Rumor: Apple On The Hunt For Television Components

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.


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  • Hari Seldon

    Personally I don’t think that Apple will take this route – that is to disintermediate the cable / satellite networks, the incumbents will not co-operate and indeed why should they? there’s not much in it for them. No, I believe that Apple needs to make the networks and content providers want to be on the Apple TV in the same way the many want to be on the iPad.

    If you recall the section in the Isaacson that everyone keeps quoting, Steve Jobs was referring to “cracking” the problem of needing several remote controls to manage the TV, this I believe is the reinvention of television that Apple is working on.

    Imagine if this TV had a built-in cable/satellite descrambler and/or terrestrial digital TV tuner? this would mean that the interface to typically hundreds of channels that we have access to is handled by the TV not the set top box. Apple could use it’s experience in user interface design to easily navigate the current morass of channels and programs that we currently have. IMHO the TV will include an easy to use DVR as well

    Sure there will probably be apps and IPTV stuff, but this will be the icing on the cake not the main event that everyone seems to be expecting.

    My .02 Euros