The other major piece of hardware Apple is rumoured to have on the cards for this year, aside from the iPhone 5, is the iTV project.
Well, some folks think it will be out at the end of 2012, anyway, although many believe 2013 is the more likely release date.
At any rate, forget about current the Apple TV set-top box, because the rumoured iTV (as it’s known currently) will be a full smart TV set, purported to have motion and voice (Siri) control, and come in three sizes from 32 to 55 inches.
Back in February, following a Best Buy survey which indicated the mid-range model (probably 42 inch) might be pitched at around $1,500, analysts were predicting big things for the iTV. A Barclays Capital crystal ball-gazer felt that the TV set could snare 5% of the HDTV market in short order.
However, the latest word from the mouth of an analyst, as reported by Investors.com, isn’t quite so optimistic.
ITG Industry Investment Research has made the call that the iTV, if launched, will only have a “moderate impact”. ITG theorises that Apple will target the high-end market with a high priced set, and that this will be the reason for the lack of relative traction in the overall TV sphere.
ITG analyst Joseph Fersedi commented: “While it makes sense to think that Apple will go high-end in the TV business (as it has in computers, phones and tablets), our analysis suggests that Apple may need to go more mass market within a couple of years of launching a premium-priced TV product.”
So a shift in strategy will be needed, but whether Apple can seriously compete with the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and others in the mainstream TV market remains a questionable point.
Apple could feasibly look to flog its iTV as cheaply as possible and focus on selling pay-TV content, but that does go against its “premium gadget” grain rather, and obtaining the rights to a wide range of choice content won’t be an easy task anyway.