Few months ago, there were reports that Apple maybe planning to manufacture and launch TV Sets. Now the latest news report adds more fuel to fire. We want to make it clear that this context is not about Apple TV, the set-top-box and media player. This is about an actual TV set that Apple is rumored to be intending to manufacture.
If an analyst from Piper Jaffray (PJ) is to be believed, Apple has contacted a major supplier about television display components.
Gene Munster, of PJ, told investors on Tuesday, 31 January 2012, that during talks with a “major TV component supplier” about Apple’s rumored HDTV, the supplier told Jaffray that Apple had reached out “regarding various capabilities of their television display components.”
Munster viewed this scoop as “continued evidence” of Apple’s exploration into television production. However, this seems to be far from concrete evidence that Apple will be releasing a television set soon. Munster acknowledged this citing the rumored roadblocks Apple has faced securing content from studios. It seems logical that Apple would secure distribution deals before ramping up production on an Apple HDTV. It does not make any sense to put something to market with nothing to show on it.
However, PJ predicts that if Apple did release a television set this year, it could sell 1.4 million of the projected 106 million internet-connected televisions to be sold during the year. Munster seems to know more than his parent company PJ, noting that Apple only enters mature markets to reinvent them. However, PJ is still making revenue estimates for 2012-2014 on a device that does not exist.
If and when Apple enters the HDTV market, Apple is likely to blind side current HDTV manufacturers and surprise a number of content providers as well. Apple would never release a TV with no content, but if their vision is to provide customized channel lineups for users, they are negotiating licensing deals that are needed to support a feature like that has no pricing precedent.