Gene Munster, everyone’s favorite Apple analyst, spoke at Business Insider’s IGNITION Conference today in New York City. One of the topics Munster hit on was the Apple TV. For years, Munster has been one of the biggest proponents of Apple releasing a literal TV. His most recent prediction pushed the product’s announcement to the end of next year, while last year he predicted that Apple would start shipping in early 2013.
Apple’s real plans for the living room remain to be seen, but today Munster explained his reasoning for why Apple didn’t announce a HDTV this year.
Business Insider reports:
Speaking at our IGNITION conference this year, Munster said he spoke with sources in the Asian supply chain about Apple’s television plans. Those sources said that Apple had requested a specific type of screen for a TV, an indium gallium zinc oxide or IGZO screen. Manufacturers were having trouble making that screen for a big-screen TV.
IGZO is the hot buzzword in display tech right now because of its energy efficiency and ultra-high pixel quality. Sharp will debut the first mass consumer device with an IGZO display when it ships its 7-inch Aquos Pad tablet next month. There was some speculation that Apple may put an IGZO display in the iPad mini, but the company went with a cheaper LED instead.
Considering how new and untapped IGZO tech is in the supply chain right now, it would make sense for there to be issues if Apple has indeed requested orders for 42-inch+ HDTVs. Is display tech the only reason Apple hasn’t shipped its mysterious TV product? Of course not. There’s also all of the tedious licensing negotiations with Hollywood that haven’t been closed. Hardware is far from the only problem at this point.
Then there are the rumors saying Apple is merely working on a new set-top box to supplement the cable providers. It’s hard to separate wishful thinking from what’s really going on at this point. Munster may be reporting a little of both.