Yesterday, a former president of Apple’s products division wrote this regarding a future Apple TV set, “The idea is exciting and so obvious it’s got to happen. Imagine a true plug-and-play experience. One set with only two wires: power and the cable TV coax,” writes Jean-Louis Gassée, now a partner with Allegis Capital.
Mr. Gassée is not alone in his belief that Apple is planning on launching an Apple TV set. Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray, said recently, based on information from component manufacturers, that such a device is in the works.
We know that Apple develops products for years before they actually go to market with a new gadget. It is almost a certainty that Apple has been working on a TV set but will all the pieces fall into place for them to go to market with the TV set.
Here is how Gene Munster connects the dots:
iCloud. “At first the only media iCloud will store is music and pictures, but we believe Apple may add movies and TV shows purchased or rented in iTunes to the iCloud service, which could be viewed on a TV.”
Patents. “As recently as May-11 the US Patent & Trademark Office has published Apple patents relating to television-specific technology. In a patent published in Jan-11, Apple explores advanced TV broadcast menus that could be used in ‘a display with built-in functionality (e.g, a television).'”
The App Store. “Apple has sold over 200 [million] iOS devices, has over 225 [million] iTunes accounts with credit cards, and developers have built over 425 [thousand] apps for the App Store in less than three years, including 90 [thousand] apps made specifically for the iPad in just 14 months as iPad unit sales reached over 25 [million]. In other words, Apple’s strong iOS developer community would likely jump at the chance to build apps for an Apple Television, and Apple’s iOS users would likely jump at the chance to buy one.”
Big screens. “Recent developments in Apple’s strategy, including the component deal we believe could secure up to 50″ LCD displays, bolsters our confidence that the company remains serious about the connected living room.”
I would say that it’s likely that we will see an Apple TV set in 2012 and it will probably be the first new product category Apple enter with new CEO Tim Cook at the helm. Only time will tell if Apple will be able to do for the television industry what they have done for other product categories.