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September 1, 2014

Is Apple looking to take a bite out of TV next?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 25th 2009 2:33PM
Apple logoApple has left some fairly noticeable heel marks on the free throw lines of the computer, digital music and the cell phone industry.

So what technology business does Steve Jobs have next on his "To Dominate" list? Why TV, of course. What did you think I was going to say? Toasters? Did you not read the name of this blog?

A financial analyst with the Piper Jaffray investment banking firm speculated that the company is eying at taking a stab at TV technology by releasing its own high definition television by 2011.

Their reasoning for the move is that many of Apple's current products seem poised for a road to TV land. iPod Touches and iPhones could be turned into makeshift TV remotes. Plus, you can already use such devices as remotes for the Apple TV box, which serves as another media hub for your living room television and a pseudo-stereo with your iTunes.

Of course, if you really want to impress the jaded tech zombies who wait in lines for weeks without showering just to touch the newest electronic gadgetry, an Apple TV would have to do a lot more than let you watch TV. It would have to fully integrate the Internet into the viewing experience, let you record and store TV shows as easily as you would on a TiVo and even let you download those shows to an Apple or PC friendly device. Hell, if the Apple HDTV can't control the weather, cure herpes or stop global warming, then Apple's loyal customers won't give the thing anything higher than two stars.

The only downside is it can really screw up the price tags on the HD market. The price of a simple high definition television has gotten relatively stable and affordable, but an Apple HD TV is bound to cost you an arm and a leg and possibly someone else's arm and/or leg, depending on how well their stock is doing that week.

So here's the million dollar question...

Would you buy an HD TV made by Apple?
Hell yes! Death to John Hodgman!118 (67.4%)
Hell no! Death to Justin Long!57 (32.6%)

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McDave

No AppleTV isn't a media hub - it's an extension to iTunes. More ill-informed nonsense.

McD

August 26 2009 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim

And it'll cost twice as much for identical technology, but because it's white, fanboys will line up to buy it.

August 25 2009 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gig

Would you buy an HD TV made by Apple? Is not the question. The question is, would you but it just because it is an Apple?

I answered the poll yes. I would answer my question no. Apples entry into the game is going to be up against a lot of competition.

August 25 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric

Before Apple TV debuted, there were some fairly credible rumors that Apple was prepping a 51" LCD with an integrated CPU, Mac OS, etc. Basically, a 51" iMac with all the TV tuner and AV hookups anyone would need. They've actually released a computer/tv hybrid before, the 1993 Mac TV. At the time, there was little purpose for tv/computer integration and they moved on to AV models with S-video and composite-video connections.

The Apple TV has been their least overall successful hardware launch in quite some time. I couldn't quite figure out why I would want or need one-I can already do most of what it enables owners to do, though it might be less convenient. But I'd like to optimistically hope that there's some greater purpose to it that will eventually reveal itself.

If Apple does enter the HDTV market, I think it would be reasonable to expect that it would include functionality most existing models do not. For one, Apple has secured patents for wireless video transmission. An Apple HD television that could wirelessly transmit and receive audio and video from a number of sources would be a huge plus.

Taking into consideration the likelihood of an Apple tablet next year, how about a TV that could send DVR'd programs to your tablet wirelessly? Or your MacBook, desktop, iPhone, etc.? Stream movies and TV to yourself, anywhere. Also consider the rumor that most iPods will feature cameras soon, and the video capabilities of the iPhone 3GS. The TV would likely also feature a built in camera, adding to the possibilities.

Sure, some of these feats can already be done, but not with the ease and seamlessness that Apple's known for.

August 25 2009 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yaksplat

Well, if they do, all of the lemmings out there will go buy it, even though it costs three times what a normal tv does.

There will be a special wall mount, because third parties won't be able to make them. It will cost three times as much as well.

They'll sell you an app to make your ipod or iphone work as a remote control, even if the functionality is already there.

The TV won't be servicable. So then all the lemmings can go buy a new one ever other year.

They will drop the price after said lemmings bought up the TVs.

They'll release a new version 6 months later that doesn't really add any functionality, but the same pack of rodents will still go buy it.

August 25 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to yaksplat's comment
David Bisset

I know you were TRYING to make a point but like most people that try to sound intelligent and feel good about themselves then they slam [fill in the blank], your comments do the opposite make you sound like a whining brat (and willing to bet you haven't used a Mac more than a few minutes at a Best Buy).

"There will be a special wall mount, because third parties won't be able to make them. It will cost three times as much as well." - Huh? Apple's iPhones and iPods have a billion accessories through third parties, so not sure why you are making this statement. And your statement doesn't really make sense... Apple's tech uses industry standard stuff like USB and Firewire... So in your example of course they would make a standard wall mount unless the tv was completely different from today's tvs.

"They'll sell you an app to make your ipod or iphone work as a remote control, even if the functionality is already there." - Wow, now you really sound stupid. Apple already has an iPhone app that acts as a remote control to Apple TV. And it's free. Sigh.

"The TV won't be servicable. So then all the lemmings can go buy a new one ever other year." - Again, stupid. Anything Apple makes is serviceable (I just upgraded my hard drive and memory on my Mac), especially by their techs (unless you are the .05% of the population that knows how to sodder a motherboard). Granted, some things are hardwired into Apple products (something that isn't exclusive to Apple), but really your statement makes it sound like Apple is hypnotizing people to spend money just to spend it.

Apple isn't perfect by ANY stretch. I own Apple and non-Apple hardware and if they could do the same thing to tv like they did with the iPhone (which more people are buying), then i welcome them to try.

Goes to show you that you shouldn't bring up tech in a tv blog site? j/k

August 25 2009 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Bisset

puffin, you are right AND wrong.

Right in that this rumor is totally out there. Apple wouldn't be foolish enough to ask people to buy new HD tv's (in this economy) for features that the public feels that they can still get elsewhere. No need to go into that market really.

However, if you do NOT think Steve Job's doesn't have TV in mind for the future then you don't know Apple right now. Apple TV isn't a full failure, but it can seem that way compared to the iPhone, the iPod, and the Mac. Think of the current Apple TV as a hobby - I think we will see Apple get more into this field in 2 years depending on how the content providers (TV networks, etc.) corporate. We won't see them jump into things like the music industry did years ago.

August 25 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
puffin

Absolutely a rubbish rumor. Last time I looked apple already has an apple TV and it is an unmitigated failure. Similar features incorporated into a Display equates to an even bigger failure.

Heck they haven't even updated the specs on the Apple TV since it was released 2 years ago so I doubt Steve Jobs is looking to take the company down that road.

August 25 2009 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to puffin's comment
puffin

Bugger double post.

August 25 2009 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
puffin

Absolutely a rubbish rumor. Last time I looked apple already has an apple TV and it is an unmitigated failure. Similar features incorporated into a Display equates to an even bigger failure.

Heck they haven't even updated the specs on the Apple TV since it was released 2 years ago so I doubt Steve Jobs is looking to take the company down that road.

August 25 2009 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to puffin's comment
owl

You don't know what your talking about in regards to the AppleTV. When Apple originally released they characterized it as an experiment. Over time it has sold reasonably well and continues to do so.

August 25 2009 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S

"reasonably well" is about as subjective a statement you could possibly make.

But a question, why buy any television with information logic that has upgrade limits? What if Apple needs to ship beefier hardware to support HD Audio, 1080p movies, video bitrates that match Blu-Ray, 3D in movies, or whatever else comes down the pipe? Do you want to throw away your television so you can run to the Apple Store and buy a new TV? There are limits to firmware upgrades, and as annoying as a set top box like the AppleTV or your cable box is, it's much easier to replace than a television.

The only real inroad I see Apple making is if they offer ultra cheap subscriptions to content. If you could download all your shows for $40 a month instead of paying cable $100, then you have a winner. But at $2.99 a show, at least my cable bill allows me to watch every show at every television.

Still doesn't help the sports fan or the contest show fan. But I'm looking forward to Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, South Park, Mad Men, and probably a dozen other shows this fall. Spending $2.99 per show for them is ridiculous. And Hulu doesn't carry Mad Men episodes or Dexter.

August 25 2009 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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