referred to in the past as a "hobby".
So imagine my surprise when the I arrived at the store only to be told that the Apple TV sold out on Saturday.
Hmmm...I can only assume Menlo Park is not the only store shy of supply, which suggests a few things.
First, consumer reaction to the updated product has exceeded expectations. Apple TV 2.0 is considerably smaller than the original and its transition to the iOS operating system that powers the iPhone has played well with the public. iOS does open up the potential for it to run applications from the App store. Think non-mobile gaming at $0.99-$4.99 for most game apps as just one benefit - intriguing, as my muse says Apple may be aiming Apple TV at vulnerable $40 Playstation and Xbox titles.
Second, $99 is a sweet spot for those looking to purchase the latest greatest from Apple. At that price Apple TV is less a risk and more an affordable luxury in bad times.
Early reviews have been mixed for the unit. Like the iPhone before it, the real power will be derived from what content developers specifically create for it in the near future. Sales volume is what will propel that development and right now Apple TV is entering quite a few homes. It's too early to say if it will be a hot Christmas commodity. What we can say is that in a weekend Apple has taken over the lead from Roku and other similar devices aiming to capture the american living room. The question is can Apple finally bring the concept to mass market maturity?
UPDATE: 4:00pm - I called all of the Apple stores in central NJ and
they all sold out their Apple TV stock. I also checked with Best Buy and those
stores are yet to receive their initial allotment. Amazon is sold out too.