Originally reviewed by Gordon Kelly 16 October 2010
Has Apple entered a market sector in which its principles fundamentally undermine its chances of success?
Apple is currently the world’s second largest company in terms of market capitalisation, yet they produce surprisingly few products, in comparison to some of their competitors such as Samsung.
However the products they do manufacture usually sell in the millions and the company is able to charge a premium price thanks to its iconic styling and ease of use. It is therefore always a matter of huge interest when reports begin surfacing that the company will launch an entirely new product.
In his biography written by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs admitted that Apple was working on building a television: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."
Now, according to numerous analysts and sources, Apple is planning on releasing a number of television sets next year and we’ve decided to gather together all the latest news about the launch and will be updating this page as and when we learn more.
iTV: What’s in a name?
Since the launch of the iMac in 1998, Apple has been using the lowercase ‘i’ to name a lot of its products. However if it wants to continue that trend with its television set, it could face some problems because of one of the UK’s main television stations.
Apple iTV has been in operation since 1955 and we expect that the presence of a lower case ‘i’ instead of its capital equivalent may not be enough to satisfy the television channel.
Trademark infringement is of course dependant on whether the similarity between the products or companies is likely to cause confusion and considering both relate to television, we can see that this may indeed be a problem.
So far no other names have been reported but Apple could simply call its televisions Apple TV and replace the current Apple TV set-top box which will likely be incorporated into the sets themelves.
iTV: What sizes?
According to Japanese sources who spoke to Australian website SmartHouse, Apple will bring three different size television sets to market in 2012. Two of these sizes are said to be 32in and 55in, with the third likely to sit somewhere between the two.
iTV: When will it launch?
Finished models of Apple’s new TV set could begin to roll off the production line in Japan as soon as the middle of next year, with the television sets heading to shops in time for Christmas 2012 - so get saving now.
iTV: LCD or OLED?
Reports suggest that Sharp will provide the panels for the new Apple televisions and that initially at least they will be of the LCD variety. Further reports suggest that Apple will look to use Sharp’s OLED-like IGZO technology in future sets.
iTV: What will be included?
Apple is known for valuing simplicity over all else and so we think that the television will be a complete solution with current Apple TV functionality built into the set. It is also rumoured that the Siri voice interface - seen currently on the iPhone 4S - will be included, allowing you to search, find and control content using just your voice.
iTV: What will it cost?
According to analysts, Apple won’t be changing its practice of charging a premium price for its products and its television sets won’t come cheap – but you never thought they would anyway, did you?
As we said, we’ll be updating this page as and when we get more information but do let us know in the comments what you think of the possibility of an Apple TV, or iTV in your sitting room in time for the Queen's speech next year.
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