Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster, who covers Apple, has been pushing the idea of an Apple HDTV since 2009, and on Monday, he jumped on comments from Steve Jobs biography that seem to indicate that “one more thing” coming from the mind of the former Apple CEO will be an Apple HDTV. Munster even believes that prototypes are being built already.
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The quote from Jobs, as noted in his biography, written by authorized biographer Walter Isaacson, said:
“I’d like to create an integrated television set,” Jobs told Walter Isaacson, his authorized biographer. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud… It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
It’s unclear what exactly Steve Jobs came up with, but Munster believes a key is combining live television with shows previously captured on iCloud. It sounds like, of a sorts, iCloud could become your DVR. As we’ve said before, this becomes more of a problem as more ISPs move toward capped broadband, as opposed to unlimited broadband.
HD content, for example, takes a lot of bandwidth to transfer.
At any rate, Munster also said the following (quote) in his research note:
- Based on Jan-11 meetings in Asia (not with component suppliers), we believe Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supply for LCD displays. These displays could range from 3.5″ mobile displays to 50″ television displays.
- More recently, in Sept-11 we met with a contact close to an Asian component supplier who indicated that prototypes of an Apple television are in the works.
- As recently as May-11 the US Patent & Trademark Office has published Apple patents relating to television-specific technology. In an Oct-06 patent application Apple filed for patents related to software for browsing and recording live television, features most closely related to, but not currently available in, the Apple TV.
- More recently, in US patent 7,865,927 published in Jan-11, Apple explores advanced TV broadcast menus (see image). In these patents, Apple refers to a system that could “include a set-top box with or without a digital video recorder (DVR) (or, personal video recorder (PVR). In other example implementations, a display with built-in functionality (e.g, a television).”
It’s strange how the sorts of details that are now leading had to be “prompted” by the revelations from the Steve Jobs bio. Or at least, they seem to be.
Bloomberg spoke to “three people with knowledge of the project.” The sources said that Jeff Robbin, who helped develop both the iPod and the iTunes media store, is now guiding the internal development of Apple’s TV effort.
Munster believes Apple may introduce a product for sale by either late 2012 or early 2013. These are the same dates that have been bandied about for some time. Munster earlier estimated that such an Apple HDTV could generate $2.6 billion in revenue in its first year on the market.
This will be interesting: Apple would be in still more competition with Samsung, which has been one of the companies largest suppliers, but which has also been one of its biggest rivals, with its Android phones. Despite their close relationship, including the A4 and A5 processors in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2, Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in legal battles since April of this year.