Apple’s TV won’t be a TV

“Apple’s rumored TV set has been in the news a lot lately,” Mike Elgan writes for Cult of Mac. “Digitimes reported this week that Apple is looking to make a deal with either LG or Sharp to manufacture 55- and/or 65-inch Ultra HD TV panels for a future Apple TV set.”

“We also heard a rumor that Apple intends to offer a premium TV service that enables viewers to skip commercials, and that Apple will get around the cable-companies’ anxieties by actually paying them extra for commercial skipping,” Elgan writes. “Some are speculating that Apple will give each media company its own app.”

Elgan writes, “I believe all these points of view are rooting in past-thinking rather than future-thinking… I think it’s clear that the Apple television will actually be a really big iPad or a really big iMac… In other words, the iTV will be just another beautiful, powerful, elegant Apple computer, and we’re all going to want one.
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      1. AppleTV is the iOS-based computer for HDTV and, eventually, UHDTVs. It is modular and easily upgradable without having to buy a new TV. And it will also provide a conduit to the rest of the iOS ecosystem and interface with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The only reason that Apple might get involved in UHDTVs is to showcase its technology by pushing the next big thing in displays. Apple loves hi-res displays.

    1. I think he’s saying it will be another screen. That’s what I read anyway. Just not a dumb screen — rather, a computer.

      Me, I expect a 4K living-room-large airplay ready screen, and not a computer. It’s not necessary to have haswell in there.

      1. Apple hasn’t done large hifi stereos with quadraphonic sound. They did small personal stereos called iPods. TV is no different, it is about personal viewing on one of the many screens we already have in our households. Apple TV just needs to get more current just released content and live news and sports.

      2. The writer seems to be saying that it will be the Mac Pro or at least an additional hardware piece. It seems like Apple TV plus AirPlay is the strategy for now.

    2. There isn’t any way I’m going to invest in a 4K screen. I will buy an Apple TV 4th Gen or whatever, but I just don’t have the resources or justification to spend $5K on entertainment.

    1. I think it’s likely that we’ll see a major upgrade to Apple TV software, with an SDK that will be provided to media companies. Their apps will be akin to channels. I’m hoping that Apple will create a layer that allows viewers to search across these channels by content.

  1. So, Apple spends all this time and effort to code airplay, up to the point where we can use it to have an extra monitor, play music, movies and even dual screen gaming with ios devices and yet this person believes it will be a full blown computer experience? Notna chance, that’s the MS way and we all know how media center is soooo well loved

    Makes no sense to me when you can just have an apple tv built into a screen

    What I’m waiting to hear is someone explain to me how apple will bring enough value to the tv space for consumers to decide they want to spend big on a tv set built by Apple. Other than screen quality (and I must say my Viera plasma is very nice) and hardware design, what can Apple do to a TV to give it the apple treatment?

    Any thoughts?

    I will say this, if they do bring out a tv I hope they continue making the little apple tv box as well.

  2. You know what I think? I think Apple uses DigiTimes to spread false information to confuse the compition. There is probably someone at Apple whose job it is to say to his or her contact at DigiTimes “hey psst, what to hear something interesting?”

    1. Yep, Jobs loved to spread dis-information. He groomed journo’s by stroking their egos and playing them against each other. The iWatch and an iTV are possabilitys , look how everybody was suddenly “investigating/devoloping” a watch based tech thingy.

      Whatever Tim has up his sleeve for sept – nov , I will be surprised if its either of those.

  3. The author is wrong about it being a big computer. It will be a big 4K display with AppleTV as we know it (updated OS that has an AppStore and channel subscriptions) and can be used with MacPro (desktop or Mobile) because of maverick’s AirPlay screen expansion. AppleTV will remain available for people with HD TVs.

  4. For the love of God, MDN, why on earth would you throw a drumstick to a hack like Mike “Windows Magazine” Elgan writing for a rag like Cult of Mac?

    First of all, Mike, this trend may have passed by your keen market sense, but none of the the TVs on the market now are “dumb TVs”. Of course anything with an Apple label on it won’t be a monitor. No other TV on the market is. All of them have either a version of the GoogleTV OS or at least a connection to services like Netflix and Pandora. My 3 year old Panasonic Viera has these services. So Elgan’s central premise is incorrect. This also happens to be a hallmark of his writing.

    So if we accept that all TVs are Smart TVs now, we’re right back to the same questions of TV differentiation in a market that has been commoditized, which leads us back to the core question of “Why would Apple release hardware into a low-margin market with only its name to differentiate it when it has a device that plugs into any brand of this hardware now?” The answer, of course, is that it makes no sense whatsoever, just like Mike Elgan’s crayon scrawling.

    When you start with a false premise, it’s easy to bang out a thousand words on the topic. If you visit Cult of Mac any Saturday, you can see Mike Elgan giving lessons.

  5. I am really not sure why apple would get into making tv’s when something like the apple tv that supports 4k output could do the same job and allow much deeper market penetration which apple will need to have negotiating power with the networks and cable providers.

    1. Steve certainly would want. His philosophy was controlling the whole widget. He wouldn’t be satisfied simply having a box that connects to some shitty television with other shitty boxes when he feels Apple could do the whole experience better. That’s what they’ve been doing for the past decade.

      The Apple TV is to an Apple television as the Motorola ROKR was to the iPhone. It’s Apple getting their feet wet before they say “Screw it, we’re better off doing the whole thing ourselves.”

      1. I agree that apple does like to control the whole thing I when they do they do it better than anyone. But the saturation of the iPod is what allowed the negotiating for the iTunes store. So I could see Apple starting with the small elegant box with the fantastic software that replaces your cable box that everyone has to have. Then with a big install base negotiate great deals with providers that consumers will love, then as 4K starts to get main stream roll out the best tv around.

  6. Apple, to this day, has not jumped on the Blu-ray bandwagon- yet they’re going to start trying to push $5000+ TV’s? For which there exists exactly ZERO content?!

    Hilarious. And, no.

  7. Not for anything, but the AppleTV has been on the market for a few years now. The thing that Steve Jobs said he had “finally cracked” wasn’t a screen, it was the interface.
    Why everyone thinks that Apple wants to make a TV set, when the margins are as tight as they are in that segment, is beyond me.

    Seriously, you can already make any TV you want into an iTV.
    Just hook up the handy, $99 AppleTV to your favorite HDTV and you’re good to go.

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