Fortune ran an interesting article last night entitled “Tell me again. Why we think Apple will make a TV set?” The piece outlines the sketchy details surrounding one of the most anticipated, unannounced consumer products in recent memory: the Apple TV set.

Rumors that Apple has been working on a television have been bouncing around for years now. Started by analysts and fueled by “supply chain checks,” the speculation regarding an Apple TV has reached epic proportions. But has it all been for nothing?

“No one has championed the idea of an Apple-branded TV set longer or more enthusiastically than Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, who has been writing about it since 2009. But what set him going down this path? The answer came in a Munster profile published last Friday in Bloomberg Businessweek:

“Somebody close to Apple said we needed to be doing more work on the television and that started it all,” Munster says. ” YOu start with these crumb trails, then it turns into a dirt road, now it’s a paved road.”

Indeed it is. But what if Munster’s tipster was trying to lead him to Apple TV, the set-top box, and not some still-mythical TV set?”

The author also names several reasons why Apple wouldn’t want to to get into the TV space, including low profit margins, longer refresh cycles (people don’t buy TVs every year), and the fact that there isn’t a global standard for TV technology (NTSC, PAL, etc).

While these are all valid points, it’s hard to ignore the last several months of reports from various sources. For instance, The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest newspaper, claimed that Apple was talking to Canadian networks about a TV set earlier this year.

Still, Fortune’s report does spark some interesting questions. What if all of the rumored “iTV” features — Siri, third-party applications, etc. — all wind up in a future iteration of the current Apple TV set top box, and not a full-blown TV set?

What do you think? Which route do you hope Apple takes?

[9to5Mac]

  • Anonymous

    The less they integrate the the monitor with features the better. The last thing we need is apple to reinvent the TV/VCR combo. One fault and the whole thing goes I the trash.

    • cruzcontrol1001

      Then you would need apple care and your set. I’m all for integration. As long as it is worth while.

      • Anonymous

        And how long is Apple Care good for? 2 years max, IIRC. Then my thousand(s) of dollars TV is worthless.

        If they can make it serviceable then maybe. They made the iPad unserviceable.

      • cruzcontrol1001

        We will not know until it is available. For all we know they make a new care plan just for it.
        As for the iPad as thin as it Is, it is impossible to make a electronic that thin. That a service man can take apart easily and fix.if they would have made serviceable it would have ugly screws in the digitizer. Visible then we would be bitching that it looks ugly.

        Like I said before if they want my money for a new tv they better make it a worthy purchase.

  • Honestly i would jump at a Super-AMOLED or retina display TV set from Apple. My wife and i have an old 60″ 720p behemoth of a tv set and we have been waiting on something worthwhile to buy such as an apple TV set.

  • Then there making a bigger better iMac

  • Aric Bolf

    I felt disappointed by this article as the title led me to assume the article was about what if they are not making a TV, which is implying you’re writing about something else being made.

    Please write an article about a possible product, besides a TV, that the leaked information MAY lead to.

  • The apple TV
    A retina display 52 inch tv
    With a built in blue ray player and revolutionary sound
    There would be no need for fancy home theatres
    Just the apple tv and Some good compatible Bose speakers(just like they have earphones for iphones)
    Clean and elegant
    I would buy that!!

  • The apple TV
    A retina display 52 inch tv
    With a built in blue ray player and revolutionary sound
    There would be no need for fancy home theatres
    Just the apple tv and Some good compatible Bose speakers(just like they have earphones for iphones)
    Clean and elegant
    I would buy that!!

  • Could just be a touch screen computer that allows you to watch TV through it too ( a giant ipad if you like with a remote control to operate TV ) which, I think, a Japanese company made last year.

  • I think improving iTunes content now on Apple TV is the strategy apple is following.

    Don’t think an Apple Branded TV is coming. they will let other companies build the TVs, while they will focus on providing the content you watch on those TVs! something that is beyond the reach of TV manufacturers!

    Already Apple TV box is 99$ which is cheap enough and Airplay mirroring is getting improved on iPhone/iPad and with Mountain lion they will let you stream your Mac Screen via Airplay to your TV with the highest resolution possible.

    I don’t think apple is building a TV, they are simply strengthening their ecosystem around the TV. So with an inexpensive box called Apple TV you can connect ANY apple device to your dumb TV and use you mac or iOS device to show content on the big screen!

    I even believe that apple is gearing towards this so that you wont need another game console since your iPhone or iPad will be your game console! just play game via Airplay to any TV you have in your house and you are done.

    If you ever used/had an Apple TV box you would understand the power of iTunes ease of renting Movies/TV shows and streaming your iPad/iPhone on the big screen! Imagine if you could even get any worldwide channel by simply clicking a button and making a subscription for it via iTunes! i think thats the piece of puzzle apple is trying to nail!

  • The world will not End 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I honestly don’t want an integrated AppleTV. Regardless of cost or features. I much prefer to put money into the highest quality “dumb” display possible, to make sure its the biggest size with the best picture quality available. Then I rely on all my various sources (the ATV2 being one of them) to deliver all my content. Everything goes through my A/V receiver as the “heart” of my home theatre, so that’s where I put the most money.

    Given I only upgrade my TV every 5 years or so, I really have no interest in spending extra money on integrated iOS features that will quickly date. And you just know you’d pay a premium for the honour of a TV with an Apple logo on it, even if competing brands were much better value.

    I say keep concentrating on the ATV as a cheap but increasingly powerful STB. People are far more likely to upgrade that once a year given everything it can do for $100.