Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

But activist investor Carl Icahn says it'll ship in 2016

Monty Python TV viewer

Apple spent ten years working on a television, but gave up last year after deciding it couldn't devise something that would crack the competitive market.

So says The Wall Street Journal, which found folks familiar with the effort to explain that Cupertino tried to use tellies for video calls, to no avail.

Does The Journal know more than activist investor Carl Icahn? We ask because Icahn has just issued An Open Letter To Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in which he says “Apple is poised to enter and in our view dominate two new categories (the television next year and the automobile by 2020).”

Icahn says he expects that “... in FY 2016 Apple will sell 55” and 65” ultra high definition television sets. We forecast revenues of $15 billion in FY 2016 and $37.5 billion in FY 2017 on 10 million and 25 million units respectively with average selling prices of US$1,500.”

The investor also reckons Apple will kill it in cars, release an Apple TV replacement that offers the same experience as its TVs, including a modest cable subscription, release a 12.9 inch iPad that will act as a second screen for the television. He also thinks the Apple Watch will be a hit, generating “$6 billion in FY 2015, $22.5 billion in FY 2016, and $45 billion in FY 2017.”

The point of Icahn's letter is an appeal to Cook to change spending and share buyback plans to ensure shareholders score a win in the form of a rise in the share price to $240. Apple's current plans, Icahn says, will mean the company compiles an ever-larger cash hoard. He'd rather that cash were in his, and other investors' pockets. ®


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