GENE MUNSTER: I Still Have A 'High Conviction' That Apple Announces A Television This Year

Apple’s iPhone event had its moments of excitement.

The new iPhone 5C, the fingerprint scanner, the improved camera, and chipset for the 5S, were all pretty neat.

But, overall, the event felt like a repeat. It was more of the same from Apple. It was what we expected. It was yet another iPhone announcement.

What everyone is really waiting for from Apple is the Next Big Thing.

Well, the wait for that Next Big Thing shouldn’t be too long, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Munster says Apple will announce a television this year, and the television will be available for purchase next year.

It will be like when Apple announced the iPad or the iPhone, and then months later, you could pick them up in the store.

Munster has been calling for an Apple television for a long time.

In August of 2009, Munster said Apple would have a television by 2011. In 2011, when Apple didn’t release a TV, he called for it in 2012. And in 2012, he pushed back his estimate to 2013.

It’s looking increasingly unlikely Apple is going to release a new television this year. There has been very little reporting to suggest Apple is close to a full blown television.

The last big report on Apple television came from DigiTimes in March, when it said an Apple television would release a television next year. Since there, there’s been nothing.

Yet, Munster has continued to say a TV is close.

We spoke with him on the phone, and he says, “we still think that it is on the table,” and “our conviction is still high for a television in 2014.”

Why does Munster believe a TV is in the works?

“We’ve talked to component suppliers that say they’ve showed an actual television screen to Apple,” says Munster. So, clearly Apple is sniffing around the TV market.

In addition to supply chain chatter, Munster points to CEO Tim Cook’s various public comments at the D Conference, and on NBC’s Rock Center.

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” said Cook on Rock Center at the end of 2012. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

In May at the D11 conference, he said Apple has a “grand vision” for the television market.

Cook has been dropping hints like this for a long time, but nothing has come of it.

After the iPhone event, word broke that Apple was planning an update to its set top box next month. The person that broke the news suggested Apple was not going to release a full-on television any time soon.

Munster says that if the current Apple TV gets an update next month, it will “intensify the debate” about an actual television, but he’s not backing down. He thinks TV announcement is this year, and the television release is next year.

Says Munster, “The only wild card is the timing of when it’s announced.”

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