Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today confirmed that the asset management firm no longer expects an Apple-branded television set to launch in the future. The news comes courtesy of Munster's Company Note updates and follows yesterday's confirmation, out of The Wall Street Journal, that Apple ditched plans for such a television set over a year ago.
Munster was well-known to tout beliefs that the Cupertino company would be launching an Apple television set in the near future, rumors that were reignited largely in part due to a direct quote from Steve Jobs in Walter Isaacson's biography of the Apple CEO. The analyst began predicting a 2012-2013 launch year for the product in 2011, with the circulation of other news and rumors that year, and in the intervening years, helping to propel the alleged Apple-branded TV set forward.
The latest prediction came just last December, with Munster estimating the TV set would cost around $1500 with a launch sometime in 2016. Today, the Piper Jaffray analyst notes that while the news confirms Apple was at one point working on a television set, the firm was in fact wrong in its "constant expectation of the product." Munster notes that the firm was also wrong about the reason for delay, and now cancellation, of the project, having less to do with basic content and more with the lack of specific untapped features in the crowded TV set market.
"We have been talking about an Apple television for the better part of the last decade. While it is a small consolation that the article affirms that Apple was actually working on a television during that period, in the end we were wrong in our constant expectation of the product. Originally we had expected that content was the reason for the delay; however, we misidentified the true reason for delay, which was a lack of perceived killer features as reported by the WSJ. We incorrectly assumed that a combination of Siri, FaceTime, a TV app store, and PrimeSense based motion control could be compelling enough as a unique feature set for the device."
Piper Jaffray now aligns itself with most other parties following Apple, believing the company to announce a revamped Apple TV at WWDC in June, and "ultimately launch the new device in September or October." In line with other rumors, the analyst believes the new Apple TV will incorporate Siri, HomeKit, and an App Store.
Munster ends today's note commenting on another purported future product of Apple, predicting that as the company moves forward it's less likely the television will be the center of the living room thanks to the increasing presence of virtual and augmented reality. "We believe that Apple is actively working on early virtual and augmented reality products," Munster says. "Although we may be 5+ years away from seeing these products launched."