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.