Apple ‘iTV’ 4K TVs delayed to at least 2015 as trouble securing content deals continues

“According to sources in the TV supply chain, it appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices,” Paul Gagnon blogs for DisplaySearch. “Although many financial and industry analysts have been speculating about Apple’s entrance into the TV business via an actual TV (instead of the Apple TV ‘hobby’ set-top-box) for years, during the last year the rumor-mill has shifted into high gear about a 2014 introduction. Indeed, our own information from TV supply chain sources pointed to the fact that Apple appeared to be lining up resources for a product introduction in the second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution.”

“However, the hangup has always been the content,” Gagnon reports. “To offer truly unique product differentiation that would allow Apple to capture market share from existing smart TV brands, they would need to either deliver some exclusive source of content that the other brands cannot, such as a la carte pay-TV channels, or proprietary content not available on other devices. Neither of these is easy to achieve, and our sources indicate this is one of the principle reasons for the delay in the project.”

Read more in the full article here.

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23 Comments

  1. There is no TV screen involved here. There never was. The solution that Steve Jobs arrived at has to do with content delivery and user interface. Channels will be a thing of the past and genres will be the way we choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. Play lists will be the way we set up our evening watching ‘schedule’.

    1. Yes electro, we all figured this out years ago. It’ll never happen if they don’t get the content deals though. And since there’s no market to “save” as there was with music, the deals could be well neigh impossible to get in the foreseeable future.

        1. I think that’s the tv industry’s plan: resist change, and when it becomes absolutely necessary, cut deals with everyone else until you finally cut one with Apple, hoping the other player’s leads will allow at least one or two of them to compete effectively with Apple.

  2. As long as random rumors are being floated around, let’s speculate that the sapphire glass factory was purchased for the Apple 4K TVs.

    Doesn’t matter if it makes sense for a TV to have expensive scratch resistant screens. Apple can run commercials about being the only TV with sapphire glass! (Maybe the frame will be made of kevlar and unicorn horns and angel feather, which explains the trouble securing components.)

  3. This article is BS. There is no way Apple would delay releasing a product for over a year due to media content deals not being in place. Those deals could all fall into place next month, should Apple and the content providers decide to get it done.

    Just a piece of FUD whoring for clicks.

  4. A tv as we know it would be a dangerous move. They have been considering such a product, they have hired people from the home theater industry to do conceptual work. I don’t think they will do it though. It’s too dangerous a niche market. High end televisions never been sustainable. No high end tv mfgr. has ever lasted long, Sam Runco tried and it helped ruin that company. There have been many before and after him. I was involved with this industry for decades and it’s the worst merket to be in. Even great performing tvs sell at almost cost weeks after their release. the industry eats it’s young and has thrown gimmick after gimmick like 3D and other attempts to spike sales, and it never seems to be a big deal after a flurry of hype. The TV buying public are not like iPhone buyers, people in even high end homes buy mostly cheaper tv’s. I have work with home integrators and vidoe is a loss cause profitability wise ..we would put in 300,000 in automation and sound and the home owners would balk at a tv that was a dollar more than a Samsung or lg at costco! Instead, I hope Apple makes a set top box and never enters the tv market, unless they want to be another Sony, loosing money on televisions for years now, they cannot even manufacture their own displays, they source from a samsung company. A super Apple TV would be nice move one that doesn’t crash and is easy to use. Apple TV is clumsy and the remote although simple is tedious to use… Just try scrolling through a few hundred movies or tv shows to find one to view. And Siri isn’t the answer, she and I don’t talk!

    1. If they’re really paying $300K for automation, that just means that they have a lot of money. They can PRICE COMPARE the TV vs the one at Costco.. They probably *can’t* price compare the automation/integration part. If they could, they probably wouldn’t pay $300K for it!

  5. The content deals have always been an issue. There needs to be more market pressure on these companies, and honestly, there has been pressure in the last 5 years that makes me optimistic in the long term. Sports is obviously the major hangup, but this too will be at the mercy of the market and the wishes of the consumer.

    1. Yes I agree content is key, Steve was so powerful at making the music industry see his way. And making iTunes work revolutionizing the music industry. Without Steve I don’t think they have the same message as well as messenger.
      Apple TV is miserable for content, sky news, come on, if your don’t live I. The UK who cares! It’s worse then anything we have in the USA. Even msnbc is better and makes CNN world seem sooo much more a world centric news company. I would do cartwheels to get a few good news sources. CNN, Fox and some of the traditional networks would be amazing. The advertisers can stay in place and we have choice everyone wins, except the greedy cable companies.

      The reason people are using Netflix and like services and Apple TV etc etc is to get away from high priced monthly cable bills. I have no use or interest in any more apps on an Apple TV that work with a cable subscription. They are useless unless your paying those cable companies it makes no business sense, it adds no functionality to the masses trying to replace cable. They are just useless icons on my Apple TV.. So content is one but they could open up the apps market and us developers would have a lot to offer Apple TV users. That could be done quickly, developers are hungry for the opportunity.

    2. @ eN: You’re right on both counts – content deals HAVE always been the issue, and more pressure needs to be put on these companies that own the content for that to ever change.

      @ Reech: You’re off a bit thinking that Jobs made the music industry see his way. It looked that way from the outside, but the truth is the CEOs of those companies were long fishing for a way to defeat Napster (remember that app?), and Jobs’ idea for the Mac was considered a harmless way to experiment on a means of doing that without resorting to lawsuits (which they did anyway). Remember, Apple was nothing like the company we see today in 2000-01. There was only the Mac, and it’s market share vis a vis Windows was so small it was impossible for those middle men to imagine the success & dominance the iPod/iTunes paradigm would quickly achieve. Only once it did achieve that dominance was Jobs able to strong arm the record industry into not killing the Golden Goose, with much higher prices & crazily restrictive DRM technologies.

      You’re right about the rest though, and it is that part that Apple completely misses. They think securing content deals, that will inevitably cost the consumer even more money than the required cable bill (or as much if they secure the deals without cable pre required), are necessary to Jobs’ AppleTV vision to be successful. These things are instead an impediment to it being successful, or even (apparently) getting off the ground.

      Point One is, Jobs didn’t tell Issacson ‘I cracked it’ because he figured out a content deal the studios would accept – he was talking about the technology! The interface, the box’s capabilities, the value added that came from it interoperating with iDevices, perhaps even new display technology, etc … THOSE things are the key to success.

      And that leads to Point Two – the iPod/iTunes paradigm already shows how to get the pressure eN mentions started on these companies. Imagine if iTunes wouldn’t have let you rip your CDs into the app, or if the iPod wouldn’t have played that music you already owned, or if the iTunes Store required ongoing subscriptions or rental of the music you wanted to listen to exclusively (not as an option added later, as it is now), and never allowed you to own your music at all? Is there any real doubt that the iPod & iTunes would have become nothing but a small footnote in history, instead of the Earth-moving forces they did become?

      Ownership. No rentals required. No recurring subscriptions (monthly or yearly) required. Not obsoleting current content, but making it easy to integrate into the new technology (ala ripping a CD into iTunes). Leveraging the technology so that it actually costs less to enjoy your entertainment, not more, and gives you access to it on the go, again without extra cost.

      All of the above made the iPod/iTunes paradigm successful. If Apple truly wants to do the same with the AppleTV, then it needs to follow the same template. AppleTV needs to be a DVR/Roku like device. If they have a display & user interface in mind, that’s great too. But if they instead simply want to keep the peace with content providers, and play their age old game of maximum dollar extraction/minimum product or service, then they should keep pursuing these content deals. They may even get them, someday.

      It has always been an ‘either/or’ proposition. Apple may have already chosen which side they’re on, but I’m hoping they’ve just temporarily forgotten what they’re really best at – doing right by their customers. They need to remember that the success they enjoy now is due to Jobs turning the board over on an industry that absolutely would not understand that the game had changed. Technology had passed them by, and Apple is a technology company, so 1+1 equalled 2 for Steve.

      Basic math needs to make a resurgence in Cupertino once more, or the we’ll never see an AppleTV of the type that could shake the world like the iPod did.

  6. NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!
    I need to throw my money at Apple on a TV.
    I don’t need a wearable watch. I want a TV! Without an Apple TV I will still be stuck with my 22″ insignia…
    Oh well.

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