Apple to enter TV business later this year, says former executive

A “former Apple executive, speaking with us on condition of anonymity, told us that that the company’s biggest upcoming product launch will be one that hasn’t been made official yet — Apple has plans to enter the TV business,” Jason Mick reports for DailyTech.

“According to source Apple plans to ‘blow Netflix and all those other guys away’ by bundling Apple TV + iTunes inside physical television sets,” Mick reports. “According to the source Apple is teaming up with a major supplier (our guess would be Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., to provide the physical televisions, which will be rebranded as Apple television sets. According to the source, ‘You’ll go into an Apple retail store and be able to walk out with a TV. It’s perfect.'”

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Mick reports, “The idea of Apple entering the large television display business has been rumored on and off for a while now. After all, Apple has sold computer displays for some time now. But to our knowledge this is the first time such a project has been confirmed by a former or current executive.”

Full article, in which Mick doesn’t seem to realize that the 2nd-gen Apple TV is a bona fide hit (see related articles below), here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV is wonderful. If you don’t have one, you should get one. Building it into TV sets makes sense. Everyone who sees Apple TV in action wants one (just imagine if Apple actually advertised it to TV audiences on *gasp* TV!) Wait until Apple turns on the apps, releases the SDK to developers, and adds TV Shows and movies to iCloud – the sky’s the limit! If Apple unveils Apple-branded televisions, they will be a huge hit.

One thing’s for sure: If Apple does enter the TV business, Gene Munster will be grinning.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” and “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple said to be racing to ink film, TV show deals for iCloud – May 31, 2011
Analyst: 2nd-gen Apple TV unit sales top 2 million, 820K sold last quarter – April 19, 2011
Apps to run on new iOS device? Mystery placeholder name appears on Apple’s App Store – April 14, 2011
Analyst: Apple to debut ‘Smart HDTV’ this year – April 13, 2011
iOS 4.3 beta code strongly points to Apple TV support for App Store, online gaming – February 10, 2011
Rush Limbaugh: Apple TV and AirPlay are cool – January 07, 2011
Gartenberg: Apple TV quickly going from hobby to serious business – December 27, 2010
Frommer: Get ready for the Apple TV App Store – December 21, 2010
Apple sells one million Apple TV units in first 90 days – December 21, 2010
Gear Live reviews Apple TV: Small, fast, inexpensive; AirPlay will make people sit up and notice – October 12, 2010
Computerworld reviews Apple TV: Well-executed, cost-effective, and easy to recommend – October 08, 2010
Businessweek reviews Apple TV: Apple gets serious about TV – October 08, 2010
MacNewsWorld reviews Apple TV: Priced to sell at just $99 – October 07, 2010
Hobby turns hit: Apple TV on pace to sell 1 million units per quarter – October 06, 2010
Ars Technica reviews Apple TV: ‘The potential for AirPlay is huge’ – October 04, 2010
Apps are coming to Apple TV one way or another – October 01, 2010
CNET reviews Apple TV: Pitch-perfect design and user interface; AirPlay has game-changing potential – October 01, 2010
Apple TV a ticking time bomb for cable and satellite TV providers – October 01, 2010
Apple TV’s hidden features could shake up the television industry – October 01, 2010
Apple TV teardown reveals iPad inside(s) – September 30, 2010
Engadget reviews new Apple TV: Video clarity is impressive; audio quality is also superb – September 29, 2010
Apple TV unboxing photos and video – September 29, 2010
TIME’s Techland reviews Apple TV: ‘Incredibly convenient’ – September 29, 2010
PC Magazine reviews new Apple TV: ‘Our new Editors’ Choice media hub’ – September 29, 2010
Apple TV’s digital revolution will kill these studios – if they don’t wise up in time – September 27, 2010
Apple TV now shipping – September 27, 2010
Gartenberg: Google overshoots for input 1 on your TV while Apple TV smartly targets input 2 – September 07, 2010
Wired hands-on with Apple’s new $99 Apple TV: It’s a cool device; snappy and fast – September 01, 2010
Apple gets aggressive with new tiny, low-priced Apple TV – September 01, 2010
Apple premieres all-new Apple TV for just $99; commercial-free HD TV show rentals for only 99-cents – September 01, 2010


  1. I’ve had an ATV2 for 6 months. It works OK for most things, but for Netflix it just sucks. It works Netflix sometimes, but its a total crap shoot: 75% of the time I have switch over to my Roku box to use Netflix.

    If my Roku box works, why won’t ATV? It pisses me off. And there are apparently no solutions.

    1. I use Netflix all the time on my appleTV. It works perfectly. Maybe yours has a problem, check with Apple. If you really have a problem, Apple will make it better.

      1. Netflix is just part of the matter, and it could be sorted out.

        This rumour goes about Apple offering third-party TVs re-branded; however, this notion has few levels of non-believability:
        1) there is no way how Apple would do this with its usual 40% gross margin (for this industry average is twice lower) — so Apple’s TVs will be too pricy;
        2) Apple would want to electronically design its own TVs, since buying third-party product, rather than ordering its manufacturing by own design, is more costly;
        3) Jobs few times during years talked about how people are not really going to move in masses to whatever new offer on TV market since they are chained to boxes of cable companies. If Apple is not going to buy, say, Comcast, there could be nothing much in Apple TV set that would make really big scale sales reality.

    2. I had similar problems with Netflix when I first got my ATV2. I read on a different forum that Netflix sometimes assigns the ATV2s as iPhones on their servers. If you go into your Netflix account on a computer, deactivate the ATV2 and logout of your Netflix account, then go back to your ATV2 and sign back in there – it sometimes straightens out the problem. I know it worked for the two ATV2s I have in my house, as well as for my brother out in AZ. I haven’t had a problem since doing that.

    3. I think I know what you refer to. All I did was reset the ATV2 by pressing the DOWN button on the main wheel like button AND the LEFT button of the two smaller ones. Hold both these buttons until the ATV2 begins to RESET. Does’t take long, about 20 seconds.

      I used to have to do this every time the ATV2 was sitting idle overnight. But it seems to have fixed itself. Haven’t needed to do one for quite some time now.

    4. I have had two Apple TV’s since December: one physically connected to my router, and the other via wifi. Netflix is very unreliable, with frequent “hangs” while it buffers, and occasional “Try again later” messages. Yet I could pick up my MacBook Pro or iPad and watch the same show via wifi with no problems. Can anyone explain why Netflix has so many problems on the Apple TV?

  2. Meh, I gotta disagree with part of MDNs take.
    An Apple branded T.V. designed by Apple would of course kick ass but…..

    People tend to hang on to T.V.s for a long time. Example: I have one T.V. that has had two different AppleTVs connected to it.

    A branded TV also robs Apple of the control it likes to have. It is bad enough that Apple has to partner with cell carriers and content providers a branded Apple T.V. would be at the mercy of cable providers, box stores like Best Buy.

    Also, I don’t see Apple selling anything you can’t pick up and walk out of the store with by yourself. In other words if you need help getting it home Apple doesn’t want to sell it.

    Shrug just my .02

    1. “Also, I don’t see Apple selling anything you can’t pick up and walk out of the store with by yourself.”

      Not necessarily. My girlfriend switched to Apple a short time ago (After I refused to bring her $500 POS Windows machine back to life for the umpteenth time), and the Apple Store guys loaded her shiny new iMac and peripherals onto a cart and took it down to the dock for her – she drove up, and they loaded everything into her car and thanked her for the business.

      BTW, setting it up was a dream as we all know. She walks in, and says, “where are all the wires and the ugly box and crap that go under the desk?” I smiled.

  3. As a non-Apple TV user, can someone explain to me what the advantage would be to an integrated Apple TV vs. what is available today? I just don’t see the reasoning.

  4. Somehow I doubt Apple will simply “rebrand” a TV made by someone else, unless they can influence the quality of the end product – a superior TV. It is one thing to license the Apple TV software for inclusion in TV’s (“Apple TV inside”), but if Apple is going to put their name on the TV itself, I think they will want quality control. They direct the type of technology going into the displays they currently put in their products, I assume they will want/need to have their hands in the design of the TVs too. (At least I hope so). Maybe they could get the current patent holders (Panasonic? Sharp?) to actually deploy the KURO technology Pioneer sold to them, or come up with something better. So far, no one has matched KURO in the last 3 years of TV technology introduced.

  5. As an Apple fanatic, I can definitely say that after dropping the $$ of a 17″ MBP loaded on my new tv less than a year ago, an Apple branded tv sounds nice and all, but, unless it’s superior quality (obviously) for under $1000 (not a chance in hell) then the product simply won’t move.

    Apple tends to innovate to dominate. Not slap on sticker and fall in line…..,

  6. Comcast et al still control the pipes. I have been put on tiered pricing even though I do not download movies. Comcast wants me to buy movies from them and not Apple or Netflix.

  7. right here’s my issue(s),

    a) a rebranded tv? Are you kidding me? Samsung and LG (panel SUPPLIERS for other products) already have tvs in the market with their own brand of web apps and movie integration etc… So they wouldn’t want to compete with apple on yet ANOTHER platform that they’d lose on…
    b) my issue with most LED tvs that are available, are that they are edge lit, not back lit, if apple made one it’d have to be back lit for quality (edge lit makes thinner tvs but who cares if the picture quality suffers!) – apple has high mark ups for their products, quality of this kind would make it even more expensive!
    c) it sounds stupid, you can’t redefine the tv without the content, and they don’t have the content, at least not around the world yet anyway… Netflix sounds really nice ($8?) AWESOME! But not in the UK – even if it ever did make it here it’d be WAY more expensive.. I’m sure theyve been at it a while and neither has got content available further out than north America…

    I’d love to see it, but given the nature of tvs and how we always want to plug various things in to them e.g. Satellite/ cable box, blu ray player, XBOX!, apple would have to allow connectivity with such conflicting devices…

    If apple get the content world wide, and integrates the icloud concept for universal content, opens up the iPad and atv software to be exploited fully by app debs, then it’d be amazing! Till all the ducks are lined up, I don’t think they’ll launch it, given that they’ve not been able to get tv show content in the uk (or anywhere else apart from the US) yet, I don’t see the product being launched… Plus I think they have their hands full with devices that they invented the Market with, e.g. iPhone, iPad, MacBook air, operating systems that don’t make you want to curl up in the corner and cry…

    1. Okay. Apple has almost never rebranded anything. If, and it’s a big if, televisions are in the offing, rest assured it will not be a rebranded, ATV enhanced, version of something that already exists. An Apple TV will simplly work and will work with all that is already Apple. Duh. As to content. Where have you been? Apple has mastered the marriage of music content with the device. Given the background of Jobs, why would you question the ability of Apple to do the same for TV content? Money is in the bank to execute whatever it takes.

  8. Dots. Apple lays them out, then connects them with elegance and a “no docs required” user interface. Folks will pay for genuine quality. Add a dose of “I can do very cool stuff” with no technical knowledge, and well… $$. The Apple plan is becoming more transparent every day. I can see the day when our government will attempt tp force a breakup of Apple to insure fair competition and pricing. God bless America and Apple. Let’s hope Apple will be driving the U.S. and not the other way around.

  9. I call BS. Apple won’t sell TVs because there’s no real profit in it. They might however license AppleTV technology to be included in TVs via internet connection in the same manner Netflix, YouTube, etc, are now, circumventing the need for a traditional PC. Media moguls are clearly in favor of making sales, but only when they are sure their content will be free from simple piracy tools available to Windows and MacOS desktop PCs.

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