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Apple's 'iTV' might not be a TV at all

For all the rumors surrounding Apple’s upcoming HDTV, very few well-sourced reports have emerged regarding the high-definition flat-screen television that has market leaders responding even before any official “iTV” is unveiled. Recent claims suggest Apple has an aluminum HDTV in the works powered by iOS and Siri voice controls, but further details are conflicting. A number of analysts have backed away from the idea of an Apple television recently, but late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s exclamation that he “cracked” the TV conundrum will ensure that rumors continue to swirl. According to some new speculation, however, Apple’s upcoming “iTV” might not be a TV at all.

In a recent blog post, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey puts forth an interesting concept he says he has been discussing with clients for more than a year. Rather than launch a TV, McQuivey suggests Apple may instead be developing an “iHub” that will serve as the focal point of the Apple-powered household.

“Apple should sell the world’s first non-TV TV,” McQuivey wrote. “Instead of selling a replacement for the TV you just bought, Apple should convince millions of Apple fans that they need a new screen in their lives. Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates for planning, talking, or eating.”

The analyst continues, noting that such a device could eventually replace the traditional television for many users. “My proposal takes advantage of everything Apple has going for it: Its base of super-engaged customers, its bevy of hungry developers, its ability to open our minds to the possibility of post-PC computing form factors, and its spectacular track record with generating elegant experiences that teach us to do things we didn’t know we needed. In fact, I want this so bad I can almost taste it.”

Some believe Apple will launch its iTV — or whatever the Cupertino, California-based company might be cooking up — later this year, though a recent report suggests that it may not be unveiled until 2014.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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