Apple’s upcoming entry into the high-definition television space is set to blow the high end of the TV market wide open while current market players continue their struggles to compete on price. Market research firm KAE along with online polling company Toluna recently conducted a survey and determined that 25% of consumers in the United States would purchase a physical Apple television set if the Cupertino-based company launches one. Beyond early consumer interest, however, current TV industry players may have left a gaping hole that will bring Apple billions when it fills the void.
“The TV set industry is in crisis mode,” said Michael Lantz, CEO of Accedo, in a statement emailed to BGR. “The manufacturers are scrambling to cut costs but still add features to roll out ever higher volumes of TV sets through struggling retailers. Even though design is an important feature for high end TV sets, this is a much smaller share of the market than it should be. It is my firm belief that there is a wide open market slot for a high-end design-led Apple TV set in this market. Apple should be able to market and succesfully [sic] sell $2000-3000 TV sets with unprecedented margins.” Accedo is a leading smart TV applications provider that has built apps for HBO (HBO Go), NBA (NBA Gametime) and other companies.
There are no confirmed details surrounding Apple’s “iTV,” however recurring rumors point to a Siri-powered hands-free remote system and an a la carte subscription model that positions channels like apps in the App Store. But whether or not Apple has plans to innovate on the technology side, Lantz believes Apple’s design will be a main focus for consumers.
“Of course, these TV sets will have the Apple TV built in and seamlessly integrate with other Apple products, but fundamentally I think Apple will sell on superior design and quality of the actual TV set,” the executive said. “By using their Apple stores as the main outlets for these TV sets, they have a natural sales channel and can use the current market momentum to sell the TVs. The recent appointment of Dixon’s John Browett as head of Apple’s retail operations ensures that the more complex distribution chains for TV sets can be dealt with cost-efficiently.”
“Selling TV sets might never be as important for Apple as selling mobile devices, but they should easily be able to create a $5-10BN business area out of it,” Lantz concluded. The latest round of rumors suggests that Apple will launch its debut HDTV in the fourth quarter this year.