Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Apple is supposedly going to launch a TV set in November 2013. This prediction comes from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has incorrectly predicted the launch of Apple’s TV two times previously. In a quest to become the Harold Camping of investment analysts, Munster has also provided a few details on the size and price of the Apple televisions we should totally be expecting next year.
So, what do we have in the way of specs and price, Gene?
According to Munster, there will be two versions of the Apple TV. A 47-inch set and a 55-inch set. Prices for the two will come in between $1500 and $2000. The pricing does seem very Apple, as the numbers put forth are two-to-three times more expensive than comparable HDTV sizes from competing manufacturers. I suppose the defense would be the same as the one used for the MacBook and iMac lines; you’re not only paying a premium for well-designed hardware, but also the Apple experience.
But does the same logic used for computer, smartphone, and tablet purchases come into play with the TV? That I’m not so sure about. When it comes down to it, people use the TV to watch TV, and if there are less expensive ways to access the same content an Apple television would provide, I think customers would jump on that train in a heartbeat. And there will be plenty of competitors providing set-top boxes that offer competing interactive television experiences, just as there are now. And those boxes do, and will, work with the TVs you already own.
This is why I can’t see Apple jumping into the television space. For the manufacturers that are already there, it’s a cut-throat, thin-margin business. Apple already has a fantastic product in the Apple TV; a product that is really only being held back from reaching its full potential by Apple itself. Apple could own the living room at $99 a pop if it would make the right moves. I don’t think launching a full-fledged television is one of them.