Before the Apple television, a TV remote control?

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I like the current apple remote.

    But apple should have included an IR port on the new iPod touch. Then all they had to do is adjust the current apple remote app.

    I’d buy one immediately.
    If the iPad mini has an IR port… Maybe I’ll buy it.

  2. It’s all about the design and integration. We haven’t seen how it works yet. The people who make quality programming deserve their cut, but there are a lot of leeches in cable TV. Very intriguing to see what will happen. Looking forward to reading everyone’s analyses.

  3. I’m not sure Apple could create a remote for television sets that do anything differently then the already existing Apple TV. I could see TV set manufacturers designing their set in a manner that makes it VERY difficult for Apple to design a remote that will work well with them.

    1. Nah, they use universal codes for a reason. If apple does make a remote, it’s harmony etc that has to worry not the tv makers.

      Now if all tv’s went with a proprietary Bluetooth signal… Now you have a point.

  4. Lack of a substantial “click” on the current app on iOS is a drawback. About 20% o the time swipes fail to move accurately or tends to jump ahead at times.
    Still a hobby?

  5. $79 for an Apple remote … or even $99? ….. where do I order this??? Great idea.

    The bar to beat is not Apple TV, it’s all those horrendous remotes from the various cable companies… they are not just bad from a customer experience; they are laughably bad.

  6. I don’t think the concept was ever a TV. I don’t think that it has to do with iCloud or iTunes. And, I don’t think that its a remote. I think that iTV was, is and will be… AppleTV.

    What if the concept is an Apple TV with a HDMI ‘IN’ that will allow broadcast to an iDevice or iComputer.

    The biggest issue with TV that I have is that you have to be home. Granted, there are ‘apps’ but the apps have restrictions. However, if you could transmit your cable box connection over the internet, how cool would that be?

  7. A Harmony type of remote makes a lot a sense for Apple. Following the design path that they have laid out, it would look like a beefed up Apple remote with a touch screen. Might even have a scroll wheel and resemble an older gen iPod.

    1. Just thinking… Longer iPhone 5 more resembles a TV remote. Software could give it similar on-screen functions. Then Apple bonus! (It’s not just about software 🙂 …)

      Next, same software on all iOS devices. Everyone in the room can browse the “TV” guide separately on their own device and can propose that everyone “switch channel”. Someone with control of the main screen – a “parent”? – gives the OK or not. Disappointed proposers can view their own choice on their own device. Of course, parental controls can be implemented here. There may be an “everyone watches this together” switch.

      TV Rooms with all chairs and heads facing one TV may be no more. All can face the centre, so when not watching content, it’s a conversation room.. “Conversation”.. look it up 🙂

      But content consumption wouldn’t suffer – more devices means more consumption.

      Hardware? People with their backs to the TV – I mean “screen”, “monitor” – use/share an iPad. Old TVs/Apple Cinema Displays on opposite walls or just rely on iOS devices completely.

      You see everyone in the room – no longer looking away from them, so better shared experiences. Pause, screen share, help with homework, resume. Kids, meet your parents; Parents, meet your kids. Just thinking…

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