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Were rumors of an Apple HDTV off base? TV remote functions could be Apple’s ‘next big thing’

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:38PM EST

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An own-brand HDTV from Apple (AAPL) seemed like a done deal earlier this year, but now industry watchers aren’t so sure. A number of analysts reported that production of Apple’s television was already underway as recently as this past August, but more recent reports suggest Apple is instead looking to focus on content delivery and software innovations as it bolsters its home entertainment offerings. In line with the latter position, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes told clients this week that Apple’s “next big thing” could be enhanced TV remote functions on iOS devices rather than a physical television.

“We feel one of the best ways to increase the iOS device TAM is by expanding use cases so that every home could use an iOS device as a TV remote,” Reitzes wrote in a research note.

Some have speculated in the past that Apple may utilize Siri to create a voice-controlled remote function across iOS devices, where a user might speak functions such as “put on the Yankee game” or “record The Big Bang Theory tonight” instead of having to navigate a cable box UI using a standard remote control.

Reitzes also noted that the upcoming iPad mini will be great for watching movies, but Apple might also use it as a vehicle for new remote software. “We believe the 7” screen on iPad mini could be used for traditional content consumption such as reading books or watching movies, but Apple may have bigger plans for this device over time,” he wrote. “We believe the big secret about Apple’s TV strategy is not the TV itself – it’s about selling the remotes.”

The analyst reiterated his Overweight rating on Apple’s stock as well as his $810 price target.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.