Apple’s iTV Will Come Out In Early 2012, And It Has TV Makers Panicked [Report]

Apple’s iTV Will Come Out In Early 2012, And It Has TV Makers Panicked [Report]

Photo by Thomas Hawk - http://flic.kr/p/5FefCC

Apple has a tendency to make businesses nervous — just ask the CD folks assimilated into the iTunes universe, or the companies swept aside by the iPhone in 2007. A similar nervous tick is growing in the television set manufacturing business, already skating on razor-thin margins. TV makers reportedly are snooping around for details on an Apple-designed iTV that could start production in February, but is it too late for them to do anything besides be bulldozed by Apple like so many industries before them?

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek tells investors that Japan-based Sharp — which already makes iPhone and iPad displays — is tweaking its production lines to manufacture amorphous TFT LCD panels for a device referred to as the “iTV.” If no hiccups arise, production could begin February 2012 with an iTV announcement by the middle of next year.

But what about details? How much will it cost? Will an iTV somehow use iCloud services? Will we be able to stream video and control everything via iTunes? Good questions and likely the same being asked by TV makers that have “begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do,” Misek writes.

Some speculation is already out there, fodder for the growing number of people who believe in such things. For instance, before his death, Steve Jobs told autobiographer Walter Isaacson that he finally “cracked” the riddle of how to create a television that is easy to use and integrated with all of your devices. But was he speaking of iTV or another iteration of Apple TV? We’ll never know.

Other guesses include a touch-screen 3D TV, a project headed by the man who created iTunes, and even a TV powered by the voice-recognition system Siri.

But what is certain is there is no huge profits in making television sets. Witness the plethora of dirt-cheap LCD TVs offered as Black Friday bait to reinvigorate slumping sales. Or consider the fact that Sony after ten years still loses money on their HDTV ivision. Apple has always shied away from making cheap products, be it a 7-inch iPad or a prepaid iPhone. Then there is the whole problem of how do you get consumers to upgrade and buy new sets. I get a new phone every couple years. The TV? It hasn’t been updated for nearly a decade.

iTV? If not a dead-end, it’s likely to be a re-run for manufacturers caught in the Apple buzz-saw. Major TV makers are about a year behind whatever the Cupertino, Calif. company has up its sleeves, the analyst figures. What about you?

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  • Kveluthur

    Apple makers of Technical wonders…

  • Renee

    I waited 5 years for the iPhone to come to Verizon. Mainly because I did not want to give AT&T my business again. So, waiting for the iTV… It’s on!

  • thomin

    As always with Apple, this will not be about the device itself so much, but rather about content and experience. 

  • MacHead84

    If Apple does release a TV rest assured 2nd generation will be the one to get not that bare bones features withheld first gen. 

  • Rcjr423

    2nd gen will be the one to look at

  • CharliK

    That these folks are calling it iTV shows how little they know about what Apple is up to. iTV is a registered trademark of another company in regards to television. Which is why the little black box is called the AppleTV and not iTV. And said company is still around and in the television industry. 

  • Guest

    So was “iphone” cisco had a buissiness phone that was named iphone but since apple was selling a cell phone and they were selling a landline and it wasnt that popular it was ok for apple to name it iphone. I know another company bas the name itv but no one will mix the apple itv and the itv

  • Dorje Sylas

    If it has to be controlled by iCloud and has no ability to work with my own home media server without the “cloud” then I’ll say pass. Me and my MacPro, iPad, iPod Touch, MacMini Server, PowerBook G4, etc, will find a different product.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    There is zero chance of Apple using the name iTV. Comparing the iPhone trademark issues to the iTV one is pointless. The issue lies with ITV in the UK. ITV has been broadcasting TV since 1955. It operates 4 major channels and even more if you include its kids channel and the time shifts and HD channels. Go and have a look around itv.com, it is by no means a small thing that could be paid off. You may not have heard of it, but it is a household name in the UK and has as much relevance to most people as the BBC brand does. There is definitely room for confusion here. What Americans seem to forget is that well over half of Apple’s profit comes from international markets and the UK is Apple’s 2nd biggest market. It will not fragment its branding, therefore no iTV in the UK, no iTV.

  • Disgothere

    nope no itv name. will not be able to use itv, should also not be able to use apple logo in itunes. Screwed the poor beetles 

  • fourlions

    They’re calling it iTV because it does not have a name yet!

    If Apple was making a car everyone would call it iCar until they found out the proper name.

  • m_el

    They would in the UK. It wouldn’t work. ITV is a huge TV network in the UK and if there was an Apple iTV it would immediately be thought that Apple were joining with the TV station. 
    What if it were to be called the Apple BBC? Do you think it would work? Well ITV is almost as big as the BBC in the UK

  • Demonstr8r

    With a set top box, you don’t need a TV with multiple tuners and other expensive features, you simply need a large monitor. I’ll bet Apple never sells TVs, but they might sell large monitors and an updated AppleTV capable of full HD video. This strategy should work well because the AppleTV also works with any existing HDTV set that is capable of HDMI. The key is in content distribution deals that would allow many people to ditch their cable provider, a simple interface for discovering content, and of course DVR (like) functionality. The whole solution has to be as seamless as other Apple products, which is why Steve called the AppleTV a hobby, all the while working towards another industry changing product.

  • poppa1138

    interesting if right,control TV with Siri assistant. is this patented by Apple?

  • poppa1138

    interesting if right,control TV with Siri assistant. is this patented by Apple?

  • CharliK

    Not exactly correct. Cisco bought a company that was making a landline named iPhone and then cancelled the product only to announce they were bringing it back after they found out that Apple was interested in the about to lapse with no more grace periods to renew trademark. Apple took them to court saying the announcement was just to fulfill the whole ‘have to have an actual product’ requirement and the court agreed and said that Cisco would have to share. Which they did. For the release of said phone which was on the market perhaps 3 months and never heard of again. 

    iTV network is a long standing and very active network now as it was then. Which is why they were able to block Apple’s rumored use of the term, a block that is still standing. Anyone that knows anything about Apple history would know this and would know that Apple isn’t going to use said term even as a code name

  • MacHead84

    The reason there will be no Apple TV or anything similar is because it doesnt follow apples business model. Apple makes and sells products people upgrade on a 2 to 3 year cycle. People only upgrade their TV sets every 6 years or so. The profits arent their for apple. The industry isnt evolving fast enough. 720p is still fine for many and itll be a long ass time before anything better 1080p is mass market. And these formats arent exactly new. Theres no reason for apple to invest in TV sets.

  • MrSarcy

    I’m as big a fanboy as the next person and I do in fact have 2 Apple TV 2′s in my home, but I don’t think TV-makers need worry all that much. Apple will just be another brand, they will have a limited choice in models and be at the (very) high end of the price spectrum. They’re not doing anything new in terms of hardware (I already have a TV that can log on to Facebook – not that I’d be caught dead on Facebook, mind you) and anyway, someone has to make those screens with the Apple Logo on ‘em. The same TV-design already gets sold under multiple brandnames anyway. Worst than can happen is that Apple shows these people a thing or two about userfriendly design. And they NEED that lesson.

  • emmanuelay

    It doesnt make any sense for Apple to create a TV. The margins are not good, and TVs usually have a long lifespan.

    However, a revamped Apple TV does make all the sense in the world.

    Heres my recipe:* Give developers access to the Apple TV API* Give the Apple TV an AppStore
    * Integrate it further with iCloud * Add an antenna port to the Apple TV (so existing channels can be viewed within ATV), slap an API to the antenna port aswell.
    * Give the Apple TV some HDMI ports to be able to route your other devices through the ATV, that makes other remotes obsolete.* Develop an interface to allow TV sets to automatically wake up/sleep when the Apple TV tells it to. License the interface to Sharp, Sony, Samsung etc. 
    - Presto! 

    All youd need is a Apple TV and a set that is Apple TV Certified.That would be an unbeatable multimedia/gameconsole/hub that will give the old TV a completely new meaning in our lives - Just think of all the apps we could develop!

  • Demonstr8r

    iCloud definitely fits in Apple’s long term solution because instead of pushing content to you only to record it locally (as is the case with cable service providers), you will simple specify programs of interest, which will be available for streaming on demand. If Apple can pull this off, and keep the price of the AppleTV in the $99 – $299 dollar range, they will have yet another successful product.

  • John Mozelewski

    i might buy a better apple tv but there is no way i will buy a itv i dont think it would be a good investment on my part

  • Aufdenschlips

    there won´t be any market for iTVs, none at all

    people do love the cable salads, they absolutely won´t pay a premium for a WELL integrated design and a streamlined and enhanced tv experience

    get over yourself and learn from history

  • Aufdenschlips

    Apple HAS a very limited choice in models and is faring quite well with that

    but heck, let´s just pretend the earth is flat while we are at it

    consumers don´t appreciate a wide range of models, they appreciate a device that delivers what they want

    and surprisingly that´s Apple´s business strategy

    don´t fragment, offer ONE solution for each problem set and do it well

  • AJ_X

    I can say one thing for sure. If Apple is making a TV, it will not be called the ‘iTV’ since here in the UK one of our major TV networks is called ‘ITV’ and I do not see them selling the name to Apple.

  • Richard Mears

    5 years.

  • macgizmo

    This dipshittery is comical. I had a long response typed, but I think I’ll publish it on my own site with some craptacularly made-up headline to gather page views. Anyone with half a brain hereby has my apology for how off-base and speculative it is when published.

  • freedotz

    I disagree. There are too many morons who would love to pay $3000 for a $200 tv that says apple on it… History has proven that several times over.

  • freedotz

    Agreed. If they do make one, and that’s a big if, it will most likely follow apples standard sales model and only come in 2 or 3 sizes. Most people shop for tvs that fit a particular space, as apposed to finding a space for a particular tv.

  • freedotz

    What happens when someone on the show that you are watching says “change the channel” — or when you yell at your kids in the other room to “turn it down”…..

  • freedotz

    How did apple screw the beatles? That money was all going to michael jackson, who until his death, owned the rights to their songs. The Beatles got screwed by their record label, years before steve and woz made apple.

  • freedotz

    El typico

  • freedotz

    What’s your site?

  • freedotz

    Knowing apple they would find a way to sue ITV — I wouldn’t be surprised if apple patented “i(fill in the dotz)”

  • freedotz

    Normally i would agree but tvs are a huge exception. A 60 inch tv will not fit in a small apartment, and a 23 inch tv will have many large home owners squinting…

  • freedotz

    Um… and about convincing people that they need it. Apple used to sell products by making they best one out there. They still make good products, but they are selling purely on hype these days. If you disagree just wait a few more months for apple to announce the end of the mac pro line.

  • emmanuelay

    I guess you have a hard time reading entries before commenting… In essence, this is a further elaboration on what I wrote – read it and stay on topic (or dont write at all):I just think the strategy would be better if Apple decided to give the ATV a boost. That would make it affordable for anyone to make their TV an iTV. The low price of the ATV would make it spread like a wildfire. Apple could change TV as a phenomenon completely. Think of it! Instead of networks and channels, we’d have apps or maybe “iTuneschannels” directly from the source (content providers)! It would be a total game changer!Apple could very well thrive on the tools for providing content – in fact, NOBODY handles content and payment better than Apple. 

  • macgizmo

    It’s right next to my name. LOL.

  • Ronald Stepp

    Why should I go to your site?  You already told me it’s just going to have crap.

  • Ronald Stepp

    Golly and yet nobody has yet made a tablet that can go toe to toe with the iPad, and the iPhone is the best selling smartphone in the world. 

  • Ronald Stepp

    Wait till they release it and see then.

  • Martin mccue

    What if you could change the size of your picture based on need? Everyone on this post is talking about lcd’s or plasmas I assume. What if they revolutionized the projector? sleek small package that can adapt to it’s surroundings. 

  • Martin mccue

    I think there was a 30 rock about that…. didn’t end well

  • dagamer34

    And the cable companies are just going to let the studios give that content to Apple? If Apple gets any deals from the studios that do a run around them, they will renegotiate their contract and pay far less since it’s no longer exclusive.

  • Bruno Hall

    I see two possible scenarios here.

    1. A full-blown TV (or a family of TVs varying in size).  Value proposition is that it will cut cable out of the picture.  Apple seals deals with the content people, much as they did with music/ipod.  So they wind up poaching the cable profits.  As with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, the primary differentiator is software and UI.  Will include a DVR, probably within/via iCloud.

    2. A souped-up Apple TV, with everything described in scenario 1, above, and inputs galore, but less the display.  So it’s cheap(ish), doesn’t force people to replace otherwise good TVs, and once again, cuts the cable companies off at the knees.  The existing TVs become displays for the device.

    I’d vote for option 2, despite the rumors about panel contracts.  The notion that people are going to junk their $1000+ displays so that they can get an iTV would only make sense if the savings on cable justifies it quickly.  Certainly possible, but unlikely IMHO.

  • Talung Tue

    I think the cable companies are whats key to get users to shell out more for their TV’s. Nobody enjoys 150+ channels of junk, we all want to purchase only what we like and then have voice control over our TV and components.

    Siri: TV on, record to DVR

    Siri….Star Trek Voyager please

    Siri…give me a list of all movies at 8PM

    Siri…play on Ipad

    I’d pay for that kind of integration……….

  • JohnJohnJ

    Author, the headline of your article is not supported by your article.

  • Aufdenschlips

    really now, how about you try to comprehend what someone has written in a reply to your post before displaying publlicly the behaviour you accuse the other of having

    You write about Apple TV, which is in fact an existing device, while an iTV is NOT, at least yet

    your first statement is that there is no reason for Apple to sell iTVs

    the rest is Your great recipe for a multibillion dollar company that has it’s competition by the testicles if it chosses to enter a market for several years now

  • HerbalEd

    Apple doesn’t need to make a TV and I seriously doubt they will. What they will do … most likely in my mind …. is to greatly upgrade/expand their Apple TV which will interface with the customer’s own TV and allow that TV to be completely interactive with the Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad, iCloud and the internet … and hopefully do so using Seri. 

  • Robert Pruitt

    In an entire universe of Star Trek on Netflix you ask for Voyager?

    Well, the rest of your comment was so good I must overlook this unusual choice :)

  • Knows It All

    Freedotz, you are full of bull-doody!

    Where does your supposed knowledge come from?

  • Varun Patra

    I feel this could totally be the future of Tv’s and Home Appliances.

    I see a future where every apple product will be connected like now, but home appliances.

    Imagine siri functioning throughout your house, while you are driving back home, you can ask siri to start your favourite TV Show, set the room temperature and maybe even open your door without the key when you are outside with the help of an ipad and its SIRI functionality.

    A kitchen will have an ipad,The living room with the iTV an Iphone in your hand.  Remember the tv show- Small Wonder? Siri will take up the job to do all that in the house :). Obviously not clean up your messy room but everything else none the less.

    Apple Tv & iTV will both have siri functionalities in the future to get rid of the remote once and for all.

    Soon you will see what maybe Steve Jobs saw the future of our houses, which he must have called an IHOME.

  • iamcheez

    iHope, they will make a new generation of Apple TV with an AppStore and many more options than the current version. 

    I don’t really want to pay for a TV from Apple, iHave a TV, iJust want a proper media player for my living room. But iThink that my iMac will stay connected to my TV for more years to come, at least as long as it takes me to get a macmini.

  • iamcheez

    iHope, they will make a new generation of Apple TV with an AppStore and many more options than the current version. 

    I don’t really want to pay for a TV from Apple, iHave a TV, iJust want a proper media player for my living room. But iThink that my iMac will stay connected to my TV for more years to come, at least as long as it takes me to get a macmini.

  • freedotz

    Lol, it’d called an opinion dude… and it’s based off of several articles that i have read recently that said that apple reps have stated that the mac pro line is not making apple money any more… ipads and iphones, however, are. Apple already killed their server line, and it’s been far too long since the last mac pro update — and now they are talking about tv’s… Seems obvious to me that apples focus has taken a dramatic turn.

  • macgizmo

    Did the sarcasm of my original comment get lost on you?

  • karmaisabitch2011

    So does this mean we are going to be upgrading to a new TV every 2 years?

  • baby_Twitty

    Aybody ever thought when steve said he finally “cracked” it, he might have said it litterally?

    I mean it really is frustrating as hell that Apple TV is not taking off well, thus he got so angry and threw the device on the wide screen and “cracked” it?

    So when he made that statement , he might actually mean he had decided to ditch the whole idea?

  • gareth alaska

    How does killing the Mac Pro make Apple release products on hype? I don’t get the connection.

    BTW, IF they kill the Mac Pro, it probably means the iMac and Macbook Pro has gotten so powerful (vs software processor requirements) that it can functionally replace the Mac Pro. I have known people who use intense graphic programs who function just as well on the MBP.

  • freedotz

    I have a new MBP, it rocks, but it can’t touch my aging 12 core mac pro. Even if it had the processing power, you can’t easily swap out drives or add multiple graphics cards — essential for my work. Even if they dont discontinue it, they haven’t refreshed the mac pro line in ages — they are more focused on ipads and ipods, which when you get down to it, can only check email, play media, and browse non-flash websites. I like my idevices, but they aren’t computers, and I don’t need any of them. They arent great computers, they are the new in-thing… that’s called hype. A mac pro, however, is pure beast, and whether they drop the line or not, apple doesn’t seem to be putting much thought in that direction. Also, I don’t ever remember people camping out for days to buy a mac pro, or even a MBP — hype city

  • Steven K. Carter

    No doubt that when Apple introduces its version of a “TV” it will be revolutionary. One thing you can always count on from Apple is innovation, revolution and evolution. iTV will encapsulate Steve Jobs continuing philosophy of combining technology, art and ease of use. It will be eloquent, integrative and imaginative – it will be an Apple. 

  • Kat

    Nope I’m getting the itv this xmas, just bought a new tv. Its a cool idea though, maybe in a couple years.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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