Should Apple Make TVs?

By  |  Friday, August 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

Apple TVDoes Apple want to get into the TV business? There’s no concrete evidence that it does, but analyst Gene Munster sure thinks it makes sense. Back in February he said he expected the company to make TVs with built-in DVRs. And now he’s raised the idea up the flagpole again. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt has written about Munster’s scenario involving Apple making HDTVs and next-generation Apple TV-type functionality–including an subscription-based iTunes service designed to compete with Hulu, Netflix Watch Instantly, and even Comcast. In Munster’s speculative rollout, this happens by 2011.

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Richard Says:

    I don’t believe I would want an HDTV made by Apple. It would probably be fantastically overpriced, restrictive in how I can use it and have more shine than substance.

  2. Sam Says:

    As Bill Clinton might have said, “it’s the software stupid.” Anybody can make a flat panel so why waste time and resources on that? Make a box that attaches and makes the experience Apple-like.

    Sam

  3. Lucas Says:

    I have no inside information, but I have had this same thought process.

    Apple has been on record at going after established markets where there is some innovation, but nothing game changing has happened in a while. I think Vista Media Center is the best TV/Large screen media experience to date, and no one knows about it. If Apple can make AppleTV with a DVR and all sorts of add-ons to all of the online media that we use, it will been yet another frenzied product by Apple.

    Only hangups are Apple working together with other companies to integrate their product into theirs. Apple has been on record with not being good at that at all. And they might view this as a product that would cannibalize their iTunes video sales.

  4. tom b Says:

    I want them to make a personal helicopter. But if MSFT comes along and makes a cheap knock-off, I’m ducking for cover!

  5. Mike Bentley Says:

    Apple will need to clearly separate the difference between an hdtv and their monitors. They may try to limit function or ports to keep people from using it as a monitor. Or it will be a monitor with digital television extras. It will be imperative for Apple to provide such an option for Apple store customers.

  6. Mike Cerm Says:

    Since Apple shifted their focus from from computers and is now primarily a consumer electronics company, they should definitely be making TV. Honestly, I don’t know why they aren’t doing this already.

    It would be best if they could do something innovative, but in the meantime they should basically just be taking Samsung or Sharp LCD panels, integrating the Apple TV interface, and charging a 50% premium over the cost of the normal Samsung prices.

    The above scenario is basically how they make computers these days. They take generic Intel hardware, put it in a nice case, install OSX on it, and charge 50% more than Dell would charge for the same specs. I don’t see why the same logic couldn’t be applied to TVs.

    Would they sell many of them? No, but they don’t sell that many computers either. However, on what they do sell, they have enormous margins. They could certainly turn a profit selling TVs. If they could come up with something to compete with Windows Media Center, that would be nice, too.

  7. sfmitch Says:

    There is NO way in the world Apple is getting in the TV business. The opportunity for Apple is to vastly improve the existing Apple TV (set top box).

    The TV business sucks and Apple should want no part in it.

    TVs should be seen as monitors with the attached devices bringing the magic / fun / utility. Apple TV fits this scenario, especially if they improved it.

    Apple introducing a premium priced TV would prove to the world that people won’t go out and buy a product just because it comes from Apple (in other words – the TV would be a giant failure).

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