Word that Steve Jobs cracked the code to creating a simple television before he died set off a new round of speculation that an Apple TV set was coming sooner than later.
In Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder was quoted talking about TV. Jobs said:
I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.
Piper Jaffray Gene Munster has been arguing for an Apple TV effort that was more than a hobby for many months. Munster's view is that an Apple TV is coming in late 2012 or early 2013. He said in a research note:
Apple's iCloud service for media storage makes it simpler to own multiple Apple devices and share content among them. iCloud stores TV shows and pictures, but we believe Apple may add movies. While a solution for live TV combined with previously aired shows "recorded" in the cloud remains a significant hurdle, perhaps this code is precisely what Jobs believed he has "cracked". We also believe Apple could use Siri, its voice recognition, personal assistant technology to bolster its TV offering and simplify the chore of inputting information like show titles, or actor names, into a TV (typically with a remote).
In addition, Munster noted that Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing LCD displays. Munster also said Apple TV prototypes are already in the works and the company's patents already point that way.
Here's a look at Munster's financial assumptions behind Apple TV.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is projecting an initial iTV run of 5 million to 10 million units. "We believe Apple will launch a new video-focused cloud-based service. In addition to subscription revenues, we think Apple could potentially benefit from a halo effect that increases units and ASPs for its existing products and provides a foundation for the launch of an iTV," said Misek.
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