Icahn: Apple still interested in TV sets, not just online television

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) may announce its rumored over-the-top linear TV service as early as next month, and make programming available in the fall, The Wall Street Journal said in a story that also featured activist investor Carl Icahn predicting the company will begin selling a 4K-capable television set next year.

The catch? Apple shelved its plans for an Ultra HD TV last year, and reportedly has no intention of reviving the project. The company couldn't come up with features it considered compelling enough to compete with Samsung and other smart TV manufacturers, WSJ reported.

But Icahn insists that Apple will begin selling 55- and 65-inch UHD sets in 2016, something he put into an open letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We view television's role in the living room as a strategically compelling bolt-on to the Apple ecosystem," Icahn said in the letter, as quoted by WSJ.

Analysts and reporters have been speculating that Apple would officially launch an OTT service at its WWSD event in June. Sources told WSJ that the company will indeed do that. If true, a linear OTT service could renew the company's interest in developing a television set.

An Apple television would likely tie together its Apple TV streaming device and other iOS devices, like its smartphones and tablets. But it would be jumping into an intensely competitive market. Still, the idea of a TV set may not be completely off the table: The project was never officially killed off, WSJ says, and the team was merely disbanded and reassigned to different products.

For more:
- WSJ has this story
- CNN Money has this story

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