It’s hard to think of two analysts as different frome one another as Gene Munster and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. While Munster has foolishly prattled on, predicting an Apple HDTV set every single year for at least five years without it coming true, Ming-Chi Kuo draws upon proven supply-chain sources across the Far East to make predictions about upcoming Apple products with almost unerring accuracy. When Munster opens his mouth, everyone laughs; when Kuo opens his, everyone listens.
So it’s odd to be writing a story in which Ming-Chi Kuo and Gene Munster’s predictions are lining up for a change, but it’s an odd world. In a recent note, Kuo argues that not only will an A7-powered Apple TV will be coming next year, but Apple will enter the living room with a proper HDTV set in 2015.
According to a report released by Kuo, KGI Securities believes Apple will refresh the Apple TV with an A7 processor in 2014, and ship 8.2 million units overall. However, growth will be limited, with the major factor in Kuo’s view being whether or not Apple can make its set-top box more content rich, either by inking new partnership deals or, even better, releasing an App Store for the device.
These observations lead Kuo to conclude:
We believe the slowdown in Apple TV shipments suggests Apple faces challenges in integrating TV content and services. If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries. Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.
What’s interesting here is that Kuo believes that the iTV is a real product, and not just a flight of fancy. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big believer in the Apple HDTV, and I think you should be too, but if Kuo also believes it’s eventually coming, you should definitely treat the rumor more seriously going forward.