Is TV too small for Apple?

“Gene Munster, connoisseur of Apple’s non-existent next generation Apple branded TV, recently updated his prediction and believes the company will deliver a smart HDTV this fall—or by 2017,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “Ironically, 2017 is about the timeframe Apple’s much rumored car would make it to market.”

“Apple may be tired of playing in the petty tech industry, swatting at Samsung, LG, Sony or Amazon. Adding an Apple Watch to Apple’s ecosystem certainly builds deeper synergies with the iPhone, making the industry leading smartphone the mobile hub of the next decade,” Reschke writes. “But no matter how successful Apple Watch becomes, it will not increase Apple’s revenues by multitudes — putting them in the middle of playing the gadget game all over again with Asian hi-tech wannabes. Thus, it becomes increasingly more difficult to understand why Apple would want to make a play for the TV.”

Read more in the full article here.

17 Comments

  1. You just have to look at the recent track record of the major TV manufacturers for a clue as to why the Apple TV project has gone nowhere.
    We have had HD, 3D, 4K, 8K, Curved, OLED and all the sizes you can think of and none have gained such traction that the margins on them or the volume of sales are worth the effort.
    so, if you have no USP that can generate a big $ margin why bother.

    1. Agree; there is simply not enough of uniqueness that Apple can offer in this field.

      With Watch, Apple brought:
      1) unique tapping mechanism, which is greatly underestimated. The Watch are silent, no “beeps” or annoying buzzing of vibrating motor. It is actually a break-through for this type of thing;
      2) press versus touch recognition. This one is not that clear, at least for now, but it is unique;
      3) design, class and style;
      4) ecosystem.

      With TV thing, Apple still can make an offer, but the only unique thing they will be able to offer is smooth UI with integration/ecosystem. There is not much else.

      1. Unique screen features seem farfetched. But an updated AppleTV box could provide a lot of unique things and reinvent the purpose of a big screen.

        The unique advantages of a big screen are:
        a) Big screens are … big!
        b) Big screens can be seen by groups of people in a room.

        Given that Apple needs to provide:

        – New Gesture/voice user interface that can respond to multiple people sensibly.

        – New app ecosystem using that interface with specific apps for:
        + Photo and music browsing
        + Gaming
        + Map and destination searches and reviews, etc.
        + Keynote
        + Etc

        – App handoff for AppleTV (as with iOS and MacOS)

        – RoomTime for sharing room views with friends, family and colleagues. Hang out with friends and family through your wall (big screen).

        – RoomViews app providing high def live views of nature, weather, etc. I.e. the wall screen version of smart enjoyable screen savers.

        – Multi-cast Facetiming for meetings on large screens.
        – Multi-cast Facetiming for gaming.

        – Cross provider movie/show search just with their existing channels.

        None of these things require an Apple screen. None of them require new media deals. An Apple controlled TV should not be about traditional TV watching any more than an iPhone is about making phone calls, or an Apple Watch is just about telling time.

  2. What no one seems to understand is that the Apple Watch is the hub of your digital (and not-so-digital) life.

    It allows Apple to unlock (or perhaps I should say lock-up) the television, home automation, automotive, retail, and more markets.

    The Apple Watch is your ignition key, your password, your remote control, and more.

  3. With all the myriad of devices and services to get content from, a TV is just becoming a glorified monitor. And we know how Apple tends to do with monitors based on what is available from them for use with the Mac Pro. It’s just not important to them. It is also going to be nigh on impossible to create one box that will receive everything that people want to and are able to watch around the world. If nothing else the bandwidth is not there.

  4. I learnt my lesson 10 years ago when I bought a HDTV DLP for nearly $3K. Barely any content and no HDTV DVD format yet. Waste of money. 5 years later I was able to buy an HDTV LCD for half the price. Now we just got a larger HDTV screen for the same low price. Beautiful picture and worth the money.
    It is better to see which format becomes successful and buy into it when the price goes down.

  5. NO APPLE WON’T SELL TVS.

    But I could see Apple working with TV manufacturers to integrate Apple TV directly into their boxes.

    But first: Apple has to FINISH Apple TV. It is soooo wanting to become another full blows iOS device where you can buy, install and download apps. It has to happen. Hurry up Apple!

    1. Apple has not allowed the integration of any of their platforms into another company’s products for a very long time.

      Apple either makes the whole widget or they offer a method of connecting to and/or communicating with their devices via some protocol; HomeKit, CarPlay, AirPlay, HealthKit, iBeacons, etc.

      If Apple is going to build the AppleTV into a TV it will be their own TV, otherwise they’ll stick with the set-top box. Why lose hardware sales to another company? Apple makes money from selling hardware. And can you imagine Apple needing to add support for competitor’s devices!? You really think LG is going to build-in AppleTV when AppleTV only supports iOS devices?

      Apple’s seamless integration ONLY works because they ONLY have to support their own platform. How many times have we heard Tim Cook say, “…only Apple can do it, because we make the hardware, software and services to make it possible.”

      1. In this case, I don’t see the point in Apple ‘owning’ the monitor hardware. Who cares? It’s all going to run off the same HDMI cable no matter what’s the ‘smart’ source. It certainly would be a different approach for Apple to have their gear integrated into a third party ‘monitor’, aka TV.

        I certainly do see the accessory Apple TV box continuing in any case. You buy some Samsung TV with its integrated mess, bypass it and use the Apple TV box instead for the input.

        1. Here’s how I see it…

          It’s FAR, FAR more likely that Apple will build their own hardware before they license iOS to another OEM, which is essentially what they’d be doing.

          When Apple decides to move AppleTV out of “hobby” status… It’ll be in the form of a 50-70″ 4k TV.

          1. That doesn’t make sense. Most people are not going to upgrade their big screen very often, or even every five years. So if Apple’s smarts were integrated into the screen most people would be chronically left far behind.

            But many people (myself included) would upgrade my AppleTV box every year Apple produces a significant upgrade.

            1. How do you figure? And how are people coping with that NOW with current smart TV’s on the market?

              Why do people think that an Apple branded TV would need to be updated all the time? We are on the the just 3rd update to the AppleTV after 8 years on the market. I would guess that Apple has in fact been testing this market for a while – refining what might be needed so that hardware would not need to be updated so often. An Apple branded TV would last just as long as any other TV on the market.

              Hell my original iPod still plays NEW music from iTunes and it’s 14 years old. Does it have all the fancy new features of a newer iPod? No, it doesn’t, but the point is, it still plays new content, which is the most important for a media device such as a TV.

              Hell shove an A8X in the TV and don’t have an update schedule at the same pace as their other devices. Maybe update the hardware and style every 3 years when there’s a real reason to do so.

          2. I agree they’d never bother with anything less than 4K at this point. But I personally still consider 4K crossing the line into professional gear. How many home users are going to go to 50-70″ TV sets? Then again, if they get cheap enough, I suppose the response will be ‘Why not?!’

            1. The top selling TV’s are in the 50″ range.

              A few reasons Apple has not released a TV…

              1. 4K cost – still too expensive, so they’re waiting for the price to drop.
              2. Content distribution – Apple’s video streaming service and library is not yet ready to go. Apple is re-encoding everything to H.265 and still building out their CDN.
              3. API’s – Apple is still working to finalize 3rd party API’s and terms for creating “apps”.

  6. The true Apple TV will be an 8k panel with around 8192 X 4608 pixels producing roughly 37M pixels. Apple already has TCON to control 5K imac retina and presumably they can easily upscale the TCON to control the 8k display.

    As they have already shown with the low pricing of the 5k iMac (a 5k display with a free computer), they will be untouchable in the 8k TV space.

    Photographers will rejoice as all 36MP of their digital photos will be fully displayed.

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