If you believe the old adage that there is no smoke without first then the it’s a case of when rather than if Apple is going to release a television set. New rumors have emerged recently that suggest the product is certainly in the pipeline.
Previous iTV Rumors
It’s been a few years since rumors of an Apple television set began cropping up. The thinking was that Apple would try and do for the television market what it has done for the mobile and computing markets. It would certainly be an obvious next step for the company to take.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson just before his death last year that he had “finally cracked it,” the “it” being the television set and how Apple could disrupt the market. Which suggests something new, innovative, and enough to warrant a high price.
Rumors at the end of last year suggested that Apple was preparing to launch the Apple television set, possibly named iTV, at the end of 2012. That now seems unlikely, but you would have to be very cynical to believe the product doesn’t exist, even if it’s just in prototype form for the time being.
According to China Daily, which appears to have paraphrased remarks by Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, Apple’s main producer is “making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc’s rumored upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.” The company’s joint factory venture in Japan with Sharp is allegedly “one of the preparations made for the new device.”
As for the Apple television set itself, it would reportedly boast “aluminum construction, Siri, and FaceTime video calling.” All of which are Apple trademarks and features even the most-casual industry observer could have predicted.
Analysts are sure Apple is preparing to launch a television set, but they’re in disagreement over when it will arrive. Some say 2013, some say 2014. None think the original 2012 prediction will hold firm.
These are just rumors, fresh though they may be. My biggest concern is how Apple plans to differentiate its television set from all the other smart TVs already on the market. It will have to offer something spectacular to persuade anyone but the most ardent fanboy to pay the premium price that’s guaranteed.