Apple ‘more in tune’ with TVs than set-top box biz

By , Dec 7, 2012

Wall Street investors are among those intensely interested in Apple CEO Tim Cook’s remark that the iPad maker has “intense interest” in doing something about television. One observer believes Apple wants its logo on the king of the hill, top of the heap when it comes to consumer electronics: the television set. The company has never been one to work around the edges of an industry.

That’s why a Wells Fargo Securities analyst expects Apple to forgo a predicted set-top box and instead go for a full-blown Apple TV, calling it the “centerpiece of the living room”

Analyst Maynard Um writes in a Friday note to investors, as reported by AppleInsider:

While CEO Tim Cook did not outright state it would release a television set, his indication that it was ‘an area of intense interest’ suggests, to us, that Apple will eventually enter this market and round out the fourth and only missing screen in its ecosystem.

The firm already has a piece of the computer, phone and tablet market.

Um’s note contradicts an August report by the Wall Street Journal which claimed Apple was mulling over the idea of a set-top box that had an interface similar to iOS and used cloud storage for a DVR.

Um believes Siri could be a selling point for an Apple TV. This isn’t the first time the voice-activated application has been mentioned in connection with a planned television.

More than a year ago, the New York Times claimed Apple would use Siri to power its TV dreams. In November, inveterate Apple TV predictor Gene Munster opined that Apple will unveil a TV set in 2013 both with Siri and FaceTime.

But, wait.

There’s that nagging problem of getting content providers to fall into line – something even Apple admits is a deal-breaker.

Because of this little stumbling block, Um forecasts an Apple television set won’t be announced until the second-half of 2013, or in 2014.

While an Apple television set in your front room, gleaming white and souped-up with Siri, would be a great present for consumers and investors, alike, it is probably just one of those nice pipe-dreams.

Dealing with Hollywood and New York for rights to network video content would be the mother of all licensing negotiations, making the iTunes battle a game of tiddlywinks.

Secondly, the market for television sets is so commoditized as making a $1,000+ TV impractical. Throw in an economy on life-support and you have little chance of rational-thinking Apple introducing a television in 2013.

What about later, like 2014, as Um suggests?

Perhaps.

There are some reasons why a television with Apple’s logo could materialize. Television viewers are increasingly turning off the networks and watching Netflix or YouTube. While this trend is mostly among the young, the demographic is also prized by advertisers.

Could an Apple TV shore up the audience for networks?

Apple has accomplished industry turn-arounds in the midst of trying times.

The iPhone came along at a time when consumers were just starting to move from landlines to cell phones. Combining the flexibility of wireless with the patented convenience of Apple design only accelerated the shift, turning cell phones into smart devices.

Is an Apple TV a crazy idea or just the latest product consumers didn’t know they needed – until now?

Note: lots more conceptual artwork depicting an iTV interface can be found here.

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  • Lordthree

    It will be a set top box. Nobody wants a panel

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    umm it looks like another big boring ipad… with the same boring UI..

    • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

      That’s not the UI… That’s just a picture for the post.. The tv isn’t out yet

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        its still boring

  • http://twitter.com/wehavetogobackk Enes Taşdemir

    I would prefer the box because i wouldn’t be able to change the tv every year

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    This could be just a supersized iMac with an iTV OS (just like iOS) installed in bootcamp and an additional input for Coaxial cable.

    The remote could be just another iOS app or a stand-alone bluetooth remote, with a mic for Siri commands.

    Would definitely be overpriced just like every Crapple product.

    • Tardroid

      asshole tardroid

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Cunt tardroid

      • Tardroid

        lol Tardroids are you guys aka fandroids.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        That’s funnily ironic, cause it’s your name.

        Cause I call Crapple products overpriced it implies I use android? Very wise reasoning.

      • Tardroid

        fandroid aka tardroids likes to own cheap ass products. no surprise there.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        iTards like to throw money at everything called “new”, regardless of what the so called “new” device brings; that’s why Crapple keeps getting away with minor, yet overdue, upgrades to their devices, they’ve got enough iTards to buy them. No surprise there.