Wall Street Journal has been reporting that Apple may be seeking a less radical path to expand in television than it has contemplated in the past. WSJ claims that according to ’people familiar with the matter’ Apple is negotiating with cable operators to use Apple TV device as a set-top box.
While Apple could easily embed the technology in a television set, the reports seemed to suggest that Apple has delayed the plans to launch its own television set.
However, MacRumors reports that Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek in a research note released today, claims that those plans are still on and Apple’s television set is in full production. Misek also notes that Apple is looking to partner with AT&T and Verizon, so that it can leverage on their content deals.
We believe the iTV is in full production. Recent data out of Sharp, Hon Hai, and other specialty chemical and TV component suppliers support this. Also, JDSU noted that they have a new non-gaming customer for its gesture control modules. They indicated this is a new “living room” based customer. We believe Apple will leverage AT&T’s and Verizon’s content deals for the iTV. Additionally, the WSJ’s sources indicate Apple may also consider a set-top box version for the cable operators.
Misek believes that Apple will be able to sell 2 million television sets if it launches it in the fourth quarter, but he notes that Apple could delay the launch to the first quarter of Q1 to focus on the rumored iPad mini.
We expect either the iPad Mini to launch in CQ4 with the iTV either launching in CQ4 or CQ1.
Microsoft’s Surface tablets, the initial success of Google’s Nexus 7, and Amazon’s upcoming product launches could be affecting Apple’s launch schedule. These represent stiff competition vs. a likely lack of viable competition for the iTV over the next year. [...]
There is also the possibility that Apple chooses to launch both products before year end. The iTV would then be in time for the Christmas selling season, but that would mean Apple having three huge product launches in a short timeframe and leave little for CY13 outside of the typical iPhone and iPad refresh.
Ever since Steve Jobs biography revealed that he felt that he had finally cracked integrated Television sets, there has been chatter that Apple will release iOS based television sets as early as this year.
However, the rumor mill has been rather quite until this week. WSJ reported couple of days back that according to people familiar with the matter, Apple is negotiating with cable operators and content providers to use an Apple TV like device as a set-top that would offer cloud-based DVR, iPad-like user interface and social media features.
It is high time someone disrupts how we watch content on the television. We’ll happily part with our money if Apple does it. What about you?