Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
The Apple television set is the most anticipated gadget in tech since …Well, since the iPad.
Apple is reportedly working on releasing a full blown television.
Even though the product doesn’t officially exist yet, there are still plenty of recent rumours to whet your appetite about how awesome the product will be when it finally comes out.
Every few months, it seems like the release date for the Apple TV gets pushed back. In November, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that the TV would come out in time for the holidays this year. In March, the Asian research group CLSA said the TV wouldn't come out until sometime in 2013. And earlier this month, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz suggested that the TV might not come until 2014. Bottom line: Be prepared for a long wait.
Leander Kahney at CultOfMac cited an anonymous source who claimed to have seen a prototype of the TV and said it looked like a 'much bigger' version of Apple's current line of desktop LED Cinema Displays, as seen in their mockup of the product here.
CultOfMac's source also claims that the TV prototype includes built-in Siri functionality, a rumour that has floated around for a while, so that viewers can control the TV without a remote. What's more, the source says that the TV has FaceTime so you could potentially use the big screen to video chat.
Ben Kuntz at BusinessWeek started a rumour this month that Apple's TV would actually have an 'entirely transparent' glass screen. As he admitted in his piece, the rumour was based on little more than his own thinking. But the gist of his thinking is that Apple will do something to make its TV design stand out from the pack.
Another rumour floated by The New York Post suggests that Apple is considering offering TV channels as apps on the television that one can stream content through. There's no word yet on what how the pricing for that system would work though. Would you buy a collection of apps in the way you do with TV channels, or pay for each channel app individually?
The Wall Street Journal reported late last year that Apple would use a version of AirPlay to let users control the television from mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. More recently, the company filed a clever patent to turn an iPhone into an actual remote control just by taking a picture on your phone of the remote you have, which could be further proof that Apple intends to use this for the television down the road.
We spoke with a source who knows someone that's seen the Apple TV software for the iPad. The way it was described to us is that you click on a channel on the iPad, and it changes the channel on the TV. On your iPad you get to see all sorts of extra content.
Considering that Apple hasn't even acknowledged the existence of the TV, it's not surprising that the product still doesn't have a name. It's commonly referred to in print as iTV - just based on Apple's usual naming formula - but as many have pointed out, there is already a British television company with that name (not that that has stopped Apple in the past.) Last month, a Jeffries analyst predicted that the company would instead go with the name iPanel for the television.
Gene Munster told Business Insider a few months ago that he expects the Apple TV to come in a multiple sizes, similar to Apple's line of laptops and computers, in order to cater to a broader range of consumers. Munster didn't specify what these sizes would be, but others have offered some predictions. Most of the rumours to date have placed the TV at between 32 inches and 50 inches, so perhaps the safest best is to assume it will fall in between at around 42 inches.
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