It’s time for Munster’s annual ‘Apple television’ prediction, and this time it’s two years away

apple-television-munster

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 …  Read more

Opinion: Will the spring launch of Amazon/Nexus/Apple TV signal the beginning of the end of live, broadcast TV?

tv

Streaming TV is heating-up. We’re expecting a new Apple TV box to be announced in April, Amazon looks set to launch its own box in March and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  Read more

Apple buying Internet infrastructure to boost performance, possibly prepare for television

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 …  Read more

Jobs biographer Isaacson back-pedals on innovation comments, says ‘execution is what really matters’, Apple is best

A couple of weeks after describing Google as more innovative than Apple, and suggesting that Tim Cook was vulnerable to a shareholder revolt if he didn’t quickly release disruptive new products, Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has downplayed his remarks in a round-table discussion on Bloomberg TV.

I think [Google is] very innovative. I was not trying to contrast it to Apple or something. I know, all the Apple fans got mad […]

The one thing I will say is innovation is great, but it ain’t everything. It’s not the holy grail. Execution is what really matters, and Apple is the best at execution …  Read more

Opinion: What can we expect from the elusive Apple Television?

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 … ?  Read more

Sketchiest of Apple television rumors suggests 4K 55- & 65-inch screens next year at $1500-2500

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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 …  Read more

Munster offers three content scenarios for iTV, says Apple tapping ‘major TV component supplier’ for late 2012 launch


Apple television mockup by Guilherme M. Schasiepen

Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster is arguably the most vocal proponent of an integrated high-definition television set from Apple, the mythical iTV. His old predictions were picked up by the press lately thanks to that vague Apple HD TV hint in Walter Isaacson’s authorized Steve Jobs biography, gaining more credence with both Sony and Samsung dissing the idea as old news.

Now, last we heard from Munster was in November of last year when he predicted an Apple television set within a year, costing double a comparable set. In a note to clients issued Tuesday, the analyst warned that his original timing “remains uncertain” but underscored he is still targeting “a late 2012 launch.”

More interesting is Munster’s claim that a “major TV component supplier” told him last month Apple was inquiring about “various capabilities of their television display components,” which sounds a lot like this skeptical New York Times report from October 2011. However, “Without a revamped TV content solution, we do not think Apple enters the TV market,” Munster wrote. Remaking the user interface is easy, but getting Hollywood on board will be tricky, as the Wall Street Journal warned in December.

With that in mind, Munster offers three content scenarios for the Apple television, as quoted by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt…

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Sculley: If anyone is going to change television, it’s going to be Apple (Murdoch agrees, too)


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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Samsung: Apple Television is old news. Smart TV is the future and already here

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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Sharp rumored to ramp up iTV production in February for summer 2012 launch


An Apple television mockup by Adr-studio.it

More news concerning a rumored television set by Apple that several analysts and some media outlets have been calling for feverishly. According to a blog post published by The Tokyo Times news siteApple has commissioned Sharp to begin manufacturing large displays for an Apple-branded television set. Sharp should ramp up production in January:

American technology giant Apple is shifting partnerships in Japan towards Sharp, eyeing the production of a brand-new TV range which may be called iTV.

The product should hit the market by the summer 2012, the story goes. And according to New York Post, which referenced the original Tokyo Times report:

Apple has taken over the entire plant — pulling out of South Korea and its former partner Samsung — to insure the quality of the new set and to protect its secrecy.

The Tokyo Times story quotes Jefferies analyst Peter Misek as saying that Apple’s rivals have already begun “a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do”. The analyst wrote in a note to clients, based on his visit to Japan and talk with manufacturing executives:

It’s a huge deal for Sharp because they spent significant amounts of capital to try and expand capacity and upgrade their facilities. It gives Apple a partner that they can control manufacturing and secure supply at a lower price.

Please be advised that our confidence in The Tokyo Times isn’t very high…
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