Apple's TV Plans Reportedly On Hold Again as Wearables Take Priority
While Apple has been rumored for a number of years to have been working on a television set project, reports have become more scarce over the past year as interest in a potential smart watch has gained steam. According to a report from NPD DisplaySearch, the rumor trends are indeed a reflection of what is happening at Apple, with the company apparently putting the TV project "on hold again" as wearables such as the "iWatch" have taken priority.
According to sources in the TV supply chain, it appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices. Although many financial and industry analysts have been speculating about Apple’s entrance into the TV business via an actual TV (instead of the Apple TV “hobby” set-top-box) for years, during the last year the rumor-mill has shifted into high gear about a 2014 introduction. Indeed, our own information from TV supply chain sources pointed to the fact that Apple appeared to be lining up resources for a product introduction in the second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution.
However, the hangup has always been the content.
The report is not specific about how DisplaySearch has arrived at its conclusion that Apple's TV project has been put on hold, but the firm closely watches the display supply chain and likely is not yet seeing any significant movement toward an Apple television.
Apple has reportedly been working on advancing its Apple TV set-top box, but Apple's efforts to revolutionize the television experience will require the company to reach agreements with content providers and cable companies, a process that has been underway for several years but yet to result in any significant progress.
Meanwhile, focus on Apple wearables has continued to pick up steam amid continuing rumors that the company is shooting for a late 2014 launch of an iWatch that would run "full iOS". Fueling speculation in recent days has been an announcement that Apple will build a major new manufacturing plant in Arizona to produce sapphire glass. While sapphire is currently used to protect the iPhone's rear camera and the Touch ID sensor of the iPhone 5s, the deal points to a major expansion of Apple's sapphire plans that could include scratch-resistant wearable devices or even full sapphire glass front panels for future iPhones.