In a recently-released research note, well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo notes that the Apple TV set-top box is set to receive a refresh later this year, with the updated device playing a “key role” in Apple’s ecosystem. The new device will include a plethora of innovative new features including motion control, which will allow users to interact with the device without the need for a remote control.
Kuo says that the next Apple TV’s motion control input method is likely driven by Apple’s recent acquisition of 3D sensing technology company PrimeSense, “setting the stage” for a potential Apple TV dedicated App Store. Kuo isn’t entirely confident that an App Store will see the light of day this year,though, but views it as an eventual inevitability which will “help flesh out Apple’s current living room ecosystem.”
While the fully-featured TV set that has been rumored for many years won’t see a release this calendar year according to Kuo, he says that continued growth for the set-top box could “set the stage” for a product of that caliber sometime down the line. “Considering the high cost involved in creating a TV supply chain, we don’t expect the iTV to debut before the TV ecosystem improves,” he said.
Kuo expects the rumored new generation Apple TV to launch in late Q3 or early Q4 of this year, with shipments expected in the range of 1.8 million units in the third quarter and up to 2.5 million in the holiday quarter. Many reports in recent weeks from reliable sources such as Bloomberg that have said that the device could be unveiled as soon as this month. If this is true, the long wait between announcement and launch would likely mean some pretty big changes for this platform. Notable, it could mean that Apple wants to give developers time to create applications for a potential App Store.
Are you ready to see the new Apple TV? It’s looking to be a busy year for Apple in 2014.