Hold on, doesn’t Apple already have a product called ‘Apple
TV’? Yes, it does, but confusingly it isn’t an actual display; it’s a simple
iTunes media-playing box. However, rumours have strongly suggested that Apple
will actually launch a physical TV some time in 2012. It wanted to call this
device the iTV, but that’s a problematic name in numerous geographic locations.
My guess is that it will be called iHDTV or iVision or something similar.
Will we see the
iPad integrated into other non-Apple products, like cars perhaps?
We’re aware of the existence of this product from multiple
sources, not least an interview that Tim Cook gave to The Wall Street Journal,
and reference to it in the recent Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.
Further support for the assertion that the arrival is close
come from within Foxconn, Apple’s most trusted supplier, which, according to
several sources, has been given the green light to product the first Apple
So what else is known about the TV and its abilities? The
rumours may or may not be accurate but most of them sound plausible. It will
supposedly come in sizes from 42” to 55”, with maybe a 32” one too. The display
technology is LCD, as even Apple shield away from OLED at these scales.
As with the Apple TV box, the on-board operating system will
be iOS, so essentially these will be like huge versions of the iPad, but
without the touch sensitivity. Control will be by gesture and voice (Siri v2),
and they’ll integrate into the exiting app and media selling infrastructure.
Pricing is reportedly between $1,500 and $2,000, making these some of the more
costly TVs on the market, though not the most expensive.
An interesting piece of trivia on this subject is that this
won’t be the first television that the company has made. In 1993, Apple briefly
produced a product called the Macintosh TV, which merged a 14” Sony Trinitron
TV with a Mac Performa 520. It only made 10,000 of these, which is good indication
of just how well it sold.
It Will Be
Interesting To See Exactly When The Apple-Branded TV Is Officially
Acknowledged, And What The Reaction To It Is When It Does Arrive.
Is this the next big thing for Apple? I doubt it. While it
fits into a natural niche in the Apple line-up, the Apple TV has failed to
excite that many people three generations, and Steve Jobs once described it as
a ‘hobby’. Merging that technology with an actual TV rather than allowing you
to buy one yourself seems somewhat retrograde, though the gesture control and
Siri might make them seem more desirable. That said, Panasonic and Samsung
already have ranges of gesture-controlled smart TVs out on the market, and they
first appeared in early 2011.
It will be interesting to see exactly when the Apple-branded
TV is officially acknowledged, and what the reaction to it is when it does