Apple TV (teaser 001)

Apple quietly shelved plans to make an ultra-HD TV set with video calling and other features last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. The report follows an open letter to Tim Cook from activist investor Carl Ichan, published earlier today, which pointed to Apple releasing a 4K TV set in 2016.

Apparently, Apple was working on a full-blown television, and had been researching the project for nearly a decade. But Apple executives didn’t feel like the product or its feature set was compelling enough to enter the cutthroat market, which offers small margins to even the largest competitors.

Throughout its research, the Journal says Apple experimented with a number of technologies it’d hope would set its TV apart from the others. In the mid-2000s, it created a prototype display that was transparent, like glass, but it used too much power and its picture was too dim for production.

Later on, it developed another TV set with 4K resolution and cameras above the display for video-calling. Dubbed “FaceTime for television,” the cameras could actually sense who was talking, and re-position themselves to focus on the speaker. But this too failed to make it past the research phase.

Ultimately, Apple chose to put the entire project on ice, opting instead to update its Apple TV set-top box and pursue plans for a streaming television service. On that front, the Journal says its sources have confirmed that the company still plans to debut both of these products at WWDC next month.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

  • George

    I don’t get why they don’t make it now, they can add face time to that shit and it will sell millions.

  • This Guy

    1080 is fine. Do not need higher resolution. Add in the ‘Mexican soap opera’ effect and things look real enough to trick the mind. Too real, actually. Disturbingly real. (And extremely ANNOYING, I might add)

    But what do I know? I sold my TV four or five years ago and refuse to purchase another ever again so long as I may live. And no, I don’t have a giant computer monitor to watch TV on from the internet. I watch a few episodes of Family Guy or The Daily show here and there on a 13″ MBP and even that usage is becoming rare.

    Turn off the damn tube, people.

    • Rise

      The only reason i have a TV right now is for my ps4. Literally that’s all its there for. Everything esle gets done on my MBP. MBP gets hooked up to tv through HDMI anyway.

  • Bam Bam

    A transparent display? Awesome. I hope that means it can’t be too far away before they are used on phone/tablet displays.

    • nyangejr

      Mid 2000’s could have been the future we’re still waiting for, transparent display

      • Kurt

        Samsung has made transparent displays. I’ve seen them in person. One was a display box. Each side has a transparent display. Really cool. On youtube you can see the transparent displays for a laptop but I don’t know why anyone would want that. But for a display in a store, it’s really cool.