Munster (again) sees Apple shipping iTV and new remote in 2013

iTV under Christmas tree

You gotta give it to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, arguably for years the most vocal proponent of a full-fledged Apple television set. Speaking to Bloomberg today, Munster re-iterated his belief Apple is working on releasing a standalone television set in 2013. His thinking is apparently based in checks with Apple’s suppliers and he also sees the Cupertino firm shipping an intelligent remote that, in his mind, should be an important part of the rumored iTV…

Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac relayed Bloomberg’s interview with Munster.

Here’s your quote:

The core of the debate is an improved set-top box… a hockey puck that attaches to your TV, or an actual television. Based on our work, in part, with talking to suppliers in asia, to talking with people in the industry, we think its an actual television.

Specifically, the basic thing it fixes is the remote control problem… We think fixing that is going to be an important part of it. And the second piece down the road is content, content on demand. That’s essentially what apple television is.

So, not only is Munster calling for a full-fledged television set with the shiny Apple logo on it – the mtyhical iTV– he’s also seeing a new Apple remote on the horizon. Of course, Apple owns a few patents for an intelligent remote, but it hasn’t yet exploited these in real products.

Other industry figures are also expecting that Apple will enter the cut-throat TV set making biz marred with declining sales and razor-thin margins.

For example, Brightcove founder, chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire told AllThingsD last month he expects both an updated version of Apple’s $99 set-top box with a coax dongle replacing users’ existing cable set-top box and a Retina-enabled standalone TV set that can run apps.

iTV mockup (AllThingsD 002)

Such a gizmo, he said, “will extend the iOS gaming distribution ecosystem into the living room and invent new categories of gaming through the interaction of iOS devices with Apple TV”.

So-called Smart TVs thus far have failed to resonate with consumers, an NPD survey indicated. Another research by AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley has indicated that one out of each two polled buyers would happily pay a premium for a better television interface provided by Apple.

The television space is ripe for some serious disruption as the basic experience has remained mostly unchanged throughout the decades. Multiple reports asserted that Apple is running trial manufacturing of television sets with screen sizes ranging from 46 to 55 inches.

Apple TV companion (AllThingsD 001)

Tim Cook in December 2012 told NBC’s Brian Williams that television remains an area of “intense interest” for Apple, adding:

When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.

TV makers like Samsung and others rushed to introduce 4K television (Ultra HD) products at CES, but this massive sets are prohibitively expensive.

Samsung 100 inch Ultra HD TV (CES 2013)

For example, Samsung’s Ultra HD TV S9000 aspirational TV set, picture above, will launch around summer for as much as $30,000 for the ‘smaller’ 85-inch version. The 100-incher is understood to retail for a whopping $50,000.

Are you happy with your current TV set?

Would you even consider a standalone Apple television set, even if it came with a premium attached to it?