Tim Cook revealed on Tuesday at the AllThingsD: D11 conference that Apple has now sold more than 13 million second-generation Apple TV devices. Even more impressive, the CEO noted that roughly half of those devices were sold in the past year alone. Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune crunched the numbers and found that Apple controls more than half of the digital media receiver market. Not including dedicated gaming systems such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Apple TV has a 71% share of the market. The popular Roku box has sold more than 5 million units, giving it a 27% share of the market, and the Boxee Box sold about 200,000 units, for a 1% share, before it was discontinued last summer.
Apple’s ‘iTV’ said to launch this year with ‘major innovation that will revolutionize the TV experience’
Apple’s (AAPL) own-brand HDTV has reportedly been in the works for years now, and it will finally debut later this year according to a new report. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who has reported accurate details about unannounced Apple products in the past, is currently meeting with supply chain sources in China and Taiwan. During his travels, the analyst gleaned information from unnamed sources that has him convinced that Apple will finally launch its “iTV” in the second half of 2013. And beyond the inevitable excitement among Apple fans as the company enters a new market, White says Apple’s HDTV will include some innovative new features that will make it a game-changer. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) much rumored own-brand HDTV is among several highly anticipated new opportunities that industry watchers expect to help reverse investor sentiment once it launches. But according to a recent survey of 3,910 consumers polled by online buying guide Retrevo, high interest in Apple’s upcoming “iTV” won’t necessarily translate into sales. 69% of all people surveyed said they might consider a purchase of an HDTV from Apple, and that number shot up to 81% among those polled who were already iPhone or iPad owners. But only 15% of shoppers said they would “feel comfortable” buying an Apple television, compared to 39% who would feel comfortable buying a Sony (SNE) TV and 51% comfortable with Samsung (005930) TVs. On the plus side, however, 22% of those polled (and 30% of current iPhone and iPad owners) said they would hold off on buying a TV from another vendor if they knew Apple planned to unveil an HDTV of its own.
Apple’s (AAPL) much rumored HDTV was expected to debut in 2013, but a new report suggests manufacturing issues have pushed the television’s launch back to sometime next year. In a note to investors picked up by ValueWalk on Tuesday, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek pumped the brakes following his claim last year that Apple would hold a press conference in March 2013 to unveil its own-brand HDTV. Misek says panel suppliers LG Display and Sharp are having problems ”achieving yield on the displays,” which has caused the delay. The analyst gives Apple’s “iWatch” a 50% shot at launching this year though, and he thinks it will sport a 1-inch display and a $200 price tag.
With a company as secretive as Apple (AAPL), some of the best information on its upcoming projects often comes from its job postings. 9to5Mac now points us to a new Apple job posting that seeks an “experienced engineering manager to help deliver the next generation features for Apple TV” who will also “work closely with cross functional teams” while “representing Apple TV across Apple.” Since the job posting also says that the engineering manager will help “bring the Apple experience to the living room,” it sounds as though the new Apple TV features will more tightly integrate the platform with other Apple products based on iOS and OS X. Recent rumors have indicated that Apple will release an SDK for its Apple TV platform sometime this year, so it would make sense for Apple to hire an engineer for additional help making the company’s set-top box function more like a smartphone or a tablet with support for third-party apps.
The Xbox is one of the best things that Microsoft (MSFT) has going for it right now, but one of the console’s founding engineers thinks the company is in grave danger of getting its hide handed to it by Apple (AAPL)… again. Nat Brown, a former Microsoft engineer who worked at the company until 1999 and who was one of the founders of the Xbox project, has written a long post on his personal blog making the case that Microsoft has only been winning the console wars over the past couple of years because Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY) have been screwing up so badly. He also tears apart the company’s strategy for allowing independent game developers to create games for the platform, saying that the process for developing and distributing games on the console is far too cumbersome. More →
Rumors of a “revolutionary” Apple (AAPL) television set have been around for years, but this may be the year that we actually see the mythical iTV unveiled for public consumption. Per MacRumors, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek reports that Apple is holding an event for developers in March that “is Apple-TV related (possibly an iTV SDK introduction).” Even more enticing, Misek believes that a ”September/October iTV launch is being targeted” and that the SDK will give developers plenty of time to have apps ready when it’s released to the market. Misek also expects the “iTV” to be priced at around $1,500 and sized between 42 inches and 55 inches. More →
HBO on Tuesday updated its HBO GO and MAX GO applications for the iPhone and iPad, adding long-awaited AirPlay support. The new update will allow cable and satellite TV customers who subscribe to either HBO or Cinemax to stream on-demand content via their iOS devices to any Apple TV set-top box. The announcement was made by HBO President and COO Eric Kessler during the AllThingsD: Dive Into Media conference in San Francisco, and both app updates are available immediately in Apple’s (AAPL) App Store.
Apple’s (AAPL) share price has taken a huge hit over the past few months as analysts did their best to call Apple’s future prospects into question. No one is arguing that Apple will continue to grow in the near future, but the explosive growth the company has enjoyed for the past few years is likely to slow and the huge margins it has achieved thanks in large part to the iPhone may continue to shrink. By expanding into new territory, however, one industry watcher thinks Apple is about to open new doors that may help reverse the Street’s soured sentiment.
Apple (AAPL) is said to be in negotiations with Time Warner (TWX) to offer an HBO Go application on Apple TV by mid-2013, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. The set-top box already carries services from Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu, and the addition of HBO Go could help Apple boost sales of the device. The service allows HBO subscribers to stream original TV shows and movies on the Web and through variety of devices such as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, TVs, Blu-ray players, Roku boxes and gaming consoles. More →
While there will certainly be several sweet new television sets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, the TV that generates the most buzz may be one that isn’t even at the show. Per AppleInsider, Topeka Capital’s Brian White thinks that Apple’s (AAPL) long-rumored television set will be “the elephant in the room” because of its potential to “totally reinvent the TV experience.” Specifically, White thinks that “Apple’s ability to develop hardware and software together, combined with a relentless, detailed focus on aesthetics and a robust ecosystem will make the company difficult to beat in the coming years” when it comes to changing the television set industry.
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. More →
Apple (AAPL) is reportedly testing a number of HDTV prototypes with manufacturing partner Hon Hai, though a launch in the coming year is said to be unlikely. Citing a single anonymous source, Focus Taiwan reports that initial testing of Apple’s own-brand TV sets is currently under way at Hon Hai. Display panels on the prototypes are said to range from 46 to 55 inches and several different designs are being tested. According to the site’s source, the final version of Apple’s debut HDTV is not likely to begin shipping until 2014 at the earliest.