Analyst: There’s Little Possibility That The Apple HDTV Will Launch Any Time Soon

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Until Apple can get the cable companies to play ball, its TV set will remain a rumor.
Until Apple can get the cable companies to play ball, its TV set will remain a rumor.

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.

Following a meeting with Cue and Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer on Wednesday, Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves issued a “company update” to clients today. It read:

An Apple Television Appears Extremely Unlikely in the Near-term

Relative to the television market, Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, reiterated the company’s mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems. The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view. While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue’s commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple’s perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model.

Unfortunately for Apple and for consumers, acquiring rights for traditional broadcast and cable network content outside of the current bundled model is virtually impossible because the content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content. The differences in regional broadcast content and the lack of scale internationally also create significant hurdles that do not seem possible to cross at this point.

Hargreaves’s note confirms that Apple is indeed working on its own set, but that it isn’t willing to just push out a product that is incomplete without those deals from the cable providers. And as we know from previous reports, Apple appears to be having a hard time trying to get those providers to play ball.

It’s been successful with record labels and carriers in the past, but it appears cable companies are a tougher nut to crack. Because of this, we’re likely to be waiting a long time yet for the Apple HDTV.

Editor’s Note: This post has been revised since it was first written to correct an erroneous assertion that it was Eddy Cue himself who said an Apple HDTV wouldn’t be coming. We apologize for the error.

Via: Fortune

  • metalhaze

    So basically what this means is that we will see this TV is about a year. Remember when Steve Jobs said they weren’t making a phone at AllThingsD and then a year later they released the iPhone? Yeah….

  • Jennifer Nash

    Or maybe it’s because an HDTV is a completely idiotic idea and he’s heading off these morons at the pass.

    just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it idiotic. I can’t wait for the egg you’ll have all over your face when the smaller iPad comes out this fall and a TV comes out in 2013 or 2014.

  • technochick

    Or maybe it’s because an HDTV is a completely idiotic idea and he’s heading off these morons at the pass.

    just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it idiotic. I can’t wait for the egg you’ll have all over your face when the smaller iPad comes out this fall and a TV comes out in 2013 or 2014.

    And when neither comes true will you be the bigger person and admit you were wrong

  • technochick

    So basically what this means is that we will see this TV is about a year. Remember when Steve Jobs said they weren’t making a phone at AllThingsD and then a year later they released the iPhone? Yeah….

    Or not. It is possible, even plausible that Apple is leaving the tv set to others and that little black box and the iTunes store are it for their plans.

    Consider for a moment who made the comment and what he said. Why would the SVP of Software and Services be talking about a TV set when the issues with making the hardware should be quality of parts and patent licensing. Eddy’s part in this is the iTunes Store and softwares.

    Content licensing etc is hardware agnostic to a major degree. He could be referring to a ‘real’ tv set or just a better black box and iTunes Store catalog to go on all TVs

  • Margaritae3

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  • HerbalEd

    I seriously doubt that apple will ever produce a TV. Why would they want to?? Why limit their customer base, when they can create a smart, TIVO like device that can interface with virtually every modern TV? A device that can interface with internet, computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud, iTunes, etc.

    Besides, the real, long-continuing money is in selling content, not the original device (a la iTunes and it’s music, TV shows, movies, books, etc.).

    Also, don’t be surprised if Apple buys TIVO and/or Netflix … or am I just wishfully thinking?