Popular belief is that if Apple does end up releasing their long-rumored smart TV, they’ll call it the iTV… but there’s problems with that, not least of which is that there are at least two companies out there called iTV who are threatening to sue if Apple does so.
So what will they call it? Analyst Peter Misek — who believes the Apple TV is imminent — thinks it’ll be called the iPanel, and Apple will be building up to 5M of them starting in May.
Why iPanel? It’s absurd, but Misek does have a point that calling it an iTV is very limited in scope where as an actual Apple HDTV would be able to do a lot more than what we traditionally think of televisions doing.
“It is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.,” Misek said. “Also, Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV.”
Fair enough, although that sounds so tin-eared and tone-deaf we’re willing to bet Apple wouldn’t name anything an iPanel.
Misek’s other predictions are a little weird. He says that the Apple television will retail for $1,250 and bring in 30 percent gross margins. He also says that Sharp is shipping its IGZO panels to Apple for use in the iPanel, but that’s pretty unlikely: IGZO is effectively a power efficiency technology that allows displays to be brighter and have richer colors while using less power. That’s great, but it’s not ready for prime time yet, and Sharp’s yet to be able to maintain yields on panels produced using the tech. Plus, a TV is plugged in all the time, minimizing the returns on IGZO panels.
Personally, as certain as Misek sounds, we’d take all of this with a grain of salt, at least for the time being. What do you think?