Sep 21, 2011

Apple coming with a flat-panel TV soon

If all goes well, and there is little evidence to indicate otherwise, Apple is set to invade your living room by the end of 2012. Rumours are rife that Apple will be ready with a flat-panel television by next Christmas.

The hints had been coming beginning with Steve Jobs last year. "The television industry pretty much undermines innovation in the sector," Jobs said at the All Things Digital Conference in July 2010. "The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign, and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it."

The rumours are not completely unfounded. They are stacked on piles of patent registrations filed by Apple apart from inside information. The United States Patent & Trademark Office published several Apple patents that have something to do with television technology, which includes advanced TV broadcast, says TechNews. An Apple TV would bring new changes to its core products, such as the App Store and iCloud. The company could add movies and TV shows that are rented or bought on iTunes via the iCloud service, it adds. The iOs developers could make new apps designed for the Apple TV.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster dug through component suppliers and found evidence that Apple is gearing up to produce a real TV set by late 2012. Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop, a former board member at TiVo, has also said that Apple has a television coming.

Gadgetic, a blog, predicts that the TV will be unveiled to the world along with iPhone 6. Tips ranging from component suppliers to an internal source at Apple itself give enough reasons to predict that it will be some variant of Apple's iOS. The blog quotes an unnamed Apple executive saying that the company's next product launch would be one of its biggest and "it would blow Netflix and all other guys away". Going into its physical features, the reports say, an original equipment manufacturer like Samsung Electronics would make the physical television set and Apple would bundle Apple TV and its iTunes feature within it.

One of the main reasons for delaying the device, the Gadgetic says, is the huge bearing cost of LCD displays, but with signs of it coming down within the next year or so, the road seems to be clear for Apple to give us television supporting iOS. "What's even more interesting about this Apple TV is that it's just not merely catering to watching cable television, movies and tv shows, but you can also play games, run apps and share what you are watching and playing on the television."

As for 3D, Apple offers an "unobstructed 3D viewing device" that would give each viewer a different line of sight for both left and right eye, perfecting a stereoscopic image for a group of viewers watching one giant screen.

This is not the first time that speculation about an Apple TV is on the internet. Last April, there were rumors of a subscription-based video service from Apple in the form of a TV set or a new set-top-box model. All this, however, should not be confused with the current Apple TV, which is a palm-size gadget allowing users to stream content to their TV sets.

Apple TV might not yet be a giant touchscreen; it would, however, be a giant step forward for the television business.


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