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Apple eyeing billion-dollar acquisitions, push into TV market - rumor

post #1 of 116
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New rumors suggest that Apple plans to make more acquisitions -- potentially spending as much as $1 billion -- and will make a "big move" in the living room with a new TV-centric push.

Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider on Monday night moderated an event with a number of chief executives in Manhattan. Out of that discussion came a number of rumors about Apple.

"Apple's shopping spree isn't over, and the company is looking at all kinds of deals, even up to $1 billion," Frommer wrote. "This is being led by Apple's newish deals guy, former Goldman banker Adrian Perica."

Apple has more than $40 billion in cash, money that Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in February that Apple must "think big" with. He said his company would take "big, bold" risks with its massive war chest.

The last year has been busy for Apple in terms of acquisitions. In January it was revealed that Apple bought Quattro Wireless, which laid the groundwork for Apple's forthcoming iAd mobile advertising platform, set to launch July 1. And late last year, Apple acquired streaming music service Lala for $85 million, an acquisition that is believed to pave the way for a cloud-based iTunes.

Most recently, in April, it was revealed that Apple had acquired Siri, which developed a personal assistant application for the iPhone. The software allows users to find local businesses and complete activities like make a dinner reservation or purchase movie tickets, all through voice commands.

Frommer also revealed that Apple's "next big move" will be in TV. The report did not say whether that means the company is planning an actual television set -- which has been which rumored for some time -- or or a redesign of the already established Apple TV set top box. In May, one rumor suggested that a cloud-centric Apple TV would be based on iOS 4, offer 1080P streaming video, run Apple's custom A4 processor, and cost just $99.

"Apple's next big move is going to be TV," Frommer wrote. "Besides the leaks of a supposed new Apple TV device, the company also renamed its iPhone OS 'iOS,' foreshadowing a future beyond mobile devices. The company's move into advertising -- mobile, so far, but no reason it can't extend into TV somehow -- is another hint."
post #2 of 116
meh, I'll keep my WD TV Live.
post #3 of 116
Apple will have to come up with something cool to justify their margins. but i can see some people paying twice the price as a regular TV just because it was made by Apple
post #4 of 116
The move to TV and the living room seems like the logical next step for Apple. $1B will barely register a negative market reaction, given the size of its cash pile and its market cap.

But what/who in this space could be potentially interesting targets out there?
post #5 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

Apple will have to come up with something cool to justify their margins. but i can see some people paying twice the price as a regular TV just because it was made by Apple

I do not see Apple coming out with a TV. Nothing good can come from that.

Apple needs to deal with a low margin on a box if they intend on being serious with this space.

I sold my Apple TV with hopes that Apple comes out with a new device this fall.

If they do, the value of the original Apple TV will go in the tank.
post #6 of 116
I hope Apple buys a Sat TV company which would solve Jobs' "Go to Market" problem.

Apple could circumvent all the stupid regional cable companies.

Imagine an Apple flat screen with Apple software inside!

Best
post #7 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

I sold my Apple TV with hopes that Apple comes out with a new device this fall.

If they do, the value of the original Apple TV will go in the tank.

How do you know that the old Apple TV boxes won't be able to run the new ATV OS? It's very possible this will be likely. And it would be in Apple's interest to get all those ATV boxes, old and new, running the same OS and being able to access the same content.
post #8 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

I do not see Apple coming out with a TV. Nothing good can come from that.

Apple needs to deal with a low margin on a box if they intend on being serious with this space.

I sold my Apple TV with hopes that Apple comes out with a new device this fall.

If they do, the value of the original Apple TV will go in the tank.


some family just bought a new $1300 LED LCD TV. it has netflix, vudu, yahoo and google built in. i even uploaded some photos to their picasa this morning and a video to youtube so they can watch it tonight. next year this TV will be under $1000.

there is no computer required, no itunes needed, my inlaws can watch a lot of movies over netflix and rent movies from vudu. other TV's and blu ray players are even including pandora. if apple doesn't do something then iTunes is going the way of the dodo.

apple TV is overpriced and under featured when you compare it to game consoles and internet enabled TV's and blu ray players
post #9 of 116
Ideally Apple would take over a cable or satellite company just so I wouldn't have to deal with Comcast anymore. Seriously 15 minutes for their boxes to reboot and become usable after a lost of power for a second because it has to redownload the entire guide and all settings first. There's got to be a better way than that
post #10 of 116
It wont be an Apple Television, just a new Apple TV device/OS and service. One that will also enable you to record TV shows from a cable connection in addition to buying content from iTunes and surfing the Internet from your E-Z Boy recliner.

As cable companies control the pipe that many people get their Internet service through, it would be hard for Apple to attempt to compete directly with cable companies in supplying content if they weren't somehow part of the whole deal, like AT&T and the iPhone. Unless Apple is planning to buy an entire TV Network and cable company, which it easily could with that much spare cash laying around,
post #11 of 116
$1 billion? A short pile of chips in today's marketplace. Apple can afford to bet a lot more if they indeed have another game-changer up their sleeve.

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post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

Ideally Apple would take over a cable or satellite company just so I wouldn't have to deal with Comcast anymore. Seriously 15 minutes for their boxes to reboot and become usable after a lost of power for a second because it has to redownload the entire guide and all settings first. There's got to be a better way than that

connect it to a UPS. that is what i do.....
post #13 of 116
I think many Americans spend as much time in their car as in front of their televisions. I would love it if Apple could replace my car's touchscreen radio/phone connectivity with iOS. I'm sure there are parents who say the same thing about the backseat entertainment system. Sure, you could buy everyone iPads, but it takes forever to load them up with video... why not stream the video from the car's server? Which syncs to the house when within range?

Televisions have been done to death.
post #14 of 116
...the reason the Boxee Box has been delayed into Q4 is because they're in talks with Apple? Obviously Apple doesn't want Boxee itself, but there's got to be some talent and code there that's worthwhile. Just a little conspiracy theory for your afternoon pleasure.
post #15 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

How do you know that the old Apple TV boxes won't be able to run the new ATV OS? It's very possible this will be likely. And it would be in Apple's interest to get all those ATV boxes, old and new, running the same OS and being able to access the same content.

The older Apple TV boxes are Intel-based. I doubt if Apple would bother building all the libraries, etc. for an essentially dead x86 Apple TV platform. They would simply move on.
post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I hope Apple buys a Sat TV company which would solve Jobs' "Go to Market" problem.

Those companies really have a bad deal though from a content acquisition perspective. Dish is worth $8.3B as well, making it a pretty tough pill to swallow.

A successful strategy in the living room would almost do better with a pure content play such as NBC Universal, but at $30B+, it doesn't really seem like it would do much for ROI. All of these companies are pretty low multiplier; they would have to change how people use content to "unlock value" in the businesses.
post #17 of 116
An Apple TV or iOS-enabled set is an interesting thought, though... Making every device in your entertainment ecosystem a multifunction device:

Great picture on your iPhone? Throw it up onto your TV screen. Great show on? Swipe it to your iPhone. Hey, guys, listen to this! Song plays through TV/receiver. Let me show you the map/directions...

Why not?
post #18 of 116
...and they still can't come out with a new Mac Pro.
post #19 of 116
People don't want to pay for yet another set top box.
If Apple does create a new AppleTV box - the price to consumers will be $0.00 - They'll pay for the hardware through service subscriptions.

If the box is iPhone small, with an A4 and some flash memory - a better direction for Apple is encourage TV makers to create TVs with the hardware built-in. Or perhaps with a slot to accommodate the device. No additional remotes. No wires.

The AppleTV would just be another channel on the TV with downloadable content. apps (like AirVideo), YouTube.

C.
post #20 of 116
apple could buy 49% of bing
apple could buy or mimic hulu/netflix
<< yet why should they since they get both for free right now>>

apple could buy 49% of xbox or 100% of xbox content

apple could buy EA

APPLE could hire 2000 american college grads and add to its SW dept to update all its ignored cores biz's

apple could buy EA
or buy nothing but
fire steve jobs and split the company into 5 divisions
1 mac // ipad div

2 ipod / touch/ phone div

3 SW including filemaker pro and all macOSx updates// filemaker pro SW div

4 cloud services including itunes /app stores / server farms /including retail locations / online store

5 pacific region //educational and business sales div

6 new business / RD proto type ,Micro div to be run by steve jobs and to be run as an additional floating div moving in and out of all 5 and whatever other area's 'they need to be including other firms at will .

rant s over
i am home for the next month recovering from surgery
lucky you guys have my inane wisdom 24/7
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post #21 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwatson View Post

...and they still can't come out with a new Mac Pro.

Of cause they will... in due time. Apple has said again and again that they are still a computer company, and Steve Jobs has said it in several e-mails already!
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post #22 of 116
Doesn't Steve own the majority amount of stock in a company that owns a major network?
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The older Apple TV boxes are Intel-based. I doubt if Apple would bother building all the libraries, etc. for an essentially dead x86 Apple TV platform. They would simply move on.

It's just not worth it. The TV HW hasn't changed since it's introduction and they have had over 3 years of updates. I think it's a dead duck.

The A4 processor plus Imagination SGX GPU with VXD decoder could be put into a device as small as an iPod Nano in an iPod Dock, and could easily push Main/High-Profile H.264 1080p (like what's found in Blu-ray) while offering 802.11n streaming.

Since there would be no power constraints and the prevailing rumour is it would lose the HDD for NAND for mostly streaming, this is more than doable at a much lower cost than the current TV with the antiquated Intel Pentium M processor.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #24 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by numba1 View Post

Doesn't Steve own the majority amount of stock in a company that owns a major network?

Steve is the largest individual shareholder of Disney, but he does not own a controlling/majority interest.

Steve is nowhere near 50.1% of DIS.
post #25 of 116
Looking at getting into TV, maybe the years old TiVo rumors will be returning? $1 billion should be pretty close, considering a current market cap of $867 million.
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by numba1 View Post

Doesn't Steve own the majority amount of stock in a company that owns a major network?

He is the largest shareholder in Disney, but I don't think he owns a majority.
post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

People don't want to pay for yet another set top box.
If Apple does create a new AppleTV box - the price to consumers will be $0.00 - They'll pay for the hardware through service subscriptions.

If the box is iPhone small, with an A4 and some flash memory - a better direction for Apple is encourage TV makers to create TVs with the hardware built-in. Or perhaps with a slot to accommodate the device. No additional remotes. No wires.

The AppleTV would just be another channel on the TV with downloadable content. apps (like AirVideo), YouTube.

C.

the new mac mini is a great ATV
with the new HD AUDIO port you can access 500 g of tv shows and movies video podcast home movies and music of course FROM YOIUR ITUNES ACCOUNT
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post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

Apple will have to come up with something cool to justify their margins. but i can see some people paying twice the price as a regular TV just because it was made by Apple

It really bugs me when people say this as if it has any validity.

I don't know a single person who would pay more for something just because it was made by Apple (or, more accurately, has an Apple logo).

I know a lot of Apple fans - and they willingly pay more for quality, ease of use, ecosystem, etc. They have come to equate 'ease of use' with Apple and have come to expect quality from Apple products. They're paying more (if, indeed, they ARE paying more, which isn't always the case) for the quality and ease of use.

The problem with the industry is that everyone else is chasing cheap, 'me too' products rather than creating their own ecosystem that works well together.

In any event, I wish this "Apple fanbois will buy anything with an Apple logo" crap would disappear since it couldn't be further from the truth. When Apple makes a product with no compelling advantage, it doesn't sell well - Apple Cube, Apple TV, etc.
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post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by numba1 View Post

Doesn't Steve own the majority amount of stock in a company that owns a major network?

steve and his investors got 6 bn a few yrs ago for PIXAR

walt disney bought pixar for 6 bn

pixar is a fine company

9
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post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's just not worth it. The TV HW hasn't changed since it's introduction and they have had over 3 years of updates. I think it's a dead duck.

The A4 processor plus Imagination SGX GPU with VXD decoder could be put into a device as small as an iPod Nano in an iPod Dock, and could easily push Main/High-Profile H.264 1080p (like what's found in Blu-ray) while offering 802.11n streaming.

Since there would be no power constraints and the prevailing rumour is it would lose the HDD for NAND for mostly streaming, this is more than doable at a much lower cost than the current TV with the antiquated Intel Pentium M processor.

Exactly, I think an ARM-based Apple TV could arrive at a BOM cost of about $50-75. That would let Apple price the device under the magic $200 point.

It would probably retain a similar form factor, mostly because of the cable connectors (component video, HDMI, audio, Ethernet). The NAND flash memory would probably be the priciest part (for caching/storage buffer) followed by the A4-based SoC.
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

I sold my Apple TV with hopes that Apple comes out with a new device this fall.

If they do, the value of the original Apple TV will go in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

How do you know that the old Apple TV boxes won't be able to run the new ATV OS? It's very possible this will be likely. And it would be in Apple's interest to get all those ATV boxes, old and new, running the same OS and being able to access the same content.

iOS is multiplatform and highly scalable. There is nothing in the iOS that only must require an ARM processor to run, apart from kernel and driver changes. You can already run iOS if you have the iPhone Simulator on your Mac. (which isn't an emulator btw)

I'm not surprised if Apple releases iOS for x86 ATVs and upcoming ARM based ATVs based on their recent patent filings being able to run iPhone apps.

Having said that, another reason why Apple is telling developers to use their newest LLVM compiler technology over GCC is to "Future proof" their iOS apps in upcoming devices.

EDIT: 1. With the recent Mac Mini update, what's Apple's intention of including an HDMI port? Who are the audience they are targeting? Do you think budget concerned consumers want that overly priced device? Or Media center freaks who want an all-in-one/computer device?

2. Changing iPhone OS to iOS because of... current and upcoming devices?

3. And finally Jobs at D8: "The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everyone a set-top box, and that pretty much undermines innovation in the sector. The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it. But right now, there's no way to do that ... . The TV is going to lose until there's a viable go-to-market strategy. That's the fundamental problem with the industry. It's not a problem with the technology, it's a problem with the go-to-market strategy ... . I'm sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that's why we say Apple TV is a hobby."
post #32 of 116
Buy up some content company and have them featured on their devices (besides Disney). Maybe ABC or NBC Sure would give Comcast the creepers. And make the videos of that content non-DRMed. That way, plenty of people will buy cheap content from iTunes and buy Apple TV set
post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

Having said that, another reason why Apple is telling developers to use their newest LLVM compiler technology over GCC is to "Future proof" their iOS apps in upcoming devices.

Apple's current recommendation for production code is GCC-LLVM, which uses the GCC front-end parser with the LLVM back-end codegen. Apple is moving away from GCC because LLVM is a much better technology stack and because GCC moved to GPLv3 after 4.2 which carries too much baggage for Apple. The generated code is exactly compatible and carries no advantages in terms of portability to other hardware. In fact, GCC has many more hardware targets than LLVM at this time.
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It really bugs me when people say this as if it has any validity.

I don't know a single person who would pay more for something just because it was made by Apple (or, more accurately, has an Apple logo).
it doesn't sell well - Apple Cube, Apple TV, etc.

THE CUBE BECAME THE MINI
and a great movie

many apple fans get gifts of items they own already and keep them un boxed for long time
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post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

rant s over
i am home for the next month recovering from surgery
lucky you guys have my inane wisdom 24/7

Here's wishing you a speedy recovery, brucep!
post #36 of 116
Yeah, $99 is not going to happen!

Check out these items from the iPhone 4 component prices:

A4 processor: 10.75
256MB RAM: 6.50
16GB Flash: 27.00
Power Management: 3.93
WiFi/Bluetooth: 7.80
PCBs, Acoustics, Connectors, etc.: 14.40
Accessories, Literature, Box Contents: 5.50

That's $75.88 right there. It would likely include more stuff I don't know about, but maybe lower prices due to less miniaturizing.

And that doesn't include manufacturing, shipping and Apple's comfortable margins.
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by nslyax View Post

Looking at getting into TV, maybe the years old TiVo rumors will be returning? $1 billion should be pretty close, considering a current market cap of $867 million.

As your guess seems most appropriate, I'd rather suggest a move towards german-american Elgato www.elgato.com/, whose EyeTV hardware/software for both Mac and PC (and iPhone/iPad) are among the most innovative and as I see it goes even more beyond "TV" as we know it than TiVo.
post #38 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by numba1 View Post

Doesn't Steve own the majority amount of stock in a company that owns a major network?

Good observation. And, note that he keeps the two (largely) apart.

Buying a network -- "looking for synergies from content + distribution" -- is a fool's errand.

PS: As was clarified, SJ is the largest, not majority owner.
post #39 of 116
I think it makes perfect logic for Apple to have a 'base' media hub in the home that 'anchors' all its mobile products and allows interface/interaction with home uses.

For example, think about Facetime on the iphone4 or future ipad. Imagine the whole family...sister, brother, father, mother being able to sit in front of the tv and have a video chat conversation with the 'big brother' that's off at school. Imagine it being as easy as point and click with Facetime and the son holding up his camera to show his dorm room or introduce his new girlfriend to the family as the family sits watching and the son being able to see the expressions of his family back home and vice versa.

The tv would also serve as a central viewing platform for pictures and videos taken with the iphone and ipad and also a media hub where movies and tv shows on the mobile devices could be stored and watched on a larger screen. The ability to switch between internet surfing and a tv program and to also take phone calls on the same screen as well as send and receive files and information all in real time.

In addition, there will obviously be some kind of 'subscription plan' for movies and entertainment from the major studios and networks.

Some of this is already in Apple TV and some of it is not. I would think they will discontinue Apple TV as we know it and 'upsell' current users to a new Apple 'iHome hub' that will be the center of the Apple universe and integrate mobile devices with home entertainment systems.
post #40 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

$1 billion? A short pile of chips in today's marketplace.

I thought the same thing. $1B won't get you an Adobe ($14B), Intuit ($11B), Direct TV ($31B), etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Apple can afford to bet a lot more if they indeed have another game-changer up their sleeve.

Apple tends to buy for technology rather than for hard infrastructure, brand or market share. I would be surprised to see them grow their own business for all these years just to dilute its stock price and burn up cash buying something like a TV network.

I mean, it would be a fun story to watch; I just don't see it happening.
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