Apple telly may sport Sharp screen tech
Who cares? It's more fun watching the CE biz squirm
Does it really matter if Sharp is, as one analyst claims, re-equipping one of its LCD production lines to punch out Apple-branded tellies?
For punters, it doesn't matter at all. If Apple doesn't buy panels from Sharp, it'll get them from someone else, most likely Samsung and/or LG, as these companies are the largest producers of LCD panels in the world.
Sharp may have a better, more technologically advanced panel, but what will really make an Apple television stand out will be its industrial design, the software that goes into it and the service infrastructure it connects to.
The glass is just a small part of the proposition.
But the consumer electronics industry is desperate to get a handle on what Apple is planning, and it hopes knowledge of the company's manufacturing partners will help it gain such an understanding.
It's been interesting to see the jolts of raw fear talk of an Apple TV seems to send through the consumer electronics industry. Android may have overtaken iOS in the smartphone operating system race, but the iPod's conquest of the music world means Apple is still the company competitors fear.
Journalists and readers around here may disapprove of the company, but rivals appreciate Apple's ability to successfully enter a market it wasn't previously associated with and make it it own.
CE firms have seen how Apple released the iPad, leaving drop-jawed players in the PC business falling over themselves to catch up, and they don't want to suffer the same fate.
Releasing a new TV right now might seem a bonkers notion. All the major names are selling fewer sets at the moment, some experiencing much bigger sales dips than others. They have failed to persuade us to buy into 3D and even much more useful net connectivity isn't driving upgrades.
Apple knows that, and if it comes out with a new set next year, you can bet it will be pitched at buyers who can afford to buy and have the confidence to do despite the current economic climate. Say what you like about Apple fans, they're spending money and doing so at a time when most consumers are tightening belts.
In 2007, Apple's announcement in California of the iPhone entirely overshadowed the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) half a continent away in Las Vegas. Exhibitors and attendees could talk of little else.
Even without an announcement - or any hard facts, even - Apple's rumoured TV looks set to spur a repeat of that situation. ®
"net connectivity isn't driving upgrades"
Considering the ham fisted way the CE incumbents implement stuff like network connectivity that hardly comes as a surprise.
Hardware companies rarely have a clue about software (apple being the obvious exception)
Apple already has a box you can connect to the TV via HDMI and they sell small quantities of them for what? About $120? How much profit is there in that? 30 bucks? Maybe 40?
On the other hand, if they were to take a $800 Sharp telly, stick it in a case that is dripping with apple style then they can sell it for $1300 and people will buy it in droves giving them $500 profit per device.
Just having a telly with something better than the super crappy remote controls that come with every TV made today would be worth the asking price.
Then there is the question of what extra functionality will be built in and where it is planted within the walled garden.
Knowing apple they will do something like connect it to Siri so you can use a combination of your iphone/ipad and voice control to use it while they get to log every command given to the TV to be used for marketing at you.
"Siri, I would like to watch Mythbusters" -> LOG: Goatjam likes geeky psuedo science shows, advertise their latest show to him in the itunes store the next time he logs in.
It's going to happen and people are going to lap it up.
Crystal ball gazing
All TV is driven by content, so the biggest problem should Apple actually be dipping its toe in the TV set market with a built in AppleTV type device and hence any sort of subscription model is getting country specific content. Which for the UK means negotiating with the monopoly that is Sky.
What else could they build in to a TV set? Lets try iOS 5, running on at least an A5 CPU, complete with App Store etc, controlled by iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, throw in all the features the exiting ATV has for streaming media and you might have something useful.
Will I buy one? No, despite having at least one of the potential controllers. Why? Because I'd quite happily dump my Sky HD subscription along with the TV, because it just isn't worth it for all the crap thats on there and I don't see that changing. Why don't I dump Sky? Its cheaper than the divorce that would ensue....there again...
No, Rugby World Cup isn't for another three years.
Just learn the numbers
I know the 5 I need
2 or 102 BBC2
80 or (I never use it on Freesat) BBC News
108 BBC 1 HD
109 BBC HD