Multiple Sources Suggest Apple Working on Television for as Early as 2012

apple tv gleeRumors of an Apple-branded television set were revived earlier this year by a former Apple executive, and we've long seen similar claims in the past. The frequency of these rumors, however, seems to be increasing, now with Venturebeat pointing to multiple sources suggesting the same.

Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop who sits on the board of Sonos and was an early investor in TiVo told the site that "he has heard multiple sources throughout Silicon Valley that the Apple television project is underway."

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster also cites component suppliers as well as an internal Apple source to suggest the same -- that Apple is planning on launching a television in the 2012/2013 timeframe. Munster isn't the only analyst who has predicted an Apple television, and we've heard whispers from others.

It seems that momentum is picking up for rumors that Apple is heading into the television marketplace. Yet as recently as 2010, now Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that Apple had no interest in the TV market, but did feel there is "something there" to the Apple TV, Apple's $99 set-top-box. Later that year, Steve Jobs had also outlined the challenges of infiltrating the television industry.

Jobs, of course, had also denied that Apple had any interest in producing an Apple cell phone back in 2003, four years prior to the launch of the original iPhone.

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Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
166 months ago
So what's the point? Just integrating an Apple TV in a TV? Given the rate of change of technology, I prefer my TV to just be a dumb display - it's easy enough to swap $99 external boxes as technology improves, and a lot harder to replace 50+" TV's every couple years.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
isomorphic Avatar
166 months ago
I'd love to be wowed, but I just can't see where they'd go with this. As others have said, I don't want to replace my giant TV frequently to keep up with computing tech--and even if Apple puts what amounts to an iMac in the back of a big TV, there will always be something better next year.

What would really sell it would be a compelling alternative to the horror of existing TV distribution through cable/satellite and DVRs--but Apple could do that already through the Apple TV box. Again, as others have said, the problem there is completely unrelated to technology: It's destroying and rebuilding the video distribution business model.

I don't really need Angry Birds, Twitter or Facebook on my TV. I'm not sure how I'd control those apps with a seven-button remote anyway. From a couch potato's perspective, I'd want to sit down, open up my entertainment queue, and immediately start watching relevant shows. Apple doesn't need to build a TV to achieve this, they can do it right now with the existing Apple TV hardware.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SilianRail Avatar
166 months ago
This is idiotic. They're getting down in the dirt in a commodity business and their software advantage will be minimal. TVs are already simple enough to use.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDuel Avatar
166 months ago
As pretty as they may look, it still probably won't be as competitively priced with other brands with the same technology.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Portal83 Avatar
166 months ago
Meh. I can't see Apple getting into the TV business just for the hell of it. If/when they do, they'd have to offer something that provides a compelling advantage to other TVs and fits in with their larger business model. A TV with a built-in Apple TV won't cut it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emulator Avatar
166 months ago
Make a beautiful, 32" aluminum TV. Integrate it with Apple TV and an app store. Sell it for $999.

Who would buy that? Millions.

Apple thrives in low-margin industries by differentiating and selling at a premium.
Miilions would by a 32" TV for 1k? :D best joke of the day.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)