Apple is reportedly scouting out new suppliers for television components, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Munster, a longtime proponent of an Apple branded television has written to investors to say that, according to his research, Apple has contacted a major TV component manufacturer to find out about the properties and capabilities of the displays that it manufactures (via CNET). There’s unfortunately no indication of what manufacturer this is in reference to, however.
The analyst has also suggested that Apple is looking to manufacture displays that were up to 55 inch in size and that prototypes of the display had already been produced. Munster has suggested that the timescale for the launch of such a device was uncertain but that an Apple branded television could appear by the end of the year.
The report also speculated about ways in which the new Apple television could potentially transform the way that content is delivered and viewed. One thing that caught my eye was the concept of monthly subscriptions for TV packages but apparently this would be difficult to accomplish because of existing licensing arrangements.
A monthly subscription service would likely be very similar to the ‘Netflix concept’ and, indeed, Apple may be looking to utilize Netflix very heavily in the new television as they have done in the Apple TV set-top box. However, such a strategy would hardly be ‘revolutionary’ which has been the driving adjective for the new Apple television, so it still remains unclear what the company visualizes the revolutionary feature as, and how it would set an expensive Apple branded television apart from a $99 set top box.
It’s intriguing to think how they are going to do this.