The Apple iTV has been one of the most anticipated and hyped products in recent memory. Yes, the iPhone 5 was highly anticipated as well, but tech enthusiasts around the world knew most of the details about the smartphone device, and it was known that the device was coming eventually. With the Apple iTV, almost nothing is confirmed and there haven't been many leaks besides a few cryptic reports. What can we expect from Apple's iTV?
1. Tim Cook is Intensely Interested in Television
CEO Tim Cook has been unusually candid and open about Apple's "interest" in television. The typically quiet and private CEO has given multiple interviews in recent months and television came up in one of them. In a January interview with Brian Williams — Cook's first televised interview — Cook said:
When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years...It’s a market that we see, that has been left behind...It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.
2. Cook Mentioned Television During an Earnings Call
In late 2012, Cook spoke about television during an earnings call after one of Apple's usually-impressively (but not lately) earnings reports was published. Cook said:
With Apple TV, however, despite the barriers in [the TV set top box] market, for those of us who use it, we've always thought there was something there. And that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling the string, then we might find something that was larger. For those people that have it right now, the customer satisfaction is off the charts. But we need something that could go more main market for it to be a serious category.
3. Steve Jobs Said He Cracked the Code for TV
In Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography, Steve Jobs, Isaccson said that Jobs spoke candidly about a television device. In a discussion with Isaacson, Jobs said that he had finally "cracked" the problem that is television. The full quote from Isaacson's book is below:
‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’
4. Early Reports Said it May Come in 2013
Initial reports, which surfaced at the end of 2012, said that Apple was gearing up to unveil the Apple iTV in 2013. Multiple sources, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and analysts like Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, all said that Apple was preparing the Apple iTV for a 2013 release. Some, including Munster, said that the iTV could come as soon as the first half of 2013, though those rumors have been all but squashed.
5. It Will be Elegantly Designed (Like Everything Else)
Probably the first thing most consumers notice in Apple's products, which include computers, tablets, smartphones, music players, and more, are that they are all incredibly sleek. The design of Apple products have been applauded year after year after year, after every major product launch event. The Apple iTV should be no different.
6. The Apple iTV Will be a 4K Ultra HD TV Set
According to the sometimes-unreliable DigiTimes, the Apple iTV will have a 3,840x2,160 Ultra HD display, which means that the iTV will be a 4K TV set. 4K TV's are notoriously expensive, due to the extremely refined display, but Apple will undoubtably try to keep the price low (more on that later).
7. But, the Apple iTV's Launch Will be Delayed
DigiTimes also reported that the Apple iTV's release date will be delayed, and many other anaylsts are agree. Jeffries, an investment banking firm, said in a research note penned by Peter Misek that they expected an unveiling in March, and for the iTV to go on sale in September or October. However, Misek changed his opinion, saying that the iTV should come in 2014.
8. But Why is it Delayed?
Both Misek and DigiTimes cited supply issues as the reason the Apple iTV will be delayed. According to DigiTimes, Ultra HD TV manufactures are already booked up for 2013. They added that it's unclear whether LG — who creates the displays for the iPad and Macbook Pro — will be ready to mass-produce an Ultra HD TV display. "If LG...has ample supply of the technology, Apple may try to release the TV by the end of 2013 but is more likely to do so towards the beginning of 2014," wrote DigiTimes.
Similarly, Misek said that the delay in the iTV was because display providers Sharp and LG, were having trouble with yields.
9. The Apple iTV Price Will be Comparatively Low
Apple makes an effort to keep the prices of devices low, no matter what most consumers think. Initially, when the original iPhone came out, a similar device produced by another company would have been exponentially higher. But, Apple managed to keep the price down to $600, still very high for the average consumer, but considerably low for such a revolutionary and groundbreaking device. Apple may even wait to produce the Apple iTV until the manufacturing price for an Ultra HD TV drops, considering how long the company has waited to produce the device. Peter Misek agrees with the idea of Apple emphasizing an affordable price point for the Apple iTV:
We had thought that Apple's software and ecosystem would be enough to drive demand but our checks indicate that Apple wants the hardware to also stand out. We believe Apple wants a display that looks like 4K/Ultra HD but without the super-premium cost.
10. The Apple iTV Will Sell Incredibly Well Even if it's Expensive
But, even if the Apple iTV is expensive, there will probably be a lot of companies and individuals who would be interested in purchasing the television set. The original iPhone was $600, as we previously mentioned, but the device still sold incredibly well, reaching 1 million units sold in a mere 74 days. We can expect comparable number for the Apple iTV, especially since Apple products have become more and more popular in the general public, not just tech enthusiasts.