A number of industry watchers are waiting for Apple’s (AAPL) “next big thing” before they’re confident once again that the company can maintain rapid growth in the coming years. While many expect an own-brand HDTV from Apple to be that catalyst, a new report suggests Apple’s much rumored television will not be released in 2013. Near the top of a list of 13 predictions for 2013, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield writes that Apple’s “mythical” TV set may indeed be in the works, but it will not launch this year.
“Despite Tim Cook’s repeated statements that the television is an area of “intense interest” for Apple, the mythical Apple Television is not released in 2013,” Greenfield wrote in a research note published Thursday on BTIG’s website. “The so-called ‘next big thing’ remains hampered by concerns over the legality of the managed/specialized service exception to net neutrality rules, TV Everywhere usage restrictions and solidifying nationwide coverage/accessibility.”
Unfortunately for Apple, other companies are expected to make headway in the TV market despite Apple’s troubles.
“While Apple is focused on working with MVPD/ISPs to ensure very high quality of service and to leverage existing programming contracts, we expect at least DISH and Intel (INTC) to launch over-the-top, virtual MVPD services in 2013 (will not have the same QoS that Apple is striving for),” the analyst wrote. “We expected both of these services to launch in 2012, however, reaching programming agreements proved harder than expected (DISH has only been able to launch an international version of this product with Roku). The launch of virtual MVPDs would be a meaningful positive for ISPs (given the need for robust bandwidth) and are a negative for satellite/DBS operators who do not offer broadband.”
Among Greenfield’s other predictions for 2013 are the launch of Apple’s streaming music service, the planned expansion of Google Fiber to a second market, the success of Netflix’s (NFLX) original programming and the transformation of Instagram into an advertising platform.