Piper Jaffray: Apple’s $3.9B component deal could signal Apple’s intention to build 50-inch TV set

Apple Online Store“Analyst Gene Munster issued a note to investors on Thursday in which he said recent meetings in Asia — not with component suppliers — suggested that Apple has put its secret $3.9 billion investment toward securing displays for its range of products,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “He said Apple is believed to be investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supply for LCD displays.”

“The analyst also said that the investment could further signal Apple’s intention to enter the television market,” Hughes reports. “Munster has believed for years that Apple will introduce its own HDTV by the end of calendar year 2012 at the earliest.”

Hughes reports, “‘While Apple’s commitment to the living room remains a ‘hobby,’ we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate,” Munster said. He said Apple’s component investment, believed to be in displays, could allow Apple to procure screen sizes up to 50 inches.”

Read more in the full article here.

Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s, “Displays are becoming Apple’s second most important priority, after its software, as the ‘window into the software.’ And [Munster] believes Apple can succeed in the category, as ‘history shows Apple can succeed by redefining mature markets.'”

“Bear in mind, Munster argues, the TV could also be a window into a “cloud-based” version of iTunes that’s been rumored,” Ray reports. “The one thing Munster doesn’t talk about, I’d note, is what TV sales would do to Apple’s profit margin.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just tell us where the line starts and we’ll be right behind Greg Packer! What about you, do you want an Apple television, too?


  1. “……What about you, do you want an Apple television, too?…..”

    u-mmm let me think about this for a moment …

    YEP !! Sure do..

    especially if Apple uses that new server farm (partially) for giving us some ala carte TV !

  2. I don’t really see how selling TVs would fit into Apple’s plan. People don’t replace TVs every 2-3 years, like they do mobile phones, iPads, or laptops. TV technology is slow to change, so the need to change a basically dumb monitor is minimal. It’s the connected devices that make a difference (DVR, AppleTV, satellite, etc.).

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how Apple securing its future display needs translates into 50″ TVs. It’s more likely that Apple is securing higher-definition displays for iPads, iPhones, and other portable devices, both to lock out the competition and to significantly reduce prices.

    I also fail to see what a TV by Apple would gain in ease of use over any other manufacturer, except that an AppleTV could be embedded. And then be obsolete in 4-5 years. It’s not like you access the control menus of your TV once the system is set up.

  3. An Apple TV makes sense but what Munster claims doesn’t:

    – release by end of C12 at “the earliest” …
    – …but alreadysell 1.4m units in C12
    – $3.9b just for a couple of large LCD displays two years later? I think it’s for the 100m+ iPod touch, iPhone and iPad units 2011, a number that will probably approach 200m units in three or four years ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. I love Apple products, I own 2 Apple TVs but I don’t need an Apple television/flat panel. I just finished upgrading to flat panels last year and don’t plan on buying a new television set for about 5 years.

    Why would Apple want to get into a product with such a long upgrade cycle? I would rather buy new Apple TVs as new models come out.

  5. I’ve always believed lack of control over media content is Apple’s Achiles Heel. Any move in the direction of Apple gaining that control will be welcome. I consider a move to put out their own HDTVs a little, indirect step in that direction.

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