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August 9, 2012

“Did You Miss Us?”- Apple TV Rumors

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Remember those Apple TV rumors?

Earlier this year, it seemed all we in the Apple press could talk about was Apple´s inevitable entrance to the television box market, Steve Jobs´ famous “I cracked it” comments, and by how much Apple would crush any competitors that might stand in between Cupertino and total domination.

It´s not entirely clear what happened to our collective excitement about this fantasy box. As rumors of new machines, a new Mac OS, and a new iPhone began to build in advance of this year´s WWDC, those once omnipresent Apple TV rumors fell by the wayside. Some pundits even began to backtrack on their predictions, saying, “if” Apple were to make it TV, it “might” not be available till next year.

No, now we´re all a flutter over another imaginary Apple product, the rumored iPad Mini.

Today, two analysts have brought the rumored Apple TV back into the conversation. Whether it stays there, however, is yet to be seen.

Ben Reitzes, a Barclays analysts, filed a note today wherein he suggests such a TV could possibly harm desktop and PC sales. Reitzes is still holding on to hope that Apple will indeed release such a device, but doesn´t expect it to ship until 2013 or even 2014.

"We know iPads cannibalize notebooks," writes Reitzes. "Why aren't investors talking about the potential cannibalization of desktops from an integrated TV?"

Reitzes continues:

"We actually believe the market for consumer desktops could see pressure in the wake of an iTV product by 2014, much the same way that the overall notebook market's growth slowed after the introduction of the iPad. The reason is that an Apple TV would represent an easy way to check email and the web as well as share photos (and even edit them in the same way as an iPhone/iPad can)."

In other news, Gene Munster, who has long been leading the charge in Apple TV rumors, is still predicting an Apple TV release in 2013. Munster, an analyst for Piper Jaffray (and no stranger to Apple rumors) is so sure Apple will release a television, he´s begun to reach out to his Minneapolis and St. Paul neighbors to get a gauge on how excited people are to bring a larger Apple device into their homes.

Munster asked 200 people different questions about their opinions on the imaginary, rumored Apple TV. Munster also suggests these 200 people are representative of a population of 300 million, a dubious assumption, but one that he seems quite sure of.

According to the 200 surveyed, 49% said they were at least interested in buying a new Apple TV.

Another 29% said they weren´t currently in the market to buy a new television, but if Apple were to release a new box, they might be inclined to change their minds.

Previously Munster has estimated the rumored Apple TV would start at $1500 for a 42-inch screen. When asked, a wide majority, up to 88% said this price point was much too high for their budgets.

On average, the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul said they don´t want to spend much more than an entry level iPad in order to bring an Apple TV into their homes. When asked, the average price these 200 people said they´d be willing to pay was $530.

Summing up his study, Munster said, “The bigger theme that is emerging from this data point is Apple is becoming less a product and more of a platform company that consumers find increasingly more difficult to leave.”