'Smart TV' From Apple May Already Be In The Works
Persistent speculation about a connected TV from Apple simply won't subside. On Friday, the rumor mill was taken for another whirlwind spin as Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty re-ignited those lofty suspicions in a research note to investors. As it turns out, "checks in Asia suggest Apple is working on a Smart TV prototype." The "checks" that Huberty refers to are checks with Apple's Asian component suppliers.
Huberty predicts Apple's "Smart TV" could represent "potentially the next new product category" for the tech giant. She expects the product to represent a consolidation of "TV/Video content, gaming, DVR, as well as other features like apps and FaceTime into one product." What isn't clear, however, is the possible timetable from development to official launch - assuming, of course, that such an ambitious living room venture truly is being planned by Apple.
Huberty, who believes Apple stock may hit $540 if the stars (and sales) align just right, is not the only prominent Wall Street analyst to believe that Apple is about to revolutionize living room entertainment with an entirely new product fitting the description of Huberty's envisioned "Smart TV."
Last month, a provocative report from investment firm Piper Jaffray suggested that Apple may finally be gearing up to introduce a connected-TV as soon as 2012. According to analyst Gene Munster, Apple will likely use some of its recent $3.9 billion in component investments to develop large screen displays, probably for a connected Apple television set of at least 50-inches.
"While Apple's commitment to the living room remains a 'hobby,' we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate," Munster says, adding that Apple is believed to be eager to jump into the red hot flat panel television market.
Source: Wall Street Journal