Apple analyst Gene Munster says he thinks a new Apple TV could be launched this fall.
Here’s what Munster said in a new note Thursday afternoon:
With WWDC just four months away (likely June 2015), we believe talk about an update to Apple TV (not a television) could pick up over the next few months. Despite our belief in an actual television being unrealized so far, we continue to believe that TV is an area of focus for Apple and the most likely area for innovation now that the Apple Watch has been announced. We believe the most likely path to a TV would be an update to the Apple TV hardware and software that potentially integrates content, gaming, and HomeKit in the fall of 2015 and a television at least a year later. As we move toward the Apple Watch launch in April, we believe investors will be looking for the next big new product for Apple, which we believe will be focused around the TV.
Catch that? He says he thinks an Apple TV update could be coming this fall.
This report doesn’t seem to be based off anything more than a hunch.
So, if you want to dismiss it, go right ahead. You would not be wrong.
It makes plenty of sense for Apple to update the Apple TV. The last update to the Apple TV came in January of 2013, according to MacRumors. It is running on the A5 chip. Apple’s latest chip is the A8. By the fall, we should have an A9. What’s the difference between an A5 and an A9? Roughly four As.
So, the Apple TV is due for an upgrade.
Further, there were a flurry of reports last year that Apple was ready to release a new Apple TV. But something went wrong. On a recent podcast, plugged-in Apple writer John Gruber even said he was surprised Apple hadn’t updated the Apple TV. He pretty much expects an update in the next twelve months.
So, there’s that.
And then, there’s the other stuff that Munster talks about.
Web-based TV is a thing now. Dish launched Sling TV, a $US20 per month bundle of channels that people can get directly over the web. Apple is reportedly in talks with programmers about potentially doing its own bundle of web-based linear TV channels.
Apple TV can be Apple’s answer to Google’s Nest thermostat. The Nest thermostat is not just a thermostat. It’s a central hub to connect a wide variety of Internet-connected devices.
The Apple TV is Apple’s version of the same thing. Apple can load the Apple TV with sensors so it can tell when you’re home or not home. It can be the hub that tells your lights to turn on when you’re on your way home. It could do all sorts of things that we have yet to think about. It could also be like Amazon’s Echo, an always on device that works with Siri.
Munster thinks an update to the Apple TV leads to an actual television in 2016 or 2017. We don’t know about that.
But, Apple is very interested in the TV market. Steve Jobs talked about it before he died. Tim Cook talks about it in every interview, because he’s asked about it in every interview. Why is he asked about it in every interview? Because people desperately want TV to be changed, and they think Apple is best company to do it.
Apple has yet to make a major move, but maybe this is the year when that finally happens.