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Apple building prototype televisions for potential 2012 launch - report

post #1 of 194
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As rumors of an Apple television set pick up steam, one new report claims that the company is already building prototype models for a launch potentially as soon as late 2012.

Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray revealed in a note to investors on Monday that a source close to an Asian component supplier claimed in September that Apple was building prototype models of its rumored high-definition television set.

Munster has long been a believer that Apple will enter the television market, saying as far back as February 2009 that he believed the company was working on a major entrance into the living room. He sees Apple building an all-in-one, Internet-connected television set with access to the App Store and iTunes content.

If Apple were to launch a TV set in late 2012, he believes it would add about 3 percent to the company's revenue in 2013. With a projected 220 million flat panel TVs to be sold in 2012, 48 percent, or 106 million, will be Internet-connected devices, and he sees Apple selling 1.4 million of those.

With the addition of iCloud and Siri voice control, Munster believes Apple is even more prepared to launch an HDTV in the coming years. With iCloud, users could access TV shows, pictures, and potentially moves, while Siri could "simplify the chore of inputting information like show titles, or actor names, into a TV."

Munster also met with sources in Asia in January of this year, where he heard word that Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supply for LCD displays. The company is said to have invested in screen sizes of up to 50 inches for a potential television set.



Rumors of an Apple-built HDTV began to pick up steam once again last week, when it was revealed that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer that he had "cracked' the secret to building an integrated, easy-to-use television set. He said the device "will have the simplest user interface you could imagine."

Apple is currently in the set-top box market with its $99 Apple TV, but the company has famously referred to its interest in that market as a "hobby." The Apple TV allows users to purchase content from iTunes, while new features like wireless AirPlay mirroring have been added with recent software updates.
post #2 of 194
Ugh…

Any Apple HDTV would have to be CHEAPER than competitors' models, and I just don't see how that'd happen and keep the usual Apple hardware flair.

And the usual Apple hardware profit margins.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 194
I don't think it will be cheaper. That's not Apple's style. It will be an awesome set.
post #4 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

I don't think it will be cheaper. That's not Apple's style. It will be an awesome set.

It has to be competitively priced or no one will buy it.

And they can't cut prices too much or they won't make any money on it.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #5 of 194
No doubt it will have an Apple Remote, which I hate. There is no way on earth they will make a full remote, you will need to use an App and who wants to find their iOS device/ launch an app to change channel.
post #6 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It has to be competitively priced or no one will buy it.

And they can't cut prices too much or they won't make any money on it.

Did the example above show that it would be competitive? Beyond that, all of Apple products are typically priced above the competition. I think they would do very well in competing with other high quality televisions, like the Elite line from Panasonic. Selling a high quality product and once again not participating in the "race to the bottom" strategy.
post #7 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

No doubt it will have an Apple Remote, which I hate. There is no way on earth they will make a full remote, you will need to use an App and who wants to find their iOS device/ launch an app to change channel.

I don't see the problem at all with using an iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote. The whole point is to get away from those googletv-esque monstrosities.
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post #8 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

No doubt it will have an Apple Remote, which I hate. There is no way on earth they will make a full remote, you will need to use an App and who wants to find their iOS device/ launch an app to change channel.

This is why SJ was a visionary and you are not. You are not looking past what you already know.
post #9 of 194
I don't think we'll talk to the TV itself, but to our iOS device(s) that will then command the 'TV' what to do.

This would also allow several people to control one device. Parent could request a show is downloaded in the background (from anywhere on Earth of course), whilst a youngster could instruct it to launch a game. Hopefully, Apple will buy OnLive and embed that service in Apple 'smart' TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

I don't see the problem at all with using an iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote. The whole point is to get away from those googletv-esque monstrosities.
post #10 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

This is why SJ was a visionary and you are not. You are not looking past what you already know.

if you think: click/up/click/down/right/right/right/select is some kind of genius UI paradigm then I don't know what to say.
post #11 of 194
...is why they would bother embedding all of this stuff into a full HDTV instead of just beefing up Apple TV?

No, people don't want a bunch of cables & boxes, but if Apple TV was capable of everything they're talking about, it would just be the existing HDTV + ONE box/remote. That seems pretty reasonable, especially since so many people already shelled out for a brand-new HDTV within the past 5 years.

WIth cellphones, the problem was with both the hardware *and* the software. With HDTV's, the problem with isn't the hardware itself, it's the software & service providers.
post #12 of 194
oh and maybe the Apple Remote will distinguish between devices? My MBP listens to the same one as my AppleTV, is there anyway to fix that?
post #13 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ugh

Any Apple HDTV would have to be CHEAPER than competitors' models, and I just don't see how that'd happen and keep the usual Apple hardware flair.

And the usual Apple hardware profit margins.

I think that it has already been shown that people will pay more for the Apple brand. Apple has not built it's brand on edging out competitors with cheaper products, but instead better products.

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TechnoMinds

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post #14 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

if you think: click/up/click/down/right/right/right/select is some kind of genius UI paradigm then I don't know what to say.

Again, you are relating only to what you know. You are convinced that it can only being done with an existing method.
post #15 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ugh…

Any Apple HDTV would have to be CHEAPER than competitors' models, and I just don't see how that'd happen and keep the usual Apple hardware flair.

And the usual Apple hardware profit margins.

Hey I believe had a discussion with you about this on 07-31-2011. And you were adamant that Apple would never release an Apple HDTV

hehe
post #16 of 194
I don't see the benefit of a stand-alone set. Better hookup device to replace a cable box etc yes.
Everything built into a home theatre receiver type device makes better sense to me. M'eh, I'm not 'the crazy one' though.
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post #17 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

oh and maybe the Apple Remote will distinguish between devices? My MBP listens to the same one as my AppleTV, is there anyway to fix that?

Oh my god! You're right! It's broken and can never be fixed!! Shut down the factories, halt development!!
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post #18 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

Oh my god! You're right! It's broken and can never be fixed!! Shut down the factories, halt development!!

holy crap, and to think I've been called a fanboy - I hope you're never allowed into the wild.
post #19 of 194
I don't think Apple's stool can afford another hobby leg, TVs are white goods that really don't translate to Apple's philosophy.
post #20 of 194
The AppleTV set top box interface is cool but is not sufficient to control a TV set as well. Using an iPhone as a remote does work really well and I can see that working as a TV set.
post #21 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It has to be competitively priced or no one will buy it.

And they can't cut prices too much or they won't make any money on it.

The components prices of an AppleTV, minus the case, are likely very low. Apple likely can get good prices on displays already.

They are the biggest company in the world. Their CEO is experienced with supply chain management. What makes you think that Apple will have relatively high costs?

My guess is that they could churn out midrange TVs with some built-in cheap chips and sell them for premium prices. They will sell some sort of tech as the Next Big Thing and lots of people will buy it, especially if it occupies a firm niche in Apple's ecosystem.

I can see lots of people buying things from apple's online stores during commercials. Alternatively and in addition, I can see lots of people buying TV shows and movies from Apple as their standard TV fodder. Not only that, but Apple will sell lots of apps that are optimized for the big screen.

Apple can make money here, or they wouldn't even be looking at the field.
post #22 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

I don't think Apple's stool can afford another hobby leg, TVs are white goods that really don't translate to Apple's philosophy.

Er. I think you are confused about what white and brown goods are. White goods is washing machines, fridges, etc. They are utilities rather than luxuries. Consumer electronics are brown goods.

And if you don't think there is a space for Apple to occupy in that market then consider Bang and Olufsen.
post #23 of 194
Count me in. I don't care what it is, I'm buying one!

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post #24 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post

...is why they would bother embedding all of this stuff into a full HDTV instead of just beefing up Apple TV?

Because that way they can profit off of both the screen and the electronics which feed it. Apple buys lots of screens already. They get low prices on screens already.

And they know how to sell medium-quality screens at high prices already.
post #25 of 194
You say to Siri:
"What is on TV right now"
Siri displays a list of programs on.
"That's way too much, just show me sports programs"
Siri displays only sports programs.
"Let's watch Monday Night Football"
Siri switches your TV to MNF, while akf2000 is asking where your 250 button remote is?

Now we get to hear all the reasons this won't work.
post #26 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

You say to Siri:
"What is on TV right now"
Siri displays a list of programs on.
"That's way too much, just show me sports programs"
Siri displays only sports programs.
"Let's watch Monday Night Football"
Siri switches your TV to MNF, while akf2000 is asking where your 250 button remote is?

Now we get to hear all the reasons this won't work.

ok it might just be me but I prefer dedicated buttons, even dedicated input buttons which NO ONE seems to do, I even hate having to press 'Source' to scroll to my PS3, for example. I'm a dying breed.
post #27 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post

...is why they would bother embedding all of this stuff into a full HDTV instead of just beefing up Apple TV?

No, people don't want a bunch of cables & boxes, but if Apple TV was capable of everything they're talking about, it would just be the existing HDTV + ONE box/remote. That seems pretty reasonable, especially since so many people already shelled out for a brand-new HDTV within the past 5 years.

WIth cellphones, the problem was with both the hardware *and* the software. With HDTV's, the problem with isn't the hardware itself, it's the software & service providers.

If I buy another TV, it's going to be ONE thing that goes on my wall and doesn't need anything else. I don't want a single cable beyond the power cord. Think about it.
post #28 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Hey I believe had a discussion with you about this on 07-31-2011. And you were adamant that Apple would never release an Apple HDTV

I still am. I will be until Cook gets on stage and announces one. Until then (and for a long time after) it's abject nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by senjaz View Post

The AppleTV set top box interface is cool but is not sufficient to control a TV set as well.

Yes, it is. Your definition of 'television' is wrong. Or, rather, old. That's the only problem.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #29 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

If I buy another TV, it's going to be ONE thing that goes on my wall and doesn't need anything else. I don't want a single cable beyond the power cord. Think about it.

That would be nice, but unless the TV has a BluRay player built-in, I don't think that you could get enough data into it fast enough via any existing wireless technology.

Do you think that something hanging on the wall, maybe over the fireplace, will need to be accessed physically to insert media? Or will Apple just relegate users to lower-resolution, streaming media?
post #30 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Because that way they can profit off of both the screen and the electronics which feed it. Apple buys lots of screens already. They get low prices on screens already.

And they know how to sell medium-quality screens at high prices already.

Ah, I get it; so, let's say that Toshiba/Samsung/etc. are currently selling $1,000 HDTVs for $1,200; a $200 gross profit.

You're pointing out that Apple could sell the same $1,000 HDTV + integrated Apple TV (say, $70 in cost) for $1,499 or whatever.

Good point. Instead of making $30 off of a $100 product (Apple TV), they might make $430 off of a $1,500 product. Similar profit *margin* but greater total *profit* per unit sold; plus, the customer is even more locked into their ecosystem.
post #31 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ugh

Any Apple HDTV would have to be CHEAPER than competitors' models, and I just don't see how that'd happen and keep the usual Apple hardware flair.

And the usual Apple hardware profit margins.

Absolute nonsense. The iPad goes for the same or lower price than its less capable competition. The retail price of the MacBook Air is less than the cost of production for the competition--much to their consternation.
post #32 of 194
I'd like to be able to tell Siri to DVR a program that comes on at 8 and have it do it while I'm on the go.

Similar to DirecTV's system where you can program your DVR from your cell phone - have Siri do it for me.
post #33 of 194
I'm excited about this.

However, I do sure hope that 50" is the bottom-to-middle of the size range.

Prices for 50+ inches have dropped so much. I just bought a Samsung 55" for 1400 and would have no interest in anything smaller. Plus, 70" are starting to be sold at Best Buy for less than 3k!
post #34 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It has to be competitively priced or no one will buy it.

I'm starting to think that isn't the case.

An Apple HDTV with an Apple TV built-in and some kind of kick-ass new screen technology would sell a bunch.

Sure it probably wouldn't grab major market share, but it doesn't really need to. All Apple really need to do is skim off cream off the top of the market.

And that's without even beginning to focus on what could be possible. Think about this scenario...

You wake up late and walk into the lounge room...

"Siri, switch the news on"

Your TV switches on and changes the news channel.

"Siri, when does the game start?"

"In 17 minutes Tallest Skil" Siri replies, "Would you like me to remind you when it starts?"

"Yes please"

You grab something to eat and sit down on your lounge.

"Siri, do I have anything on for the rest of the day?"

"A teleconference at 4pm" Siri replies

"Can you cancel that please. Tell them I'm sick"

"I've canceled your meeting" Siri replies "The game is starting soon. Would you like me to change the channel?"

"Yes please. Siri, can you Facetime Bob, Jim and Ted for me please?"

A PIP group chat session opens with your friends... "Anyone want to put a bet on this game?".

The game starts, you pick up your iPad and launch the "Apple TV" app. It knows you're watching the game so it automatically shows you alternate cameras, player positions and game stats.

Eventually half-time rolls around so you start up a game on your iPad and mirror it to your TV. "Siri, can you remind me when the game starts again?"

etc etc etc
post #35 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Absolute nonsense. The iPad goes for the same or lower price than its less capable competition. The retail price of the MacBook Air is less than the cost of production for the competition--much to their consternation.

That's computers.

This is television.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #36 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

You say to Siri:
"What is on TV right now"
Siri displays a list of programs on.
"That's way too much, just show me sports programs"
Siri displays only sports programs.
"Let's watch Monday Night Football"
Siri switches your TV to MNF, while akf2000 is asking where your 250 button remote is?

Now we get to hear all the reasons this won't work.

I can only imagine the horrible youtube videos we will have to endure watching people ask Siri the same stupid questions but now with a TV involved.

TechnoMinds

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post #37 of 194
Why would I want YET ANOTHER REMOTE? Besides, I have my iPhone with me all the time
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post #38 of 194
Really?!? An Apple tv? ... and people think this will work?!

Televisions are a cut throat business. Combine that with the fact that most people can't even operate cable boxes properly.

This thing better be smooth as glass in operation, 46" or larger and still undercut the competition... that's my view of it.

This sounds like a Steve thing that will be very difficult for the rest of the crew to launch properly. jmho
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post #39 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I'm starting to think that isn't the case.

An Apple HDTV with an Apple TV built-in and some kind of kick-ass new screen technology would sell a bunch.

Sure it probably wouldn't grab major market share, but it doesn't really need to. All Apple really need to do is skim off cream off the top of the market.

And that's without even beginning to focus on what could be possible. Think about this scenario...

You wake up late and walk into the lounge room...

"Siri, switch the news on"

Your TV switches on and changes the news channel.

"Siri, when does the game start?"

"In 17 minutes Tallest Skil" Siri replies, "Would you like me to remind you when it starts?"

"Yes please"

You grab something to eat and sit down on your lounge.

"Siri, do I have anything on for the rest of the day?"

"A teleconference at 4pm" Siri replies

"Can you cancel that please. Tell them I'm sick"

"I've canceled your meeting" Siri replies "The game is starting soon. Would you like me to change the channel?"

"Yes please. Siri, can you Facetime Bob, Jim and Ted for me please?"

A PIP group chat session opens with your friends... "Anyone want to put a bet on this game?".

The game starts, you pick up your iPad and launch the "Apple TV" app. It knows you're watching the game so it automatically shows you alternate cameras, player positions and game stats.

Eventually half-time rolls around so you start up a game on your iPad and mirror it to your TV. "Siri, can you remind me when the game starts again?"

etc etc etc

You are so right on the spot with this.

People just don't use their imagination when talking about this subject. Price is not the barrier, imagination is!

TechnoMinds

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post #40 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post

The only part about this I don't get is why they would bother embedding all of this stuff into a full HDTV instead of just beefing up Apple TV?

An Apple TV connected via HDMI is a serviceable solution but it's still very messy.

I've theorized on multiple occasions about Apple releasing a specification (implementable by 3rd party TV manufacturers) which allows an Apple TV to control a HDTV via Thunderbolt.

I think the main problem with that solution is that a lot of the fun stuff starts when you add something like a Kinect into the mix.
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