This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Google's Dongle Won't Make Things Hard for Apple

Stocks in this article: GOOGAAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG) little "dongle" -- Chromecast -- set the tech media into a tizzy. It was comical to watch the nearly orgasmic reaction. I say "nearly" because many tech writers and talking heads can barely focus long enough to make it from one side of a hill to the other with anything resembling clarity.

Consensus instantly labeled Chromecast an Apple (AAPL) TV and Roku killer.

The biggest selling point: It's cheap. Only $35. Have we learned anything?

I'm not sure why the concept is so difficult to grasp.

You don't compete with Apple on price. You just don't. You try. But you don't win. Sure, maybe you snag some marketshare you wouldn't have otherwise had, but that doesn't make a winning long-term strategy. And it sure as hell doesn't make an Apple killer. It doesn't even make a Roku killer.

iPad mini all but proves this. If it ended up a cheap, $199 tablet I would have worried. I employ the same thinking ahead of the rumored launch of a reportedly "cheap iPhone." I'm of the mind that the cheap iPhone already exists -- a widely available older model or two -- and this new iteration of iPhone will hit market more like the mini did. We'll see.

But, either way, the tech media needs to think in reverse. Consider where people are at. What they already have. And how they might approach the issue of price.

First, Chromecast barely competes on programming. There's very little reason to get one if you have Apple TV, a Roku player, a BluRay player or a smart television already. Even if it cost five bucks, there would be no need.

Second, smart televisions continue to gobble up marketshare. As they become the norm, they render something like Chromecast even more useless than it is in the first place.

Third, and maybe most importantly, to many consumers, Google is a verb. A verb that has allowed it to amass a multi-billion dollar advertising empire (nearly 100 percent of Google's revenue comes from ad sales). Not taking anything away from the company in that regard, but, even considering Google's place in popular culture and everyday usefulness, it has lots of work to do to become a ubiquitous consumer brand. I don't doubt that Google will succeed building a software and services empire, but it's simply not going to knock Apple off or disrupt the living room in the process.

If you're somebody making the decision between a $35 Google dongle and a $99 Apple TV, I don't think you're saying, It's only 35 bucks, I might as well just buy it. Rather, you're saying, Apple makes quality stuff, I already own a couple Apple devices, have an iTunes library and it's only an extra 65 bucks so I might as well go with what I know, what I trust and what has a track record.

The tech media tends to overstate its own relevance. They're a self-important bunch. Non-media tech geeks tend to operate in a vacuum -- albeit a less pretentious one -- as well. Just because these cats loaded their virtual shopping carts with multiple Google Chromecasts like South Floridians stock up on water ahead of a hurricane doesn't mean the thing is an Apple TV killer. Not even close.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs