Top Apple analyst Gene Munster forced to confront the reality that there will be no Apple television

Tim Cook Apple CEOStephen Lam/Getty ImagesTim Cook broke Gene Munster’s heart.

Apple analyst Gene Munster has been forced to give up on his dream of an Apple TV.

On Monday evening, Daisuke Wakabayashi of The Wall Street Journal reported Apple had iced plans for a television set over a year ago.

Apple reportedly explored releasing a TV set, but decided it couldn’t deliver enough breakthrough features at a price that made sense. It disbanded the team it had working on the TV, and the project has been shelved. This doesn’t mean Apple will never release a TV, but it means Apple has no plans in the near future to release a TV.

As a result of this report, Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, put out a note titled, “Facing The Reality of No Apple Television.”

Munster has been banging the drum for an Apple television for “the better part of the last decade” in his words. He even stood on stage at our IGNITION conference and told people in the audience not to buy a new TV because Apple was going to have its own TV. In 2012.

In Munster’s defence, Apple was exploring a TV at that point. But, obviously, it never happened. And odds are, it never will.

“Given how adamant we have been about the reality of an Apple television, it’s hard to accept the reality of no Apple television,” says Munster in his note. “Our latest thinking prior to this story was that Apple would launch a television in 2016. Based on this report, we no longer expect a television to launch indefinitely.”

Munster was basically the only analyst who thought a TV was coming, so this news should have no impact on shares or estimates.

Munster fully owned his mistake saying, “Originally we had expected that content was the reason for the delay; however, we misidentified the true reason for delay, which was a lack of perceived killer features as reported by the WSJ. We incorrectly assumed that a combination of Siri, FaceTime, a TV app store, and PrimeSense based motion control could be compelling enough as a unique feature set for the device.”

This doesn’t mean Apple is done with TV altogether. It is expected to release a new TV box this year, as well as a streaming internet TV service.

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