While there’s been a lot of speculation about Apple’s plans to enter the HDTV market, most of the discussion – including information from our source who has seen the device – has focused on the device itself. The form factor, pricing, manufacturing options, interface, input and remote control mechanisms, which iOS and OS X technologies could be leveraged in a TV – all these are key elements to the story of an iTV or Apple HDTV or whatever the device might be called.
These areas of speculation, however, don’t ask the most critical question: Will people buy an Apple HDTV?
According to tech research firm Strategy Analytics, the answer is yes – and it’s a pretty emphatic yes for iPhone owners.
Strategy Analytics explored the market viability of an Apple iTV in a recent survey of 6,000 consumers in the U.S. and Europe.
The headline fact that the firm included in reporting the survey’s results is that nearly half of all iPhone users surveyed said that they were likely to buy an Apple television and, perhaps more surprisingly, would buy one within a year of its release.
That’s a pretty sizable customer base. It may be small compared to the global HDTV market, but it certainly it’s not insignificant. In fact, it’s a much bigger market than one could’ve predicted when Apple introduced the iPod or the iPhone.
One of the big concerns about an Apple television is cost. Apple has fairly high margins on most of its hardware and companies in the HDTV business typically have razor thin margins.
In exploring that dichotomy, Strategy Analytics discovered that 35% of U.S consumers said that they would be willing to pay $1,000 or more for an Apple HDTV. Interest began to drop off sharply, however, as the price climbed beyond that. Only 14% said that they’d be willing to pay any more than $1,600.
According to Kantideep Thota, one of the company’s analysts, Apple could win over a significant number of customers in short order.
Samsung, Sony, LG and other major TV manufacturers are most threatened by the prospect of an Apple iTV launch. More than one quarter of non-Apple TV owners could potentially migrate to an Apple-branded TV in a fairly short period of time.
Source: Strategy Analytics