What happened to Apple's TV set?

Rumors the company was close to releasing its first television have disappeared -- and been replaced by talk about a wearable computer.

By Benzinga Apr 2, 2013 5:01PM
By Louis Bedigian

Despite the belief of one analyst that Apple's (AAPL) first television was just around the corner, that long-awaited display was nowhere to be found in the first quarter.


Instead of rumors and supply chain reports for a snazzy display, the media shifted its attention to the prospect of a wearable computer.


Many assumed this device would take the shape of a watch, enabling consumers to wear and use it with relative ease. This in turn led to a steady stream of rumors about the device and its potential competitors from Google (GOOG), Samsung and LG.


Meanwhile, Intel (INTC) stole the TV spotlight when it announced that it wanted to build a new service that could bridge the gap between cable and Internet television. 


While the exact details of the service are unclear, it is known that it will ship with a set-top box,  that includes a camera designed to deliver a more personalized experience. Intel has said that privacy-conscious users will be able to close the camera lens.


Typically, this would not be news. Aside from any controversy that may come as a result of the camera, the Intel initiative could have been written off as just another Google TV clone.


However, Google tried to conquer TV without the help of content partners. Intel is expected to take another route. The company has hired new talent from Apple, Netflix (NFLX) and Google to build its service, which may launch within the next year.


As many as 400 people could be working on the project throughout 2013. More than 300 individuals have already been added to the Intel Media team.


While it is possible that Intel's efforts scared Apple out of the TV business, there may be another, more plausible reason for Apple's absence.


According to a new iSuppli report, domestic TV shipments declined 5.8 percent in 2012 and are expected to drop another 2.7 percent in 2013.


Unlike smartphones, which are replaced rather frequently, TVs purchases are meant to last five to 10 years. With proper care, LCD or LED sets can run for more than 15 years -- and if used sparingly, they can last even longer.


Thus, consumers that already have purchased a new TV may not be eager purchase an Apple display. This could make it very difficult for Apple to sell a significant number of units, especially as sales decline.


Those who are willing to upgrade may need to be persuaded to spend 32% more than they did on their last TV purchase.


More from Benzinga
13Comments
Apr 2, 2013 6:44PM
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There's nothing on TV worth watching anymore, so we're not really missing much.

Apr 2, 2013 8:02PM
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Ya all my friends have cancelled their over priced cable subscriptions, so I don't think Television is really the in thing right now. People are streaming and Time shifting, with no time for commercials or doubling up with multiple channels running the same programing. It simply is not worth the over pricing they are dishing out. The Cable industry is in a death grip competition with itself and along the way they totally forgot about their customers, Remember when cable television was $12.99 a month? Now it's $200 ? Only because the Cable companies only know one direction, and people simply have other things to do with that money.
Apr 2, 2013 8:16PM
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The actual Apple TV set top box works like a champ.  They stream content from your computer without any hitches at all.  If you already have an apple device and currently use iTunes it is a no brainer.  If you do not like Itunes, a different product is probably best for you.  You can rent and buy movies, watch netflix, hulu, and a host of other content, and can stream everything form your computer.  They also work with all airplay enabled devices.  Best 100.00 I ever spent.
Apr 2, 2013 7:27PM
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Maybe AAPL will make a wearable 60 inch LED screen
Apr 3, 2013 11:10AM
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For the record it is not the cable companies that are making a killing. The content providers are who you want to throw darts at. The content providers raise the programming rates each year. They also like to bundle channels together. For example if you want A&E or History the content provider demands the cable company take other channels. The only way the cost of dish or cable will decrease is Ala-carte or UN-bundling of channels that cable/dish must take. Dish/Cable increase their rates yearly just to cover the programming costs.
Apr 3, 2013 7:19AM
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Maybe Apple could come up with a wearable T.V.  With the obesity problem in this country, just about everyone would be wearing a wide screen television and everybody would be looking at everybody else.

Apr 3, 2013 7:15AM
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I know people that don't have televisions because a lot of the crap that is on.  I liked cable better when they had shows that were educational like the shows that they had on A&E and, the Discovery channel.  Now they just have crappy shows like Storage wars and Ghost Hunters.  By the way, I don't have cable.  I wouldn't watch it if I got it for free anyway. 
Apr 2, 2013 7:50PM
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Actually wear an on-going Marketing Technology for self? No Thanks!  

Can't drive while watching!  
Apr 3, 2013 9:26AM
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To the person who said I wouldnt watch tv if it were free, then why are chiming in on this topic!  You sound like a loser who has nothing better to do!
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