Apple was reported by Digitimes to be developing 4K Ultra HD TVs sized 55- and 65-inch that will come with iOS and OSX integration. The panels for the TV are expected to come from LG Display, with release of the TV either in 2015 and 2016.
Apple’s goal is to connect all of its devices and extend its influence in the home industry, a niche that other competitors such as Google and Amazon have been eyeing for years.
While Apple does have its Apple TV platform the OTT box is losing steam in the market, with Apple reporting weak sales for the device in 2014 following smart TV developments in mature economies such as the US.
The move would make sense if Apple were to bank off hardware sales in the 4K TV market. While its Apple TV essentially provides everything smart TV platforms include on other TVs, Apple is leaving it to the consumer to decide what TV they will use their STB device with.
From a marketing standpoint, Apple should consider selling its own branded TVs and allow the integrated smart platform to connect more fluid and simultaneously with its other products in order to avoid antiquated STB devices. Users now want to stream whatever they have one their phones with their TVs and vice versa. Few devices in the industry allow for this and connectivity is becoming the next big thing in the industry so however you look at it Apple could not only profit from the move but also extend its ecosystem as well.
The reported iTV means that gamers could access their movies, music and even pokie games on their TV and stream them seamlessly without having to worry whether there is a specific App on iTunes for the game of their choice. This means that downloaded software or direct playing on platforms such as Royal Vegas could be achieved easily, which is huge if you think about what this could mean for gamers.
There is no reason why Apple should leave its foot out the door for TV hardware development. It produces the nicest looking and advanced monitors and computers in the market but has been quiet compared to other home electronics makers who are extending their ecosystems via TV technology.
The TV industry is set to rebound in 2015 and will further grow throughout 2018 as economies in the West recover. Additionally, emerging markets will be in demand for LCD TVs, which means that Apple could tackle several markets.
However, knowing that the vendor is mostly occupied with higher-end technology, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Apple released a 4K or even 5K TV based off the latest and greatest TFT LCD technology. LG would indeed be Apple’s main supplier unless Sharp allocated IGZO technology to the vendor but that may be a bit of a long shot. There is also the possibility of the TV having Quantum Dot (QD) technology but it may be too early to tell.
Apple meanwhile has been quiet on the subject but Tim Cook was recently quoted as stating that Apple wants to change the way consumers experience and watch TV in their living rooms.