Likewise, its AirPlay, Bonjour and other networking technologies are already present to make moving and streaming content from any one of the trio of devices to another easy and largely set-up free.
Of course, it's already doing all this, through its Apple TV set-top box, so why should Apple go the whole hog and build the box into a large display?
Here DisplaySearch's data shows a clear pattern: media streaming boxes have not proved a big hit. Apple TV remains a "hobby" product for Apple - translation: it sells in relatively low numbers. DisplaySearch figures for the time users' spend watching online video content presented by different devices shows media streamers well behind Blu-ray players and even further behind games consoles.
Media streamers may be cheap, says DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gray, but many Blu-ray players are barely more expensive and deliver video streaming as well as higher-quality optical disc playback.
DisplaySearch forecasts that media streamer shipments in Europe will struggle to exceed three million units a year over the next three years or so. Blu-ray player sales will have gone past 10m units by 2013, while games consoles average 27m units through to 2015.
But Smart TV shipments will grow from over 30m units this year to 50m in 2015. Even if Apple remains a very small minority player in the Smart TV market, it's going to sell a lot more tellies than set-top boxes.
And with European tablet sales forecast to grow even more rapidly - from 24m in 2012 to 50m in 2015 - Apple is in a strong position not merely to subsidise its early TV endeavours through iPad sales but also to leverage the latter to encourage TV sales.
Of course, today's TV vendors will be doing the same thing, some successfully, others less so. Unlike Apple, though, they'll be starting from a less tightly defined ecosystem. TVs have evolved by accumulating features and technologies, and that has led to inconsistencies that frustrate users. A given TV may play AVI files, for instance, if they're on a drive plugged into one of its USB ports, but not when streamed from a network share by DLNA.
Techies may, not unreasonably, complain about the relatively limited array of standards Apple supports, and the walled garden, but there's not question these things make life easier for folk who have bought into the Mac-iPhone-iPad ecosystem. Content plays, subtitles appear; there's no confusion between codecs and container formats.
So Apple is well placed to address the key challenges TV vendors have to face: the arrival of internet TV and the need to mediate and manage this profusion of content; and the growing similarity between the chips that sit behind the screen, whatever size it is.
Address this consumer need and the business case for entering a depressed, margins-pushed-to-zero-or-less market - which is what the TV arena is at the moment - is a lot stronger. Throw in the cost savings of cross-fertilising phone, tablet and TV hardware and software, plus the brand's price premium, design abilities and some advanced display tech for good measure, and you have a recipe for success.
Apple would be mad not to release a TV. ®
Smart telly trends make Apple 'iTV' a certainty
Dual core tellies
The way they're slamming silicon into domestic consumer electronics, the time of the Red Dwarf talking toaster cannot be far.
Strange. I agree with almost all of the arguments put forth in the article, but still disagree with the overall conclusion.
I think making a success out of the TV market will be harder for Apple than cracking the mobile phone market. Unlike the mobile market, TV makers are already competing against each other for smart features, and an Apple TV would not be significantly better than competitors at launch. The original iphone had very few real competitors, which is why it has had such a strong following.
The big 'in' Apple should have is their controllers - iphone, ipad, ipod touch - which should allow them to give a highly polished UX. Despite this, there is nothing stopping other manufacturers from also adding controller apps to ios, so even that isn't a good lock in.
How people buy TVs is also wildly different to how they buy phones. A user who would upgrade their phone every other year is much more common than a user who will upgrade their TV every other year. Also, TVs are sold on price, price and features so I can't see an Apple premium being too appealing.
At $JOB we predict consumer trends, and we've been gagging to predict this trend (smart TVs) for almost 3 years, it just never looks likely to succeed. The reason why is content.
People buy TVs to watch stuff on them, and the content is locked up by the corps that currently profit from that content. For Apple to break the UK, for instance, they would need to be in bed with Murdoch/Sky, and to have all that content available on their device, and I cannot see the dirty digger ever giving up his content.
Smart TV? No thanks.
I like my screens to be dumb input devices, but even that seems to be asking too much, some tv's nowadays which aren't 'smart' will often have some retarded menu selection method of choosing which input to view content from if you wish to use an external video source. Do the people who make these things actually use them at home, or even for more than 5 minutes?
My mum got one of those freeview satellite DVRs for christmas (finally ditched the VCR) and she does like it, but I was surprised to see an actual physical on/off switch on the back, it wasn't until the box crashed whilst my mum was trying to use the programme guide one time that I realised why - it was the only way to reboot the thing! It makes you wonder how many times people will be reaching for the physical on/off switch because their 'smart' tv crashed...
I agree, but I think the importance of an app ecosystem cannot be understated. If the TV manufacturers continue down the route of only providing proprietary apps for their TVs they will become left behind in the capability stakes.
The way I see it happening is Apple enter the market to some success, IOS apps are available for their TVs which extend the functionality of their product. Manufacturers will continue to try keeping up with their own offerings, but some will give up and use Android/GoogleTV or create an application standard.
I just wish they'd skip to the end before faffing around with the proprietary stuff.
why do they have to...
cram everything into the back of the screen? I just want a big flat screen that I can stick on the wall. Everything else can be in a box somewhere else, connected to the audio system. Oh and while I'm at it, how many people have a box on TOP of their sets?