The device is expected to integrate the media functionality of the Apple TV and to be capable of performing a sync operation with iPods, iPhones and Macs.
The argument that Apple will not enter the television market because prices have declined by approximately 70 percent in the past three years is a similar argument used to conclude Apple would not enter the cell phone market, given phones had seen similar price declines," Gene Munster wrote in a memo to investors obtained by CNN.
"The bottom line, 10 million HDTV’s sold in the US a year is a real market, and if history repeats itself, Apple will find a way to compete in a commoditized market with a premium priced product.”
He speculates that the device could in theory be controlled by an iPhone or an iPod touch. “We believe Apple could differentiate itself with software that makes home entertainment simple and solves a pain point for consumers,” he alleged.
Munster also predicts Apple will upgrade the Apple TV, introducing support for services such as Hulu, and adding a TV input and DVR features, speculating Apple to be “exploring” a subscription-based offering for its iTunes TV content.
The analyst predicts Apple will sell 6.6 million Apple TV’s in 2009, up from 2.1 million last year.
Oh, and here’s a nice morsel for iPhone fans. We’ve been told that a Hulu app is en route for iPhone. Maybe not at the September event, but by the new year.