Apple's iTV set to be a lemon

While the Tame Apple Press  is starting to hype up the Apple TV, which punters are expected to be queuing for in late 2012, it is starting to look like it will be a lemon.

YouGov has been adding up the numbers and dividing by its shoe size and come to the conclusion that not only Apple, but Google and anyone else who is thinking that building an internet enabled smart telly could be be doomed.

Only 15 percent of the UK population are planning to buy an internet enabled Smart TV in the next year and while Cupertino should be able to whip up enough fanboys to buy one or two sets, Apple has not got the chops to compete in this market.

The company considered Apple TV the final frontier and, in Jobs’ biography, he said he thought he finally cracked it. As a result Apple fans are really curious to see what Jobs would do to the television. 

But the rest of the world is not really interested in Smart TVs. At least Apple can be assured that if it gets its telly out in time it will be at least six months to a year before rivals get their versions out.

The report noted that Google would also be in the market then and admitted that might stimulate some interest for the idea.

Google is also said to be in talks with Samsung to launch its Google TV service in specially built sets next year, probably before Apple.

But YouGov said that the biggest driver for both products will be content, as 36 percent of UK respondents aged 18-24 said that they would make a connected TV purchase if they could watch their favourite TV shows on-demand.

This is where you would think Apple has the advantage as iTunes has more content than you can poke a stick at, while Google has YouTube and, er, that’s it.

YouGov hinted that Google could benefit from the growth of social TV, as services such as Facebook and Twitter are already available on connected TV services, enabling users to interact and comment on the action while watching programming.  

Apple, and Google, will point to the sudden appearance of tablets and say that their success is proof that people will want to watch smart tellies.

Sadly the facts don’t match the hype. YouGov said the use of multimedia on tablets was too low to make much of a difference. Apparenlty just four percent of those surveyed own one.

YouGov expects the tablet market to accelerate next year with the arrival of Amazon’s affordable Kindle Fire in the UK and more sensibly priced products appear.