An Apple HDTV with Apple TV, iTunes and an easy interface with the iPhone and iPad in every living room in America? That's the vision Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has for the computer maker. The Wall Street Journal reports Munster sent a note to clients that muses about the possibility Apple might slip into the highly competitive CE market with a premium product that would be a game changer.
Among the reasons?
"Apple's ability to deliver hardware, software and content that could replace an entire entertainment system with a single TV, puts Apple in a unique position for the emerging connected TV cycle," Munster wrote.
Apple already has partnerships with networks and studios in place that could energizes its iTunes store, the possibility of creating a connected universe with iPhone, iPods and iPads, and an eager and familiar iTunes audience that absorbs all things Apple.
Munster says he believes Apple could be shipping product in two to four years.
"Yes, TV hardware is a challenging, low-margin business if you don't change the rules of the game; but we see potential for Apple to offer best-in-class hardware, software and content and charge a premium," he says. "The bottom line, 32.4 million HDTVs sold in the U.S. a year is a real market, and if history repeats itself, Apple would find a way to compete in a commoditized market with a premium priced product."
All of that, of course, flies in the face of Apple COO Tim Cook's statement last month that Apple has "no interest in being in the TV market." Maybe now that Google apparently does, things in Cupertino will change.
- see this All Things Digital article
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