Apple will bring out its highly anticipated television set in time for the festive season next year.
However the Apple television, dubbed the iTV, will come at a premium, costing twice as much as equivalent televisions from other manufacturers. The Apple television will come in a variety of sizes and will be a complete solution rather than just a plug-in box.
This is all according to respected Piper Jaffray Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst, Gene Munster, who was speaking to the Ignition: Future of Media conference.
Munster said it would be worth consumers waiting for the new Apple television to be unveiled before they considered purchasing their next TV. The premium people are likely to pay, just like a lot of Apple products, could be justified by the integration it will offer with other services and the cloud.
Of course Apple already offers the Apple TV set-top box but it is expected that this will be integrated into the new TV set. One feature which Munster expects to see on the set is Siri, the intelligent voice recognition software found on the iPhone 4S. Siri on the Apple television would allow users to control their sets using voice commands for actions like changing channels, recording programs or lowering the volume.
The issue of needing a TV subscription service however still remains but the solution is likely to be integrated into the TV rather than leaving it up to the user to chose his/her provider and/or set-top box.
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."
Last week we reported that Sharp is believed to be the company providing the LCD panels for the Apple television and that finished units could begin to roll off the production line by the middle of the year – which ties in with the launch being towards the end of next year.