If Apple got into the TV set business, they could give cable operators a run for their life, right? Probably, but some observers suggest the tech giant should not try to reinvent the wheel – a broken one at that. Instead, any Apple TV set should be based on Internet streaming, making cable television obsolete.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu this morning writes TV manufacturing is “the only major end market the company is not currently participating in a bigger way.” Wu told investors he’s “picked up several data points” indicating suppliers are preparing to ship iTV parts allowing for an Apple device later in 2012.
Wu’s comments dovetail with a Tuesday DigiTimes report claiming Samsung Electronics and Sharp are readying chips and displays for such a unit that Apple could introduce in the second or third quarter of next year. For some time, analysts and others have said the move into TV set manufacturing would be a natural progression by Apple.
Although the analyst agreed with the industry publication, he believes Apple would be better not to simply replicate the cable television distribution model, but employ Internet video streaming. In such a scenario, Apple could offer a more robust device while also selling its Apple TV device.
Wu’s vision of a two-pronged attack on television makes sense. Not everyone would want to ditch their current TV setup for an Apple version, making the Apple TV product a perfect introductory arrangement. This has worked before. The iPod touch, once seen as a totally separate product is now viewed as an iPhone on training wheels.