Apple's mythical TV could be called 'iPanel'

Apple's mythical TV could be called 'iPanel'

Summary: I'm not even convinced that Apple needs to make a TV.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, Mobility
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Another day, another TV-related Apple rumor. This time Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wades in with speculation that Apple's entry into the TV market will be called 'iPanel.'

Misek had this to say in a research note quoted by sister-site CNET:

"We now believe the iTV could be called "iPanel" as it is far more than a TV; it is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc. Also, Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV."

A few thoughts spring from this.

The first is that I'm pretty certain that the name 'iPanel' is a guess shot in the dark, much like the iTV name that's been thrown around previously. That "could" is a giveaway, and it's not a name that has ever been associated with an Apple television previously.

Misek is throwing everything into this 'iPanel' in an attempt to jazz up the idea. The television itself is just a small part of the equation here, but it's also the unnecessary bit. Gaming, media hub, computer: these are all applications already covered by existing Apple technology that can connect to any TV. Apart from the actual display part, I'm still left wondering why any this needs to be a full-blown TV rather than a small box that connects to any TV that has an HDMI port, like the Apple TV or a Mac mini.

I'm surprised that there's no mention or Siri or some Kinect-esque hand waving controller. This suggestion has been at the heart of most Apple TV rumors since the technology made an appearance on the iPhone 4S.

A "home automator" is an interesting idea, and it's quite original, but that is such a niche market that I really can't see Apple getting into something like that. There are simply too many variables to accommodate.

Misek also wades in with speculation -- based on analysis of building permits and satellite images -- that Apple is planning to double the size of its already massive North Carolina data center, and that this capacity will be devoted to television content. This may be the case, but what Misek fails to point out is that the new Apple TV with its support for 1080p could offer a reason why Apple might want to expand its data center.

I've talked a lot about Apple TV rumors here, and each rumor leaves me feeling cold. There's nothing compelling or innovative about any of the rumored Apple TVs, iTVs; or iPanels guessed at by analysts and pundits. It reminds me of all the iPhone speculation before the device was officially announced. Almost all the speculation was inside-the-box thinking and derivative.

I'm not even convinced that Apple needs to make a TV. Using similar logic you could argue that Apple needs to make car stereos -- or even the whole car -- when in reality all it needs to do is make devices that can connect to car stereos (for example, iPods, iPhones and iPads, and leave the actual stereo part for others to handle.

The seed for a number of these TV rumors comes from another rumor that Apple is buying up 32-inch LCD panels. My betting is that these panels will end up in 32-inch iMac units and not TVs.

If Apple is working on a TV or an 'iPanel' or whatever, one thing I'm certain of is that it's not going to be anything like the Franken-TV being guessed at by pundits and analysts.

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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19 comments
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  • Roku can do that

    I agree. Apple's selling propositions are in the addition of 'computer smarts' to otherwise dumb hardware. That works as a business when the 'computer smarts' are a majority, or at least a huge fraction, of product cost.

    Once you get into the TV market, that's no longer true. The display -- the big, dumb display -- becomes the single biggest item of cost. That's a game that will attract the razor-thin-margin, super capital-intensive guys like Samsung. It's not a happy place for Apple to ply its trade.
    Robert Hahn
    • They will sell at least a million of them on day one

      or through pre-order, so they should make one.
      William Farrel
  • iPanel??

    Apple's naming of their products seems to be getting really dumb. First "The New iPad" and now this being a possibility?
    bobiroc
    • They didn't name it that

      I was reading the article this morning. I think it was the analyst that stated he's calling it the iPanel, for lack of a better name.
      William Farrel
      • Congratulations!

        I am very impressed that you passed up an opportunity to hurl abuse and insults at Apple, or tell us just how perfect Windows is!

        For bonus points, you even called out a fellow fanboy... Amazing!

        Has a new era of peace, harmony, fairness and facts broken out in these talkbacks? One can only hope!
        rahbm
  • Forthcoming Apple products

    The iSlam - automatically plays a call to prayer from a choice of prize winning muezzins. The built in GPS device indicates the direct correction to Mecca.

    The weePhone - specifically for the Scottish market. As Scotland has been particularly hard hit be the recent economic downturn the weePhone will be cheaper than the iPhone, but not so cheap that you can't say "that's an awful lot of money for just a wee phone".

    The iRony. A highly exclusive product that very few Apple customers will get.
    jorwell
  • Apple's mythical TV could be called 'iPanel'

    Not the most clever name. If Apple really is going into the TV business its going to be quite something to see the price. $1500 for a TV.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • iPanel? I don't think so either.

    Adrian, you nailed it. I couldn't have said it any better. Besides, "iPanel" is too many syllables for an Apple ???i??? product name, the idea of making TVs doesn't make business since for Apple.
    dancoiv
  • "one thing I'm certain of...

    ...is that it???s not going to be anything like the Franken-TV being guessed at by pundits and analysts."
    Couldn't agree more, Adrian.
    Userama
  • Ooooh... that's quite the headline

    "Apple's mythical TV *could* be called 'iPanel'" Huh? Can I make up any BS I want for a headline as long as it has "could" or "maybe" in it?? "We *could* see houses floating in the air by 2013"? "New research group *might* discover dragons are real"? "All citizens *could* receive $1Mil"? Come on.

    The headline makes even *less* sense when you spend 99% of the article discounting the "theory".
    csteinola
  • iVision

    betcha
    walkerjian@...
    • or just iV

      zen like in the ppl fashion, and iRonic to boot, since we will soon be all on the drip matrix style... from coppertop to golden delicious, welcome to the neoDark ages... YAY!
      walkerjian@...
  • Totally agree, Adrian.

    [i]"I???m not even convinced that Apple needs to make a TV. Using similar logic you could argue that Apple needs to make car stereos ??? or even the whole car ??? when in reality all it needs to do is make devices that can connect to car stereos (for example, iPods, iPhones and iPads, and leave the actual stereo part for others to handle."[/i]

    Perfectly put. Unless Apple can make a TV which is dramatically better than my current TV, why would I even consider it? Would much rather have a multi-purpose appliance which [i]connects[/i] to the TV.

    This is why I have a hunch that it [b]won't[/b] be a TV at all.
    rahbm
    • Right on!

      Why would people replace a fairly new HDTV with another one? I agree that it will be a juiced-up AppleTV-type external box, NOT a complete TV set.
      Userama
  • Compete with the Samsung 8000 series ?

    I guess you could see Apple successfully taking on Samsung's flagship TV product.
    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za_VKRuhPKA
    md-b
  • I don't think so!

    I really don't believe that Apple would risk going there. iPanel is treacherously close to iPane (eye pain) which would be a kick in the apples if even the slightest thing goes wrong with the initial product release. Also, iPanel doesn't roll off the toungue nor does it have any flair, for which apple product names are reknowned. Keep guessing everyone! My best guess? How about the iVid--so much easier to say, and it sounds a bit like avid, a nice active and positive word. Apple, be careful. I'm watching you!
    tahoe@...
  • Sounds like Apple is reinventing, or "reinnovating" MS's Media Center,

    less the XBox and less the Kinect, that is, judging from the following in the article:

    "it is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc"
    adornoe
  • The killer feature is...

    Apple will ink licensing deals with the world's content providers and will aggregate the subscription of EVERYTHING through their media center UI. So whether it's Netflix, HBO, Showtime, broadcast TV, HGTV, British soccer or Al Jazeera, all you will have to do is go to the channel page and click "Subscribe" and Apple will automatically deal with all the financials for you. Just give Apple your credit card # and it's taken care of.
    MSFTWorshipper
  • It was never going to be called iTV

    Why did every commentator think it would be called iTV? Thats a TV station in the UK and apple doesn't like re-branding for different countries
    the.nameless.drifter