“If Apple truly is intent on disrupting the TV industry as it has done to the music and telecom industries, does it really have to build a standalone HDTV? Couldn’t the agent of that disruption be some other device? At least initially?” John Paczkowski wonders for AllThingsD. “Say, a remote control?”

“That’s the theory put forth by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who suggests that the fulcrum of Apple’s TV strategy isn’t the TV itself, but positioning its iOS devices as interactive TV command centers,” Paczkowski reports. “The iPhone and iPad can already wirelessly stream content to a TV with an attached Apple TV. Why not further expand those capabilities?”

Paczkowski reports, “Consider that there were about 360 million TVs in North America at the close of 2011. If Apple succeeded in transforming its iOS devices into smart TV remotes, it could add millions of units to its total addressable market. For what it’s worth, Reitzes hasn’t discounted the idea of an Apple HDTV. He thinks there’s one on the company’s product road map, but it hasn’t yet inked the licensing deals essential to its success.”

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