IKEA takes on CE

So IKEA just announced they are going to start selling consumer electronics integrated into furniture. What do we think? B&O tried something similar, except it cost a fortune. Has this the potential to be a success story?

they seem to do pretty well with the appliances they sell, I don’t really see how this would be all that different.

This makes so much more sense than a stupid Apple TV ever would. Actually quite a nice design too.

I wonder if they partnered with GE again?

@ Mr-914;

Why would an Apple TV be stupid?

I think that Apple is much better positioned to create a media device to deliver content to the home. Connect it with the 'net, your music library, your photostream, your mobile phone and the tv shows we watch and you have a completely connected, integrated and COHESIVE interface to work with. Instant integration and a 1-stop portal. Apple is ready to help bring the promise of an integrated media portal out of the computer and into the living room. It took them many years to get there, with each stop (ipod, computer, phone, ipad, apple tv, etc.) being a point on the journey and allowing them to get it right before being in the living room 100%.

What is Ikea, a furniture maker? Sure they know about how to make seating and furniture to fit us, but that by no means makes them more suitable to make a TV for us…

It sounds to me you just don’t like things Apple.

Just asking;


Sounds to me like you’re just an Apple Fanboy…

Not necessarily an Apple Fanboy my friend, rather, I like what they have done well.

I also like TiVo, and my SlimDevices Squeezebox, and my Harmony One remote, etc…does that make me a Fanboy of them too?

Folks may like or hate Apple, and it doesn’t matter.

But, for someone to say that it makes more sense for Ikea (masters of cheap and flat-pack) to make a tv as compared to a media-device maker seems silly. Ikea does flat and cheap furniture and furnishings well - it’s hard to imagine them being able to do a tv well. It may look nice in an integrated housing, but that is way different than what an Apple/Sony/LG/Philips/Samsung tv would be focused on…

I’m just a fan of things that work well and enable me to use them.


I’m torn - mainly because I know that what they “Achieved” is still easily achievable with a home theater, but I do like the overall design - it’s very nicely integrated, though I would argue that the DVD player should be hidden.

When I first saw this I thought it was a parody…

I think the real deal breaker is going to be how good of a product is it? Which I’m sure the internet will quickly rip apart or praise. Could be the awesome go-to home theater for anyone in a small apartment.

Agreed - there is definitely an integration and convenience story with this from Ikea.

First time I saw that, I was brought back to the old ‘entertainment center’ my parents had from the early 70’s…
console tv.jpg

I think that Ikea’s unique perspective into how people set up their living spaces could provide them with some insights a company like Apple would not have.

The actual TV doesn’t seem all that important to this product. Assuming they have partnered with someone on the screen and that it will be of decent quality I can see this being popular. I like it.

Also, is Ikea really new to CE? They have boatloads of appliances they have been selling for years. :confused: Okay, they aren’t exaxtly CPG, but neither is this.

Apple TV: Why doesn’t BMW make a nice horse whip or Samsung make a nice Morse key. They are steps backwards, not forwards. TV is ancient and dying. That’s why they are quickly morphing into computer monitors and “Apple TV” was a good idea because it took advantage of this. An actual complete TV with an Apple logo on the back would deliver nothing more. Not even in terms of design, because the most designed part of a TV is the back that gets bolted to a wall. Essentially any TV today is already stripped down in an Apple way, just minus the quality of materials and manufacturing, which would be nearly invisible in this product form.

Cyberdemon: I don’t think the quality is going to be that big an issue. Ikea has the same contacts as any other TV brand for quality screens, audio, etc. All of this equipment, at the consumer level, is a commodity today.

How can we already call an Apple TV stupid? Do we even know what it is or entails? If anything, and if Apple is in fact working on something for that space, I think the software will be much more significant than the hardware. Remember, Apple is a software company that just so happens to also make hardware, not vice versa.

This Ikea unit is primarily about organizing and “uncluttering” hardware and thus also, in typical Ikea fashion, my life! …which is fine as well.

This is very interesting.

My first reaction was that it was a step back to the old console stereos, TVs, etc. Early electronics was designed as furniture, in part to get people to accept putting it in their homes (if it looked like an Edwardian buffet, better to match the dinette set. This continued up until around the mid 60’s when companies like Electrohome, B&O, and Clairtone challenged the paradigm and made electronics look like electronics.

This is also not too far off the parallel of how Apple challenged what a computer looked like (ie. first Macintosh, iMac, current iMac), but I don’t want to get too off topic.

Currently IKEA is in the CE space offering kitchen appliances made by Whrilpool which make everything from low end Maytag brand, up to and including Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid, jenn Air, and a few European brands. Quality is pretty good (on par or a bit below Kitchen Aid) and design is very high end. For example this microwave I’ve posted before. More contemporary than even Kitchen Aid.

(actual model now has a mirror finish)

What I don’t really get is the innate strategy and combination of furniture quality with the electronics. We will still have to see where these are at price wise, but typically people buy a TV for a much different lifespan than furniture. IKEA furniture is short term. Maybe 5 years max while you are in college or buy your first apartment. People typically have TVs for around 10 years, though of course the industry is trying to change that with all kinds of new gimmicks like 3D, etc.

IKEA is really great at cheap furniture, but aside from their kitchen stuff (all hardware is BLUM, and some doors are made in Italy), is pretty low end. I don’t want my TV table falling apart if the TV is OK.

Not to mention that these “all in one” systems are always a problem like the old CRT TVs with built in VCRs. One thing goes and the whole thing is scrap. Far too much to risk with a TV, stereo, speakers, DVD player and cabinet all in one unless is somewhat modular (maybe? IKEA is good at modular).

Most importantly I don’t see the fit for the typical IKEA customer who has an everchanging life/home. Students, first time home buyers, renters, etc. Your TV/console may fit now, but what about when you move in 6 months?

It’s a really interesting play, and one I could see as a student project 10 years ago (one of those expand the brand things), but in real life, I’m not sold. That said, recently have been spending a lot of time at IKEA (new kitchen) and am very impressed with what they do have in some areas if you know what to shop for and can get a little clever.


PS> Let’s keep the post on topic. If we want to argue over the Apple TV, start a new topic.

I don’t know about that. Do they have cheap shit there? Yes. But they also have quality. I bought a dresser there not long ago that if I would have seen it in someone’s home I wouldn’t have believed it was from IKEA.
It seems like the areas where they are improving are heavily leveraging design and engineering to pump out novel and solid products. The sliding drawers in our pantry storage unit are awesome.

The range of quality there is actually kind of odd.

Dresser I’m sure looks good, but quality is a different story. Pantry is kitchen which I said was good.

You really have to look at the materials. finishes and fasteners in their products to know if it’s good. A 1 pc. injection molded spoon, sure just as good as any other pretty much.

A chair with painted, (anodized or polished) steel (not solid aluminum) base, PU foam seat, visible fasteners and cheap castors, no comparison to a good chair.

One lampshade is a lampshade. One sofa is not the same as another sofa.

I’m not hating, just pointing out what I think is reality. As said, I do like IKEA for some things.


I think it was pointed out in an earlier post, but what I think is lost with this integrated Ikea product is flexibility.

I think they have great cache in producing and selling very flexible solutions to living spaces, some of which can be permanent, but the price point, quality and image is more associated with budget-minded and temporary (kid/teen/college kid/first apartment, etc.).

Now, that is an older mindset, I admit, and Ikea is definitely working hard to deliver solutions that are long-term and provide more value to the shopper with more dollars to find a solution.

There are some things at Ikea that are of good and lasting quality, but, it isn’t a pattern with all of their wares.

But, getting back to flexibility, I appreciate the integration and hiding of cables, but it’s now a larger piece of kit to move and seems a little backwards now that TVs have gotten so flexible and easy to position. In essence, the base of the TV is now an shelf system and locks you into one solution…

That’s what surprised me. I put it together (not a surprise) and it is a solid, well engineered piece. They used quality materials where it mattered and cheap and light stuff where it didn’t.

This product’s introduction date has very interesting implications. As the world appears to be retreating from a recession and much of the gear in living rooms and salons is 5+ years old, this solution has very interesting appeal to a global market that is beginning to spend again.

Many design problems are solved in ways that are contemporary and in such a way that merges furniture and CE in ways that have not been tried on a scale of an IKEA before.

The “assembly of CE” is new here. Will the consumer adapt to this as they have with other IKEA products?

The UI is not highlighted here and I’m eager to understand more of how it will be new and unique.

I hope apple will reveal some risk taking on this level in the next 6 months.

More I think about it, I’m betting it’s fake. Anyone find an actual ikea press release?


and about the cordless topic, the user still need to connect the subwoofer to the wall by cord for power. IKEA should integrate the SW inside their furniture to say that it’s a cordless solution.