Friday, February 3, 2012

Will Apple Release a TV Set in 2012?

Apple has been wildly successful with pretty much everything that they have released recently, so do you believe that an Apple TV set could be a piece of technology that we see in the near future?

On Tuesday, January 31 Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster stated that he believes that Apple is currently targeting a TV set that they would launch sometime in late 2012.

"We are confident that Apple will enter the connected TV market, but timing remains uncertain," he wrote. "More specifically, the hardware could be ready quickly, but the timing and scope of a revamped TV content solution is unclear."

Munster claimed he had talked to a major TV component supplier that told him that Apple had contacted them “regarding various capabilities of their television display components." This report comes shortly after another report was released claiming that Apple was highly interested in a TV set. In September an Asian supplier told Piper Jaffray that a prototype of an Apple TV was in the works.

“We believe that Apple only enters mature markets with the goal of revolutionizing them, as it did with the smartphone," Munster wrote.

"In television we see an opportunity for Apple to reinvent how consumers discover and enjoy video on their TVs and mobile devices (live TV, previously aired shows, movies, user generated content, etc.)," he continued. "Without a revamped TV content solution, we do not think Apple enters the TV market. Since we know Apple is exploring television hardware, we are therefore led to conclude that the company is exploring a solution for live TV, and this solution could be one that has not yet been taken mainstream."

Munster went on to say that he believes that there are three scenarios that Apple could choose from when it comes to its TV plans: partner with cable companies, offer access via broadcast TV or an Internet-based source, or secure a license that would allow them to offer a monthly subscription service.

Of course, the simplest of the three options would be the first. However, "while this would be the easiest and most likely option, it would also be the least revolutionary," Munster wrote.

The second option would be a “broadcast/Web-based hybrid.” According to Munster, "Apple could then leverage a new App Store for the Apple Television to supplement the basic live TV features with Netflix, Hulu Plus, or any content provider that chooses to build an app for the television. In this instance, Apple would also likely continue to offer its iTunes movie and TV content through the iTunes store to the Apple Television."

The third option would definitely be the most difficult because Apple would become the manufacturer as well as the provider. This option would take plenty of work because getting a license can be very difficult.

"Such an offering would be unlikely given existing licensing arrangements between content providers and service providers as well as the fact that it lies outside of Apple's core competencies, even in media," Munster said.

One thing that Munster said was very important was the availability of the App Store on the TV. "Apple's strong iOS developer community would likely jump at the chance to build apps for an Apple Television, and Apple's iOS users would likely jump at the chance to buy one," Munster said.

Source: PCMag – Analyst Predicts Apple TV Set in Late 2012

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