It’s December, a traditionally slow news month, and it seems this December is even slower than most, because even organizations as solidly grounded in reality as All Things D are now posting elaborate wishful thinking exercises about what the much rumored Apple HDTV will actually be. This one, however, is more interesting and plausible than some… at least in a few key regards.
On Tuesday I went to a party at San Francisco’s Cafe Du Nord to celebrate the launch of Fuze For Mac, a nifty cloud-based videoconferencing tool from FuzeBox.
I heard several interesting things about Steve Jobs and some intriguing Apple TV rumors. One of the rumors made me think that Tim Cook’s new Mac — the one that is going to be made in the U.S.A. — might actually be a big-screen Apple TV.
Here’s what I heard:
The software was developed at the behest of Steve Jobs himself, who persuaded FuzeBox to make the software not just for the Mac, but for an upcoming Apple TV.
Steve Jobs gave the company a special dev lab on Apple’s campus.
According to FuzeBox’s CEO, the upcoming Apple TV has a 60-inch screen. It has no inputs whatsoever, except an AC power cord. No wires. You can’t plug in a cable box or a game console. Nothing.
It does have Gigabit wireless Wi-Fi and gesture controls, equivalent to Microsoft’s Kinect accessory for the Xbox.
And finally, the story of how FuzeBox got an ultra rare meeting with Steve Jobs is worth telling — details below.
Now, I’m the first to admit that not all of this adds up. I got it from Jeff Cavins, FuzeBox’s CEO, who told a good tale, especially after I’d had a couple of pints. While I was fascinated and entertained, it didn’t get to pin him down on details. The party was loud and crowded, and we were constantly interrupted. So mostly for entertainment purposes, this is what he said:
Apple CEO Tim Cook just didn’t talk with Businessweek today in an unpredecented interview, he’s also going to be on NBC’s “Rock Center” tonight talking to Brian Williams… and in a new preview of the upcoming episode, Tim Cook has hinted strongly that Apple will be entering the HDTV market sooner rather than later.
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.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been one of the most outspoken proponents of the idea that Apple will release their own television, having predicted it for at least the last years every three or four months Now he’s at it again, promising a sub-$2000 Apple HDTV before the end of 2013. That’s not the weirdest thing he’s predicting though: a retina iPad mini by March, and a third-gen by September 2013.
Apple’s been working to make the Apple TV “more than a hobby” for a long, long time now, but it looks like it won’t happen this year, with a new report saying that a new Apple TV — whether a full HDTV or a new set-top box with content deals from the cable system — definitely won’t happen this year.
While we’re almost certain Apple is working on its own television set, when it will launch is a complete mystery. Initially it seemed the set could make its debut before the end of 2012, and then reports pushed the release date back until 2013. Now according to a new analyst report, it’s unlikely won’t be adding an Apple HDTV to your credit card bill any time soon.
Why? Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue has reportedly indicated to analysts that there’s still a lot of work to be done with content providers.
In a series of tweets summarizing a new (and still unpublished on the Internet) report by Jefferies, Apple’s forthcoming HDTV is said to already be in full production, and will be sold with a carrier subsidy from AT&T and Verizon. They estimate that two million will be sold in 2013.
Whenever the Apple HDTV comes out, it’s going to need an array of slick media content partnerships to get off the ground. That’s one reason why Tim Cook might have been hobnobbing with Hollywood executives at a recent media conference, but these deals are tricky to strike, and take time.
According to analysts, that’s why the Apple HDTV might not launch until 2014… and when it does, it will be a U.S.-only launch.