Apple world’s most valuable company. Its next trick? TV

“When I spoke with Sonos Chief Executive John MacFarlane last April, he had a simple observation about Apple,” Brian Caulfield blogs for Forbes. “The bigger Apple gets, the bigger it needs to get.”

“And right now, Apple’s as big as it gets, surpassing oil giant Exxon Mobil Tuesday to become the world’s most valuable company,” Caulfield writes.

MacDailyNews Note: Exxon Mobil retook the lead before the markets closed today. Apple’s market cap stands at $346.74 billion, Exxon’s is $352.90 billion.

Caulfield writes, “Like Apple, MacFarlane’s company builds boxes — in his case networked home stereo systems — so he knows the terrain. His theory: Apple will have to attack the $100 billion television business next.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple overtakes Exxon Mobil as world’s most valuable company – August 9, 2011
Analyst: Apple expected to launch 3 HDTV models by March 2012 – August 1, 2011


    1. Right. Any rumors about an Apple TV are false or Apple ordering LCD’s for monitors, not TV’s.

      It seems so unlikely that Apple would sell TV’s; although, I can see Steve Jobs at home trying to navigate TV setup menus and thinking, “We can do better than this.” Apple products turn people into UI snobs.

      1. UI snobs? Well put. And why not demand the best from all facets of media. I have Time Warner cable service and their HD DVR cable box is horrible. It’s slow, clunky, the favorite channels feature is totally unusable, and the UI sucks donkeys and unlike Apple they rarely upgrade the software. It’s like they think one size or upgrade fits all and good enough for another ten years! Bring it on Apple and teach these cable clods a thing or two. It’ll be the mother of all wake up calls.

      2. “Apple will have to attack the $100 billion television business next.”

        It is interesting how many people think they know best how Apple should be run. I agree with Bill here about the fake TV rumours but then he has to add that last statement about UI snobs. You sure know how to shoot your argument in the foot.

        Apple insists on creating better software and improving the UI so that computers are more intuitive and usable. Bill sounds like someone who can only learn something once and clings to it no matter how flawed it is. Learning is fun Bill. This is what separates us from many animals and plants.

    2. When will the stupid inability to see the value in these rumors die?

      The digital living room ecosystem currently has a big gaping hole in it- the TV. HDTVs are very nice but essentially little more than an advanced version of the TV that was created in the 40s and built on a tech paradigm that’s a hundred years old. They’re as antiquated as wristwatches, calculators and stand-alone alarm clocks. All consumer electronics devices now need to have an OS, a processor, RAM, apps and complete wire/wireless connectivity. Whether Apple builds their own sets or incorporates their tech into another’s remains to be seen but to outright dismiss the notion of evolving the TV concept into this century is unequivocally myopic. The hardware and the industry that drives it is basically junk by today’s standards. And Apple has proven time and time again that people didn’t know what they were missing in a given area until Apple innovates in that area. Why should Apple abandon their MO now?

    3. pff, in many countries, including mine (Belgium), you can’t even get the AppleTV from the Apple Store. It’s not even a hobby anymore.

      When will there be content available outside of the US, UK, France, so that they can continue their hobby?

  1. Not gonna happen. Ever. Apple doesn’t even have enough physical space in their stores to sell televisions. This is just the rumor that will never die. Plus, Apple is interested in selling things that are smaller & lighter, not bigger & heavier.

    1. Apple Store has a Sony HDTV on display, to demo the current Apple TV. So they would just replace that Sony HDTV.

      I think it will happen eventually. Apple sells iMac and Mac mini. One is a complete system, the other uses a third-party display. Which one would Apple rather sell you? An iMac, because there is more profit per unit by selling a complete system. And that’s why Mac mini is designed and marketed to be clearly inferior in terms of specs (although the new ones are pretty nice), and there is no other mid-range “headless” mini-tower Mac model that is equivalent in specs to iMac (not counting that new education-only iMac model).

      In the same way, I think Apple will want to sell you the complete TV, not a $99 add-on box. A $999 HDTV from Apple will bring in ten times the profit per unit. The $99 box will continue, but that’s why Steve Jobs keeps calling Apple TV a “hobby.” It becomes NOT a “hobby” when Apple releases the REAL Apple TV.

    2. Next time you’re in an Apple store, look up. They already have large flat-screen TV’s hanging from the walls, showing off products, services, and the queue for the Genius Bar. It wouldn’t take a major shift to move a set or two down to a lower space and stick a price tag on it.

      I’m not saying they will, just that they could.

      1. Don’t you think an Apple-made TV will have iTunes and apps offered on it? An Apple TV would be just like an iPad, which is like an iPhone, which is like an iPod.

        Apple will make a boat-load of money by offering better-integrated services for movies and such. An Apple TV would make all current DVRs obsolete.

        Seriously, you don’t think Apple owning the living room will make them money? Seriously?

  2. Watch this:

    1) Apple completes negotiations with the major studios for broad streaming licenses of television and feature film content [well underway – almost complete].

    2) Apple releases APIs for iOS developers to create applications for AppleTV. All of a sudden, every iPhone and iPad becomes a game/content controller [most likely well underway].

    3) Apple updates hardware in AppleTV to support new iOS (with applications), 1080p output, deeper iCloud integration and who knows what else. Priced aggressively, these things warp off the shelves, crushing the settop box market with its dominance [most likely well underway].

    4) Applet hen sells an “AppleTV on a chip license to every major television manufacturer, so they can claim “AppleTV Inside!” on the spec sheet [they already design their own custom chips. Easily plausible].

    There you go: Apple sells televisions without making a dent in their inventory…

    1. Or they integrate a pico projector into the Apple TV box. No need for the 100 pounds of related TV heft.

      I agree – no room in the stores for TVs. Also, Sony and Samsung not making money in TVs (Sony hasn’t for 6 years). No pricing power in the market.

      1. No room for TV’s in the stores??? How many TV’s so you think they need on display? They will probably only make one model with only the most popular sizes available (3 maybe? 27, 42, 55?) Apple seems to focus on 90% of market and lets the bottom 5% and top 5% either go else where or change their paradigm. Besides, I don’t know about you but I haven’t been in a tiny Apple Store yet. There is PLENTY of room available especially with all the software coming out of the stores.

    2. What a breath of insightful analysis! By jeeves, I think you might be onto something!

      Only thing is, I think Apple doesn’t license the crown jewels, and the crown jewels are software. I can see Apple licensing a chip, and with software requirements… but would they change their business model here?

      It would be a profitable business, and Toshiba, Sony, et. al. would be very happy to outsource the software development (which they suck at) in exchange for using reference designs (which they wouldn’t’ care about) and try to win on manufacturing (which they are good at, presumably).

      Just not sure Apple would change their model. But if they do, I think you’ve nailed how they’re going to do it.

  3. Apple, via iCloud, is in the position to light up the best television network ever: The Internet.

    Apple TV is mearly a hardware hook to this network.

    Will Apple need to manufacture TVs to change the face of Broadcast Television? Probably not. It’s the network that counts most. iTunes demonstrated that both content and distribution are king. Apple will simply apply the iTunes model to television. A new way to see the world is born.

    Stay tuned..

  4. Intel will fabricate the chipset and then the TV manufacturers can put on a sticker that reads, “Intel AppleTV Inside”. There, that should appeal to both sides. Done.

  5. I don’t think that Apple needs to keep branching out but needs to continue strengthening what it already has. Once a company grows in size with lots more employees, it’s probably a lot more difficult to control. I’d like to see Apple improve AppleTV but I’m fairly certain Apple is being hamstrung by the media content studios. Also, Apple would probably do a lot better if they could turn AppleTV into some sort of a light gaming console for the casual gamer.

  6. Not if, but when. The future will see only one platform survive, at least when it comes to big screens. Either Apple makes a computer/tv that plugs into the wall and does everything, or some other company surpasses them when it does. It is easy to put an iMac’s guts into a 55 inch LED, put a pull down platform in the back for hard drives, iPod connection, etc.

  7. Ah yes the age old “you have to keep growing”

    What a crock.
    All you really need to do is make great products which turn a profit.

    Everything else will work itself out just fine.

    Growth is a number that only serves wallstreet returns anyway.
    Once a company makes their stock price the metric of success the downhill ride starts imho.

  8. If Apple were to enter the physical TV market, it would be better that they license their TV software to manufacturers that are capable of producing great products. Choose between 5–10 premium manufacturers only and not any crap manufacturers. TV is a commodity product that Apple should not directly enter. Leave the crap manufacturers to Google.

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