Jefferies: Apple TV launch is 'imminent' (...again)

Jefferies: Apple TV launch is 'imminent' (...again)

Summary: Jefferies analyst James Kisner believes that an Apple TV is "imminent," but he's hardly the first analyst to make confident predictions about an Apple TV that turned out to be wrong.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware

One of the longest-running Apple rumor is back: the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant is preparing to unleash a television on the world.

The latest prediction comes from Jefferies analyst James Kisner in a note about cable technology company Arris.

In the note, Kisner says that one multi-system operator (MSO), a company that operates multiple cable television systems, is "working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network". This, according to Kisner, "potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV".

There's been no end of speculation about Apple releasing a television. If I confine my search to this year, the rumors kicked off with Piper Jaffray's analyst Gene Munster who first outlined three scenarios for an Apple TV, then went on to predict that an Apple TV could make an appearance sometime in December, and that it will retail for between $1,500 and $2,000. He also said it would arrive in a range of sizes, from 42-inch all the way up to 55-inch.

It's worth pointing out that Munster's been talking about an Apple TV now for over four years, and he confidently predicted that a standalone Apple TV would be available in 2011. He also predicted that Apple would be selling 6.6 million Apple TV set-top boxes in 2009, when in truth by 2011, Apple was barely selling 3 million units.

Back in May, Forrester principal analyst James McQuivey said: "[the] TV business is a tough nut to crack" and that Apple should begin manufacturing the "world's first non-TV TV," which he saw as being a 32-inch iPad that could be hung on a wall.

This is not the first time that a Jefferies analyst has made an Apple TV prediction that turned out to be wrong. Back in June, Peter Misek confidently expected Apple to unveil a TV at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Alas, no such device was unveiled.

Some analysts are more cautious. Following a meeting with Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and senior vice-president for Internet services and software Eddy Cue, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves said that: "Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface," but that it "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."

The problem with these Apple TV rumors is that they all fail to address how the TV will differ from the set-top box (or what the set-top box could be configured to do). It seems to be that the only advantage a TV would offer over a device that connects to any HDMI-capable TV set is that people wouldn't need to figure out where that HDMI cable would have to go.

Now how much would you pay for that?

Image source: Apple.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • Apple TV

    There is not much added value in an TV. The reason is that today's TV is an dumb consumption device, that does not fit in the Internet model, where the network is dumb and all intelligence is at the end devices.
    With current TV all content and programming is controlled by the "rights holders" or their agents and that prevents any form of innovation.

    If Apple is ever going to enter that market, they will do so with a new distribution/programming model.
  • Or...

    The Apple TV box hasn't exactly taken off. There is really not a whole lot that they could do with that thing that can't already be done better with an Xbox, PlayStation or a myriad of other devices. The only real benefits would be that it has the functionality of set top boxes built into one device and it's way more expensive than the Jones's TV. I know there are a large number of people out there who don't know that an Xbox etc. is a media device and not just a game thingy, but I'm not so sure that those sort of people would be willing to part with several grand for a TV that does some computery type stuff.

    The down side would be that all that functionality is stuck to one TV instead of being portable/upgrade-able/repairable like a set top. Can you imagine having to take your 55" TV to the apple store because the wifi went out due to you holding it wrong when you mounted it?
    • The Apple TV box

      That little box today has one primary and very valuable use: as a wireless replacement of the HDMI cable for any Apple device. It's just wonderful for presentations etc.

      This might be side effect and not primary design objective, but that niche is very good.

      I believe the primary reason Apple hasn't made an large display set so far is that about anything they could do to add value to it, is already done by either the Apple TV, or the macMini.
  • Television is from the last century

    Truly. Television as we know it is dead, so why would Apple release one?

    Television broadcast over the airwaves is dead. The television set, showing interlaced video, is dead.

    Unless we're talking about Apple releasing some kind of glorified computer monitor. But Apple has done that before.
    • Riddler, Inc?

      Zchro, what do you mean television is dead? Are you saying that we are no longer going to need a box that displays images? Is someone coming out with a product like in the Batman movie with the Riddler?
  • Yet another possibility

    Apple might indeed release an Apple TV.

    Just, it will not be flat panel based, but an 3D holographic projection device. The primary question is though, what the display size would be...

    With Apple, one can speculate wildly and even then sometimes be surprised.
  • Why? When it's already here.

    I have EyeTV Tuner stick hooked up to my 27" iMav in my bedroom.

    I even have the app for the the iPad.
    Arm A. Geddon
  • Time for an edit. Should be...

    I have an EyeTV Tuner stick hooked up to my 27" iMac in my bedroom.
    Arm A. Geddon
    • How do you

      Like it? Which model do you have? I was looking at their Top of the line EyeTV HD model.
  • Please stop mentioning the price.

    $1500 - $2000 is a made up price, but this article eludes that it's already been set.

    This is a misleading article, I would dismiss the price because Apple has NOT mentioned price, or even a product for that matter.

    Since the 27 inch Thunderbolt Display is $1000, I would highly doubt that the price of a feature rich 42inch or larger HD TV by Apple would be a LOT more than $1500 to $2000, especially if it has a DVR in it.

    For an actual HD TV, Apple isn't going to go after the market of these SmartTVs that are being dumped on the market because right now, Samsung and others have to dump their product for two reasons. 1. To sell inventory for product that wasn't selling the in first place and 2. Because the models they are shipping suck in terms of picture quality, features, GUI, etc.