Not many companies can claim to be the biggest thing to hit a trade show without actually being in attendance, but Apple has that honor this year. With so much talk about the iPhone and iPad maker being ready to enter the television market, the competition is already sitting up and taking notice.

Not only that, but word has it that Apple is currently working on a 42-inch television in design guru Jony Ive’s top-secret studio. The flatscreen supposedly has onboard Wi-Fi and also comes in a 50-inch flavor. Rumors of such a device are keeping competitors on the edge of their seats.

According to USA Today, Apple is already the talk of CES, one of the most popular technology trade shows in existence. Potential Apple iTV competitors attend the convention, and everyone is waiting to see what move Apple will make next.

Anonymous sources for USA Today have suggested that the biggest stumbling block for Apple right now is the lack of content deals, with the pay-per-view model the company wishes to use seemingly going against everything the TV content companies stand for. Why let customers choose what they pay for when you can make them pay for a dozen channels they’ll never watch?

Whether Apple does plan to enter the fray or not, Paul Gagnon at DisplaySearch believes that any release of an Apple television is at least a year away due to the lack of large-scale panel orders with vendors.

One thing is abundantly clear, and that is that this rumor isn’t going to go away. The only people more interested in the release of an Apple television than consumers is the possible competition. With iTunes and other streaming services built right into the set, how will Sony and its cohorts compete?

CES will no doubt see many television companies try to innovate in an already crowded marketplace. IP-based TV and fancy smart widgets will be the order of the day.

But without Apple’s design and user interface know-how, will anyone be able to compete?

  • What encourages me the most is that Apple won’t do what most other companies do; demo a product at a convention, then make you wait for months of anticipation. Apple introduces a new product (iPad, iPhone, etc.) and BAM!! you’ll be able to purchase one in weeks.
    Video game console companies are a good example; they demo a new system, then it takes months, or even longer, to actually get to own one. Not only that, but have it work for nearly 100% of the people that purchase it, right out of the box!

    • But game consoles require.. games, right? The creators of games must know about upcoming consoles, and because of that it’s much more difficult to keep it secret. So I think that’s (one of the) reason(s) that they’re announcing the consoles more then a year before. It’s better to announce it yourself instead of let the rumors reveal the whole console.

  • Anonymous

    I am buying and iTV.. It should have Siri..

    • there’s no reason for an iTV to exist if it doesn’t have siri lol

  • I actually can’t wait for an iTV, Apple understands what people want. I want to be able to just turn my TV on pay for a show RIGHT THEN, I don’t want to have to be forced to set me PVR to record on a certain day at a certain time to watch the shows I like.

    The world has been changing for a longtime, and everyone needs to adapt. I imagine that the iTV will have Siri navigation, use your iPad as a fullscreen remote and input device and one feature that hasn’t been mentioned is I think Apple will introduce Apps in an entirely new way to work with TV, I can see you asking Siri to check your Facebook wall for updates, share the show your watching or ask siri to get your details on the TV Show your watching from IMDB. The ecosystem that Apple has created is setting them up for something big.

  • Ive said it before …I will not be called iTV …with the web sites calling it this, people will think that’s what it going to be called…
    On another note ..I’ll take one please..

  • Microwave with Siri 🙂

  • I can see it now…

    “Siri, what’s on TNT right now.”
    “That boring show “Blah Blah” that you don’t like watching.”
    “Oh…”
    “Yea. But! A new episode of Criminal Minds is on right now, you want me to go there?”