Print 58 comment(s) - last by DanielDaly.. on Jul 17 at 3:14 PM

Apple is preparing to launch TV displays powered by iOS, according to a former executive speaking with DailyTech.

Sales of Sony's Google-powered Internet TV, a similar project, have been mediocre. However, Apple's fans are unparalleled in their devotion, so it might be premature to count the new Apple television sets out.  (Source: Geek)
Company is reportedly teaming up with a major OEM to sell iOS-powered, Apple-branded displays

If at first you don't succeed try, try again. That seems like what Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) motto is, if a former executive is to be believed.

The former Apple executive, speaking with us on condition of anonymity, told us that that the company's biggest upcoming product launch will be one that hasn't been made official yet -- Apple has plans to enter the TV business.

According to source Apple plans to "blow Netflix and all those other guys away" by bundling Apple TV + iTunes inside physical television sets.  According to the source Apple is teaming up with a major supplier (our guess would be Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930)), to provide the physical televisions, which will be rebranded as Apple television sets.

We expressed incredulity that an OEM would allow Apple to cut into their bottom line, but our source aptly pointed out the OEM would be winning even if Apple cuts into their branded sales.  States the source, "If you have to be competing with somebody, you want to be competing with yourself."

According to the source, "You'll go into an Apple retail store and be able to walk out with a TV.  It's perfect."

The idea of Apple entering the large television display business has been rumored on and off for a while now.  After all, Apple has sold computer displays for some time now.  But to our knowledge this is the first time such a project has been confirmed by a former or current executive.

Our source believed a fall launch was in order (potentially coinciding with the iPhone launch?), but the product could launch as late as next year, given Apple's "high standards".

The market prospects of such an Apple television lineup seems questionable, assuming our source's information is accurate.  Apple TV has struggled with chief executive Steve Jobs billing it a "hobby" and some analysts less kindly deeming it "Apple's only major market failure."  Apple does not release sales info for Apple TV, but it is believed that the recent refresh hardly sent sales soaring.

Likewise, the product is almost identical to Google Inc.'s (GOOG"Internet TV" project with Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), which uses the company's "Google TV" version of its Android operating system.  Sales of Google TV products in general have been quite poor.

That said, it does seem like at some point people will warm to the idea of internet TV, particularly if apps are included.  It has already been confirmed that full access to third-party apps is coming to Google TV.  The new iOS-driven televisions are expected to have third-party apps as well.

To that end the new television may be partly an advance move to counter Google's television efforts.  Google just acquired Sage TV, a company well known for its media center and DVR software.  But if Apple has its way, allegedly it will top Google in internet television sales.

Price and sales are clearly two of the biggest concerns for an Apple branded TV launch.  However, Apple's brand is incredibly strong and its devoted fans have shown a tendency to pay whatever the company asks to get their hands on its slender devices.  Perhaps next year we'll be talking about iTV in the same breath as iPad and iPhone.  

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

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RE: Sounds Good
By cjohnson2136 on 6/21/2011 5:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem I see is it might turn out the same way the Google Tv turned out. I believe the cable companies and network stations would try and block access like they did to Google. Unless Apple can in some way sweeten the deal for them.

RE: Sounds Good
By JasonMick on 6/21/2011 5:05:21 PM , Rating: 3
The only problem I see is it might turn out the same way the Google Tv turned out. I believe the cable companies and network stations would try and block access like they did to Google. Unless Apple can in some way sweeten the deal for them.

Well the good/bad news is what you're suggesting indeed would likely be the case, but the Apple branded LCD TV would likely come with iTunes installed, so you could directly buy TV episodes...

I think my source was a little carried away, though, when suggesting it would "kill" netflix... unless Apple has some super competitive streaming video subscription plans that they failed to mentioned... Netflix is awesomeness, imho.

RE: Sounds Good
By kleinma on 6/21/2011 5:35:42 PM , Rating: 3
Do people really still buy individual TV shows these days?

RE: Sounds Good
By someguy123 on 6/21/2011 5:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's more of an impulse buy thing, or purchasing when the show has yet to complete its season so there are no compilations available.

Better deal than paying out the nose for these 700+ channels that are filled with commercials imo.

RE: Sounds Good
By cserwin on 6/21/2011 5:41:59 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with you, Apple needs Netflix, so does Google. Netflix FTW!

ESPN, sell a streaming app, please. Apple needs that too. (So does Google.)

The TV game seems to me to be about two things: bandwidth and content.

Bandwidth is a commodity. I buy that – as much as I can get if the price is right.

I own a lot of content, and I’m willing to buy content, subscribe to content, or endure some advertising in order to view content I don’t directly pay for.

The pathetic cable and satellite providers simply bundle ad-supported content with over-priced bandwidth. Screw them. $80/month buys a hell of a lot of content, especially when bought strategically to supplement subscription services.

So Apple wants to do this? Good luck, Stevie, go make it happen. Hope Google and others come to the party and compete. Time to end OTA bandwidth dedicated to video. Get it back into the commodity market to drive down prices and improve coverage, please.

Suck it, Comcast. And Dish. And DirectTV. Screw you all.

RE: Sounds Good
By TakinYourPoints on 6/21/2011 7:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
It is down that path already, and it doesn't necessarily need an Apple branded television to do so. I cancelled DirectTV last year and now have Netflix, Hulu+, and a few shows from iTunes. Three months of that all together is cheaper than a year of DTV.

If Apple does go down the TV route, then hopefully they use plasma displays. They use Pioneer (RIP) plasmas in their own stores, and plasma HDTVs blow away LCDs for watching movies and playing games, so cross fingers that is an option.

I dunno, I have no need as I already have an XBox 360, PS3, and a modded AppleTV, all of which do great for internet TV. I suppose this TV would be targeted at people who don't have anything like that, so maybe it would work.

RE: Sounds Good
By mcnabney on 6/22/2011 12:59:49 AM , Rating: 3
Plasmas are well on their way out.

They are hot, inefficient, heavy, and still 'technically' can burn static images in. Adding more 'computer functions' to a display is obviously going to start creating static images.

RE: Sounds Good
By AdrianJudd on 6/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds Good
By Visual on 6/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds Good
By degobah77 on 6/22/2011 8:53:53 AM , Rating: 3
A Panasonic 65" VT30 at $4,299 is a "budget" option?

Plasmas are videophile TVs and they aren't going anywhere.

RE: Sounds Good
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2011 3:36:22 PM , Rating: 1
Nailed it. Plasmas are the top of the line in image quality right now. Visual would get laughed off of an AV forum with a post like that.

RE: Sounds Good
By robinthakur on 6/22/2011 8:14:04 AM , Rating: 3
I would disagree. Plasmas are very good for motion clarity and colour reproduction historically, but have other downsides. The latest plasmas are the thinnest ever, but are still heavy and power drain depends on the luminance and the images produced. The display technology is particularly unsuited to Active 3D display due to the coresponding light drop that occurs. The Panasonic Plasmas are generally considered the best of the current crop, but have issues with dithering motion artefacts, low level tizzing and 50Hz broadcasts. The first two are just inherent elements with the way Plasmas produce pictures and are unlikely to be sorted any time soon. As the other user above pointed out, these TV's will likely be displaying menu screens quite a bit and therefore Plasma is not really suitable, as even the most recent plasmas do still suffer from burn in.

Apple have been selling LED backlit diplays for some time, and the quality, colour accuracy and panel uniformity has been good, largely because the panels used are fairly selective with a lower tolerance for faults.

Consumers other than video enthusiasts have had it drummed into them over the past few years that they should get LCD's over plasmas and the same is now happening with LED backlit screens. The convenience of having a lightweight, thin and relatively attractive TV which is also low-cost to run and also sport decent motion resolution is very hard to argue with.

I was in the market recently and evaluated all the options regardless of cost. I personally went with an LG passive 3D display because it is "good enough" thin, light, cheap to run, pretty outstanding HD images with a THX mode, no crosstalk on 3D and cheap passive 3D glasses. That's good enough for me :) I liked the Panasonics for their image quality in 2D, but the threat of burn-in and the light drop in 2D coupled with the high cost of glasses meant that I passed.

RE: Sounds Good
By Arsynic on 6/22/2011 9:00:58 AM , Rating: 2
Once you admitted that you owned a 3D TV, I quit reading. All your credibility went out of the window. 3D is the biggest and most useless gimmick ever. Talk about diminishing returns. Anyone who falls for this scam is an idiot.

RE: Sounds Good
By Mitch101 on 6/22/2011 9:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
I see 3DTV as a $500.00 Option I can live without. (+Price on TV, +Price on BLU-RAY, +Glasses). If it were a $100.00 option and ultra cheap glasses I would have the option but not a chance in hell at its current price of admission for something that will be used maybe 3-4 times a year.

I have kids and a movie in 3D to them is a lot of fun with their friends. We do it every now and then on the projector using the older style colored lenses. About $1.79 each kid. I bought the pricey glasses from china. Support up to 8 kids. That would have cost me probably $800 to have the more refined system that I would use 3-4 times a year.

What I find hysterical is I did 3D gaming back in 1999 with the ASUS AGP-V3800 Ultra TNT2 graphics card which came with a wired set of 3D glasses for about $139.00 while today it costs 3-4 times more and the only advancement is the glasses are wireless.

RE: Sounds Good
By DanielDaly on 7/17/2011 2:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
All his credibility went out the window?
Shut up you troll.
He nailed every fact, and thoroughly explained why he chose an LG LED over Plasma or other brands LED's. Passive 3D for me is very enjoyable to watch, despite being a little lacking in resolution. Just because you don't enjoy 3D doesn't mean his post isn't credible.

RE: Sounds Good
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2011 3:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
I plug my laptop into my plasma and play games on it regularly. I've had my Pioneer Elite Kuro since 2008 and image retention has never been an issue.

As others here have pointed out, plasmas are not going out due to their superior image quality compared to LCDs. Anyone who cares about that sort of thing will choose a plasma over an LCD.

As far as heat, size, and energy goes, the new Panasonic plasmas that I saw at CES earlier this year takes care of all of that. They are very thin, generate no heat from the front (even I couldn't believe this), and have black levels almost as deep as the Kuros before they were discontinued. I am very tempted to pick up a 2011 65" VT30 or GT30, they are absolutely gorgeous.

Either way, plasmas still sell very well. It'll be a while before a better display technology that is as affordable hits the market.

RE: Sounds Good
By DanielDaly on 7/17/2011 3:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
No they're not.
Plasma's are getting lighter by the year.
And hey, have you noticed something? Every year Plasma gets brighter and consumes less power. Every year in order for LCD or LED to get brighter, they have to consume more energy by implementing brighter LED's/CCFL's. Panasonic predicts by 2013, Plasma will be more efficient than LCD/LED. Now-- I don't personally believe that. It'll probably be a few more years for Plasma to surpass LCD/LED. And by the time that happens, we'll all be enjoying our flexible paper thin OLED's.
Plasma's image is far superior. You think local dimming is cool? Local dimming provides about 240 zones of dimming. That means for every 8,640 pixels, one LED is providing the dimming. That sucks! With Plasma, each of the panels 2,073,600 pixels provide their own light, and can dim or turn off completely, independent from the rest of the display.
It's better.
And yeah, it'll burn if you leave your TV on with a picture of your cat up for a day or two... Who does that? Turn it off when you leave the room.

RE: Sounds Good
By theapparition on 6/21/2011 10:16:40 PM , Rating: 4
People are really stupid.

No, I mean really stupid.

Pray tell, where do you get your internet connection from? That's right, the cable companies and telcos (who are also in the cable TV business now).

What would happen if Comcast lost their cable TV revenue overnight? What do you think would happen to your internet connection bill now? Let's face it, add supported TV subsidizes the cost of broadcasting programming, and cable rates subsidize the cost of your cable bandwidth.

The same with ala carte programming. It sounds like a fantastic idea on paper, but implementation would be atrocious for consumers with higher prices and less choice.

RE: Sounds Good
By kitonne on 6/22/2011 5:58:30 PM , Rating: 3
Take a look at the cost of internet service in Europe, to see what it should cost, if not for the local US monopolies. Funny how socialist-like Europe provides better internet service at lower cost then free market US.... Comcast internet service makes money, and is likely subsidizing the "content" most people do not care about.

RE: Sounds Good
By MrBlastman on 6/22/2011 11:34:00 AM , Rating: 3
Your source forgets one thing...

In order to use Netflix, I only have to pay 8.99/month and own a computer/console/whatever that I already own that supports it.

In order to use Apple's TVs which will "kill Netflix," I will probably have to shell out an exorbitant premium sum of money to have the privilege to look smug while watching it.

No thanks. No Apple products for me. Oops, I guess they failed at "killing" Netflix from the start.

RE: Sounds Good
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2011 12:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
Netflix is like Google. Too entrenched, directly competing with them is a waste of resources. Better to try to go around them, maybe, but this killing Netflix? Ha!

Netflix is one of the greatest things of the century, so far. Apple? Meah, not so much.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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