Apple’s Not Making An iTV, They Are Just Bringing The iMac To The Living Room [Analyst]

Apple’s Not Making An iTV, They Are Just Bringing The iMac To The Living Room [Analyst]

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the so-called iTV, Steve Jobs’s “cracking” of the HDTV problem. But what if the iTV is just a rumor, and Apple instead plans on fixing television by making iMacs into HDTVs?

According to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, the iMac could work as a “bridge” TV to the eventual iTV:

Blair envisions the company pushing the largest screen sizes of the iMac toward the TV market by integrating Apple TV and iCloud features into a slimmer all-in-one PC with TV capabilities.

“We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TV’s hanging on the wall in large form factors, Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market,” he writes. “In short, we believe the initial Apple TV is their iMac computer that can function as a TV, over the iCloud platform.”

In essence, what he’s saying is that if you turn Front Row into the Apple TV’s interface and make iMacs in slimmer sizes up to 55-inches, Apple can have their cake and eat it too: iMacs could work as both mountable HDTVs and desktop computers, just by knocking off the base.

That’s interesting, but what will ultimately make or break the Apple TV isn’t the hardware, it’s how you control it. The iTV is all about the interface, and it’s the minutiae of how Apple intends for us to finally get rid of our remotes that will really prove if Steve Jobs really did “crack” the HDTV problem.

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  • Jwarn

    That would make much more sense!

  • joshuacurtiss

    This is an interesting idea, but I disagree with the analyst. Especially with the idea of starting at 32″ and working up. The price disparity would be way to great, even by Apple standards, in comparison to the 32″ television market. And the solution is too rudimentary. If Apple does pull the trigger on something, they would offer something more custom tailored than a BIG iMac. 

    A huge LCD with an Apple TV’s innards built in, and progressing from there… This seems more plausible in my eyes.

    Just an opinion.

  • Seoung

    Anyone can connect a Mac Mini with HDMI to a 42″ LCD TV and it does the same thing.  Apple will not make a 42″ iMac that would retail for $2500 probably.

  • Len Williams

    I think the analyst might be fairly on the mark here. iMacs are relatively inexpensive these days. Some retooling to accommodate larger screen sizes and simplified electronic guts and a big screen Apple TV could be just a big format iMac, with all the functionality of a regular Mac, but with HDMI connectivity and a TV tuner onboard. Of course I expect Apple will have an amazing and elegant hardware design for the new sets, and appropriate software for accessing and controlling movies and music. Imagine having a fully functional Mac on the wall of your living room, complete with built-in webcam for Skype and Facetime connectivity, Siri voice control, Bluetooth for a wireless keyboard/trackpad. All of a sudden the living room is not only the entertainment center, but the connectivity center as well for calls. I’d buy one!

  • Jordan Clay

    I doubt this.   Has anybody seen the remote to Google TV.  That is what a “remote” would look like to a big iMac.    on to the next iTV rumor.

    here is my prediction:  the iTV will be an update APPLE TV, that you plug into your TV around the $99 price point and play even nicer w/ your iPads and Macs.

  • minimalist1969

    “Technology analysts” never cease top amaze me with the way they pull ridiculous fantasies out of their butts based on the thinnest of information (the six figure salaries they command for this garbage amazes me even more).

    Not only is a TV experience all about the interface but hardware for a lean-back 10 foot experience is totally different than that for a upright 2 experience.  1080p looks great from 10 feet, not so great from 2 feet.  And making 60″ display higher resolutio0n woukld guarantee nobody would buy these as general computers.  Trying to make the iMac serve two masters means it will serve neeither all that well.    A TV is a TV, a computer is a computer.   Trying to make a device do double duty is a recipe for mainstream failure.

  • dson32

    The rumor that iTV being an iMac is just a rumor and it seems the writer has not thought this  through.
    If it is larger than a 27″ screen, then resolution is concerning.  Right now, 27″ is the max cinema display size because Thunderbolt/displayport technology can only transmit 2560×1440.  If you assume that TV’s are mostly 1080p currently, it will not scale proportionately when using OS X, which is why when you try to hook up PS3′s/Xbox’s to an iMac with an adapter, it is limited to 720p, exactly half the native resolution of the 27″ iMac.  If the next generation iTV/iMac was 1080p, then this would be a horrible resolution/experience for Mac OS X, especially if the screen is larger than 27″.  The only way iMac would be the next iTV, would be if the resolution doubled to 5120×2880, which could be possible but very expensive if it were to come out next year – assuming the iMac is “a bridge” as this article suggests.  

  • FriarNurgle

    I can already feel the sticker shock.

  • CMK1

    This post has been up for a while, when are you going to fix your concluding “< /a>” problem there?

  • TradeGothicBold

    This is crap.

  • Steve LeVine

    Personally, I think this so-called analyst has his head far up his own ass. Three things he really doesn’t seem to know well- Personal Computing experience, Television Watching experience and most importantly (especially for his investors) the Apple Company experience. Jobs may be gone, but his lasting legacy is introducing revolutionary products. Apple is not going to sell the iMac or some mutant version as a television. It may be more than a year away, but they will introduce an iTV which will be a brand new, highly-advanced revolutionary product. This guy probably tells his investors that an iPad is just a big iPhone. When has Apple ever put out a “bridge” product? It’s not what they do. And he’s an analyst giving financial advice?

  • Steve LeVine

    Personally, I think this so-called analyst has his head far up his own ass. Three things he really doesn’t seem to know well- Personal Computing experience, Television Watching experience and most importantly (especially for his investors) the Apple Company experience. Jobs may be gone, but his lasting legacy is introducing revolutionary products. Apple is not going to sell the iMac or some mutant version as a television. It may be more than a year away, but they will introduce an iTV which will be a brand new, highly-advanced revolutionary product. This guy probably tells his investors that an iPad is just a big iPhone. When has Apple ever put out a “bridge” product? It’s not what they do. And he’s an analyst giving financial advice?

  • John Neumann

    Front Row is a horrible interface and the sooner it is gone, the quicker I will actually use my AppleTV. After finally talking my wife into agreeing to buy one earlier this year, she won’t touch it Requires pounding on the TV remote to find the right channel, then takes a while to boot up, then tapping on the Apple remote forever (tried having to spell out the name of a show to find?) and then its a coin toss whether or not the iTunes rental will beach ball or not. 

    If Steve cracked the solution to true Apple TV, he probably took it to the grave with him.

  • AriRomano

    with eyeTV and an apple remote, iMacs are already awesome TVs

  • bagongbuhay

    I have a Mac Mini with a 46 inch TV and while it is great in some ways the interface of using the keyboard and trackpad is not so good. This is the area that will need to be improved to really make it work.

  • CharliK

    I wouldn’t say the iMac but I could see the display with perhaps also a larger size. Use it for the Apple TV or a computer display

  • Fearless_fred

    John, please stop calling it the iTV. Apple have already conceded the use of that name in respect to Television. ITV is the major commercial broadcater to the UK (and has been for nigh on 60 years). It’s also used by other broadcasters around the world as a station name (Tanzania, Thailand, hell even San Diego has a station called iTV Channel 16!).

    Call it an Apple TV if you must (and if you take all these ruimours seriously). Calling it an iTV is just plain wrong.

  • John Howell

    My Mac mini already drives a 43″ plasma. Why is this new?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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