Rumor: Apple to release a line of HDTVs, which makes perfect sense

Cult of Mac Apple HDTV Mockup

Cult of Mac is reporting that their “well-placed” source is claiming to have seen an Apple HDTV in the prototype stage. According to the source, the new HDTV, not to be confused with the Apple TV set-top box, will incorporate Siri as well as a built-in iSight camera, which you and I know as the “camera on the back of the iPhone 4S and iPad”, for making FaceTime calls. The mock-up above was put together by designer Dan Draper based on Apple’s current line of displays.

Should this source be correct, it would mean Apple is moving to capture more of your living room, with the hopes that you’ll watch shows from iTunes while browsing the Web on your iPad and making the occasional phone call from your iPhone. The integration of Siri would be taking Microsoft head-on, with the Xbox 360’s programming, provided by its partners Netflix, ESPN, HBO, etc., as well as its own Zune Marketplace, being voice-controlled in a similar fashion using Kinect.

One can only guess how Apple would try to convince us that their branded HDTV should be the center-piece of your entertainment center. What is the difference between a very expensive TV (I could be wrong, but everything Apple currently sells is priced much higher than similarly spec’d devices) with built-in iTunes, and hooking up your iPad to your HDTV of choice via AirPlay or the digital adapter? I don’t think the addition of FaceTime will do it, considering I have both an iPhone and iPad and have used FaceTime maybe twice, and I doubt you’ve used it more. A built-in Skype app that worked with Siri would be a welcome addition, but again, not worth the “Apple Premium”.

Now should this HDTV come with a Bluetooth controller to play games downloaded from iTunes, it would be poised to be a real challenger to the home console manufacturers, namely Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Imagine accessing your huge library of cheap iPhone and iPad games from the comfort of your couch on a big screen. I can picture the execs at those other companies shaking in their boots.

Ultimately, Apple did essentially create the tablet market with the iPad, which many experts of the field said wouldn’t happen, so what do I know; Apple will undoubtedly unveil some “magical” features that will result in block-long lines next to the nearest Apple Store on launch day, even if it doesn’t involve gaming.

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5 thoughts on “Rumor: Apple to release a line of HDTVs, which makes perfect sense

  1. I’ve been hearing about “the battle for the living room” for some time now. MSFT with Kinect, now AAPL, even GOOG and their Android@home. I thought by now at least one of the companies would have made a stronger foray into daily life. Why don’t I see any more practical advancement on the living room take over?

    • Gadi says:

      That is a good question. I think cable companies are partially to blame. The only way for any of these companies to succeed is to provide alternative sources of content, and most content-providers are locked into deals with the respective cable companies, the latter imposing draconian content-management strategies to maximize their own profit. That is why you still can’t choose channels a la carte, i.e. if you want ESPN, you’re getting the Food Network whether you like it or not and paying for the privilege. I once saw a video experiment, where a few families were given different set-top boxes, i.e. Roku, Xbox 360, Apple TV, and were to consume media only via these means, without cable. The common complaint from all of them was that they couldn’t channel surf, but had to make a thought-out decision to choose a program to watch from the get-go. The cable companies will never stand for these networks to provide an always-on, constant stream of programming on other means such as Roku or the Xbox, and as of now, enough people consume their content through cable that the networks don’t want to abandon the cable companies. It is a vicious cycle.

  2. Hmm, I wonder how Tivo broke in? MSFT’s Xbox should follow their lead, offering set top functionality along with its regular gaming, etc platform. Or APPL or whoever. Then expand with Kinect/Siri or whatever new technologies they think up. I see the iTunes conflict, but it’s a foot in the door (or the living room as the case may be).

  3. […] are flying around about Apple’s foray into manufacturing its own HDTV, while Google is gearing up to relaunch Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 keeps adding […]

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