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December 17, 2014


Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is famous for his annual prediction that Apple’s long-rumored television is launching next year, but this year he’s mixing it up a little, predicting instead that it will be launched in two years’ time.

Back in 2011, he predicted at the IGNITION conference that it would launch before the 2012 holiday season. Once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, he predicted late in 2012 that it would be arriving in time for, yep, you guessed it, the 2013 holiday season. He clung to that one throughout the early part of last year, but has kept quiet on the subject this year – until now …  expand full story

April 17, 2014

February 4, 2014

One of Apple's existing data centers

One of Apple’s existing data centers

The WSJ reports that Apple has been quietly making major new investments in Internet infrastructure in a move which may simply be designed to boost the performance of its existing online services, but which could also be in readiness for its upcoming television product.

Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for International Internet Exchange, which helps companies line up Internet traffic agreements, estimates that Apple has in a short time bought enough bandwidth from Web carriers to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second.

“That’s the starting point for a very, very big network,” Mr. Norton said …  expand full story

November 12, 2013

Ever since hearing that Steve Jobs had “cracked” the TV industry, Apple fans have been waiting for the day the company would release an actual television set. For now, Apple has given us the Apple TV set-top box, but some analysts now believe that Apple is gearing up to deliver an actual television in the next few years. Ming-Chi Kuo today noted that an updated Apple TV box running on Apple’s new A7 processor is expected in 2014, with an actual television set to follow in 2015 or 2016. The prediction also includes a warning that Apple TV sales will be limited unless Apple can find a way to integrate new TV services and content.

We expect Apple to launch a new version of the Apple TV with an A7 processor in 2014, and we forecast 2014 shipments to total 8.2mn units. Shipment growth will be limited unless Apple is able to integrate more TV content, services and its App Store, in our view.
We believe the slowdown in Apple TV shipments suggests Apple faces challenges in integrating TV content and services. If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries. Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.

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October 28, 2013

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

Having recently speculated on what Apple might have planned in the way of 4K displays, I thought I’d build on that to think about what it might have in store on the television front.

If you didn’t read my 4K piece, the tl;dr version is I think Apple will launch a 4K Thunderbolt Display in about a year’s time, once it has a new generation of MacBook Pro models able to drive one (or preferably two) at a decent frame-rate.

The question then is: what form might the long-rumored Apple Television take? After all, plug an upgraded Apple TV box into an Apple 4K display and you’d have an Apple Television right there. Why would we need anything more … ?  expand full story

October 22, 2013


One of the many Apple Television concepts out there (image: theverge.com)

Among the less likely of the many rumors surrounding  Apple’s long-expected move into full televisions is one reported in Bloomberg today, suggesting that Apple will launch 55- and 65-inch 4K televisions in the final quarter of 2014 with pricing in the $1500 to $2500 range.

Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan Co, claims the displays will be made by LG, the GPUs by Samsung and the frameless glass cover made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with Foxconn assembling the products …  expand full story

November 28, 2012

August 24, 2012

Update: Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves reached out to us with some clarification on his note to clients earlier today noting the “commentary in our note was our interpretation and our thoughts based on the meetings we had”:

Nobody at Apple said anything to us about future products. The commentary in our note was our interpretation and our thoughts based on the meetings we had. It’s ok if you say “Analyst does not expect a TV any time soon”, but its incorrect to attribute the commentary to Apple management, particularly in the title.

While recent reports claimed Apple is in deep negotiations with cable operators to create a new cable TV platform for Apple TV, many also tied the reports to the possibility of a full-fledged Apple HDTV. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed just last week that Apple’s HDTV set is in full production, and he went as far as including 2 million units of the device at an average sale price of $1,250 in his model for early 2013.

According to a note to clients from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, who spoke with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Senior Vice President for Internet Services Eddy Cue on Wednesday, Apple’s entrance into the HDTV world is “extremely unlikely in the near-term.” Fortune posted an excerpt from Hargreaves’ notes today following his meeting with Oppenheimer and Cue:
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February 13, 2012

Update: ITV has apparently denied The Telegraph’s claims that ITV CEO Adam Crozier wrote to Apple. In a statement to The Verge, ITV said, “The Telegraph’s piece is entirely speculative, and there has been no communication between ITV and Apple. ITV has no further comment on the matter.”

With recent reports from The Globe and Mail referring to Apple’s yet-to-be unveiled HDTV generally known as the “iTV,” and other reports from Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek that suggested Apple could  go with the name for its product, many are quick to point out Apple might have licensing issues with one of Britain’s largest commercial broadcasters, ITV. The 50–year-old and up UK-based TV network has challenged Apple’s potential use of the moniker in the past. According to reports from The Telegraph, ITV has apparently written to Apple to warn the company not to use the name for its upcoming smart television product:

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January 13, 2012

Photo courtesy of BBC

John Sculley, former vice-president and president of PepsiCo and CEO of Apple between 1983 and 1993, is adamant that Apple —not incumbents such as Samsung— is poised to change the first principles of the television experience. Sculley also confessed in an interview with BBC that has not read Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Apple’s late cofounder and CEO. Nevertheless, the executive turned investor underscored Apple’s history of past industry disruptions while opining that the television industry is about to experience Apple’s magic touch:

I think that Apple has revolutionized every other consumer industry, why not television? I think that televisions are unnecessarily complex. The irony is that as the pictures get better and the choice of content gets broader, that the complexity of the experience of using the television gets more and more complicated. So it seems exactly the sort of problem that if anyone is going to change the experience of what the first principles are, it is going to be Apple.

Sculely, 72, is a Silicon Valley investor nowadays, and dispelled some “myths” about his tense relationship with Apple’s cofounder. He said he did not fire Jobs, insisting they had “a terrific relationship when things were going well.” Heck, even Rupert Murdoch is commenting about Apple television, writing on Twitter this morning: “All talk is about coming Apple TV. Plenty of apprehension, no firm facts but eyes on their enormous cash pile”.

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January 12, 2012

When Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he finally “cracked the code” to building an integrated television set that is user-friendly and seamlessly syncs with all of your devices, Samsung Australia’s Director of Audiovisual Philip Newton told the Sydney Morning Herald that Jobs’ was talking about connectivity.

He laughed off the mythical iTV and dissed Jobs’ TV brain wave as “nothing new,” saying the future is now and it is his company’s Smart TVs:

When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.

Samsung is promoting Smart TVs left and right at the CES show that is underway this week in Las Vegas. The company is showing off apps and games such as Angry Birds running smoothly on Smart TVs. Feature-wise, Samsung Smart TVs are beating Google TVs to the punch with capabilities such as voice interaction, facial recognition, integrated camera controls for multi-video conferencing and multitasking.

Sony, Panasonic and LG are also pushing integrated television sets built around the Smart TV platform. While not officially an exhibitor, Apple reportedly dispatched 250 employees to attend the show and monitor what competition is doing; among them is the head of iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak. Apple has been rumored for months to launch 32- and 37-inch television sets in the summer of 2012. Does Samsung see Apple as a threat?

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January 1, 2012

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Various reports throughout the year claimed LG is providing the television behind the Apple HDTV.  However, nothing conclusive has surfaced.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays, some iPad displays, and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009. The net investment was a temporary exclusive on panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays now use. Sony also makes OLEDs, but it does not have a strong relationship with Apple – at least as far as displays are concerned. The other big OLED maker is Samsung, and it is currently tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

With that said, look at the things that will be shown at the Consumer Electronic show. They have a 4 mm bezel -that is half the thickness of an iPhone 4S- and weighs in at a paltry 16.5-pounds. In addition, things like “1,000 times faster than LED/LCD displays” and “infinite contrast ratio” makes this sound like one of the best displays of 2012.

(Full sized images and the press release are below.):

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December 9, 2011

Just two days after Wednesday’s release of an updated software for the Apple TV set-top box that brought the new TV Shows menu option, we’re hearing Apple pulled that option from the device’s menu, reports iPhoneinCanada.ca. Originally, the firmware update (which was deployed silently) added the new TV Shows choice to the Apple TV main menu.

However, it doesn’t work as iTunes Canada users  report being unable to purchase television shows. For some, the TV Shows menu option disappeared on its own 24 hours following the firmware update. Others report that the option gets deleted from the main menu upon choosing it. It could also be a software glitch rather than a deliberate move on Apple’s part and there’s already a thread on Apple’s support discussions forum.

According to the publication:

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November 16, 2011

An Apple television mockup by Adr-studio.it

Sony CEO Howard Stringer said in a recent interview he had “no doubt” that Apple was working on a television set, hinting his company had a few tricks up its sleeve as well.

I spent the last five years building a platform so I can compete against Steve Jobs. It’s finished, and it’s launching now.

Well, those plans have come into full. The Wall Street Journal ran a story detailing Sony’s push into the cable TV space. Think a streaming service aiming to obsolete cable and satellite TV providers by pushing more affordable entertainment content to devices via the ubiquitous IP protocol. Yes, Sony is already streaming Hollywood entertainment via the PlayStation network, but this is a different animal.

You see, even though Sony has its own movie and television studio, they lack a major TV channel in the United States, meaning they’re forced to shop for TV channels elsewhere. The company is allegedly negotiating the rights to offer third-party television programming via the web in the United States, “people familiar with the situation” told the paper:

But one person familiar with the talks said that Sony doesn’t want to recreate the same bundles cable TV offers and might start with smaller niche channels that are having trouble getting fees from cable operators.

Content would stream to the 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles installed in the U.S. homes, as well as networked HDTVs and Blu-ray players. Sony is apparently in talks with Comcast’s NBCUnviersal, Discover Communications and News Corp, but the deal is anything but given because Sony would love to undercut these guys on price. Clearly the company has nothing to lose considering its absence from the cable TV business. Another major obstacle: Bandwidth caps being imposed by Internet providers in the United States.

Sony has had little luck so far with their Google TV sets and Stringer is adamant that “every TV set we all make loses money”. Apple, of course, is rumored to be exploring a full-blown television set with Siri and Apple TV functionality built-in in an attempt to expand into the HDTV market understood to be worth an estimated $100 billion in 2012, much to the analysts’ delight. That project is allegedly being headed by iTunes creator Jeff Robbin.

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November 11, 2011

A rendition of an Apple-branded television set.

The WSJ reports that amid losing money on every television set they make, Sony somehow has a strategy for redemption. Stringer declined to provide details about what Sony is developing but said “there’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set”.

He he has “no doubt” Apple’s Steve Jobs also was working on changing the traditional TV set. “That’s what we’re all looking for”, he noted, warning “it will take a long time to transition to a new form of television”. Slim margins, low prices and little innovation make the business of researching, developing and marketing high-definition television sets a cutthroat one, he remarked:

We can’t continue selling TV sets [the way we have been]. Every TV set we all make loses money.

His company, Stringer said, spent the last five years creating an ecosystem to take on Apple, even though the company had seen little success with the Google TV platform and other connected television efforts:
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November 7, 2011

For all the talk about a hyped networked television set allegedly in the works at Apple, we’re way more comfortable pondering on a dozen convincing reasons why such a device wouldn’t make much sense from the business standpoint (even though true fans would no doubt embrace it). In his 2008 talk at the D8 conference with the Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg, Steve gave some memorable quotes as to why nobody had cracked the TV yet.

He first likened the state of the TV industry to being kinda “Tower of Bableish”, actually “balkanized”, before remarking how folks go to TV to turn their brain off. Interactive TV sets just don’t lend themselves to this passive medium, he observed. Jobs also recalled how he used to think TV networks conspired to dumb as down, but later figured out they’re just giving us what we want – light entertainment not requiring heavy thinking.

Funny how Jobs’s thoughts nowadays hold ground pretty much on their own. What’s truly remarkable, Steve came to those realizations at least 15 years ago. From the Internet archives (thus explaining poor quality), have a look at the above 1998 clip with Jobs in full swing mode educating devotees on the future of television. And while you’re at it, go past the fold for his take on the state of the TV industry dated 2008.

He’s literally saying same things, just wording them slightly differently. We’re eager to hear your opinion. What the two clips mean for the prospect of an Apple-branded HDTV set? Hit us in comments. And here’s everything Steve Jobs has ever said about television.

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October 24, 2011

October 10, 2011

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