It’s coming. When it hits the market, how much it will cost, and whether it will redefine an entire industry like a few other notable products in the company’s arsenal have are all questions with unclear answers, but make no mistake: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making a television.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology company owns your pocket contents. Now it wants your living room. Given the way people have responded to the iPad — Apple sold just under 40 million tablets inside of 18 months — it’s obvious Apple knows how to get people to buy an unusual, expensive piece of technology that they didn’t even know they wanted.
What precisely will the Apple HDTV be, though? Details are scarce at this stage. As quoted in Walter Isaacson’s new biography, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said, “Id like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use … It would seamlessly integrate with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest interface. I finally cracked it.”
For now, here’s what’s known or being hinted at for Apple’s new HDTV:iOS
The device likely will be an iOS device, using the same operating system as the iPad, iPhone and existing Apple TV set-top box. Unlike the Apple TV, though, the new device will support live TV and DVR, much like traditional cable boxes. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been saying as much since September 2010 when Apple signed a confidential multiyear deal with Rovi (NASDAQ:ROVI). At the time, Munster said, “(Apple) will likely launch an all-in-one Apple Television in the next 2-4 years. Following its deal with Rovi, Apple would be clear to add live TV, DVR, and guidance features to its Apple TV product, which we believe is a critical step towards in all-in-one Apple Television.”LCD
It’s also likely that Apple’s set will be an LCD television. Apple invested nearly $4 billion in the LCD screen industry in January, securing contracts with Wintek, Sharp and TPK. While it made sense for Apple to shore Apple LCD supplies given the runaway success of its portable devices, the large sum poured in the technology also was noted as evidence of Apple’s TV plans, according to Munster.