Blog Post

Is an Apple HDTV a Realistic Possibility?

apple-lcd-hdtvLately, there have been some murmurs that Apple is prepping an HDTV of its very own. Such a device would seem to be the logical next step for the evolution of Apple TV, the progress of which seems to have become somewhat stagnant of late.

Like our own Liam Cassidy, Michael Wolf over at GigaOM Pro isn’t convinced (subscription required), for a few very good reasons. For one, he cites the high price tag and lack of subsidization, by comparing it to AT&T’s iPhone arrangement:

TVs would not have any such subsidization, nor would they have the fairly attainable prices of the iPhone (any Apple television would likely carry a price tag of $2,000 or more), putting it out of reach for many households.

Of course, that could be offset by a deal with a cable/satellite provider, but I think Apple’s FCC headaches over their relationship with AT&T will have them squeamish about such partnerships for a while to come.

What do you think? Will there be an Apple HDTV? What price point and features would make such a device attractive to you?

11 Responses to “Is an Apple HDTV a Realistic Possibility?”

  1. Some HDTV manufacturers are incorporating music and Internet access right into new sets. This is a direct assault on the traditional feature sets offered for PC’s. It seems inevitable that Apple will be forced to enter the HDTV hardware market — if only to defend the iTunes franchise. In my estimation, the timetable will based on the completion date for the new North Carolina data center and the inking of contracts with movie studios. Two other pieces of Apple’s media puzzle also must be updated:

    – AppleTV and/or the Mac mini. Apple needs a new device with a simple, AppleTV or iPad interface and ease-of-use combined with the Mac mini’s power and versatility.

    – Apple needs 30, 40 and 60-inch displays with HDTV tuners.

    Coincidentally, as of January 2010, these are the last elements of the current product line to be recently updated. WHen new displays and the next AppleTV come, so will HDTV displays…

  2. James McEwan

    Don’t understand why Apple would wish to enter this segment unless it can top what Sony does so well. Cram a large screen HD with stuff so compelling it becomes an iMac Ultimate.

  3. Why a special Apple TV? They just need to extend the current LED cinema display product and offer a 32- and 40-inch screen. TV is already online via the current AppleTV, Hulu, Boxbee et cetera. Maybe even a 32-inch iMac?

    I’d pay $2,500 for a 32-inch display.

  4. I would see an agreement with an OEM for iTunes integration similar to Xbox/Netflix than an Apple branded HDTV. However, I don’t think that market is developed nor likely to develop in the near-term.

  5. I don’t get the point. People keep TVs much longer than they keep computers or the devices they attach to their TVs. It makes much more sense to have a mostly-dumb display and put all the smart stuff into set top boxes.

    This worked for computers like the iMac because displays and computers became obsolete at about the same rate.

  6. subscription terrorist

    if Apple did a tv, they would most likely include some kind if subscription that you had to have. they would never include features such as record tv (despite patents) Which is what we really want. I mean they charge for ringtones you made yorself from song you already purchased! why on earth can’t anyone but apple make appealing hardware and software, so there would be an alternative. just take a look at the interface of any given HD recorder.

    subscription sucks my wallet dry. buy it own it, is better.

  7. I don’t see it happening. It would almost definitely be too expensive, and I’m just not sure that people would be willing to pay the premium for a TV designed to work primarily with Apple products. Look at the cinema displays and how much they retail for. Now add a TV tuner and Apple TV functionality, plus any new features added to Apple TV. Do you see that retailing for less than $2000? I doubt it. I got a TV bigger than the size of the largest Cinema Display for a quarter of that, and adding a Motorola DVR still brings the cost up to less than $1000.

    It seems like a niche product if there ever was one. After all, I, like many, many people, already own a flat panel LCD television that I’m happy with. Unlike computers, TVs don’t become obsolete very quickly, so I don’t see a lot of people investing a significant amount of cash to replace something that likely already works pretty well.

    I think Apple is definitely going to be updating the Apple TV, and maybe even adding a DVR as is rumoured. I’d consider buying that. But the evidence provided by analysts, such as the contract with LG to provide LCD screens and the DVR patent just don’t mean that an Apple-branded television is coming our way. Even if it was, I wouldn’t buy it.

  8. A TV like this would be awesome! However, they would have to have price points that stay competitive with current TV’s. I would pay a little more for some cool features of an Apple TV, but not too much more. If I can get a 50″ for $1200, maybe $1400 for the Apple TV set would be reasonable, any more wouldn’t be worth it in my opinion. I’m interested in reading other’s opinions as well.