The latest iTV rumours about Apple's HDTV coming in late 2013
01 March 2013

The latest iTV rumours about Apple's HDTV coming in late 2013

Expect Apple iTV and Apple TV to work more like iOS does on the iPad; the newest iOS 6 Beta for the Apple TV enables app icons to be moved around the homescreen just like on the iPhone and iPad.

We love the prospect of a new Full HDTV from Apple, but we're not sure Apple does. Apple seems more interested in getting iPads into your living room than Apple TVs (add-on TV box) under your flat screen. Apple is reported as saying that the Apple TV is a hobby, but it turns out the company is thinking bigger. Much, much bigger. It turns out that Apple wants to sell you the entire TV set, not a little box beneath it. It is all about margins, integrated services, and iTunes.

In an early 2012 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted again at the release of something bigger and better than the current Apple TV (reported on CNN Money).

Is Apple iTV Confirmed?

"With Apple TV, however, despite the barriers in [the TV set top box] market, for those of us who use it, we've always thought there was something there. And that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling the string, then we might find something that was larger."

"For those people that have it right now, the customer satisfaction is off the charts. But we need something that could go more main market for it to be a serious category."

However, it is possible that he meant a set top box, and rumours have continued to rumble on that Apple is in talks with US cable providers over a new version of its existing Apple TV box.

Stronger hints came in a December 2012 Tim Cook NBC interview. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told Williams. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

Apple isn't the only company dropping big hints - manufacturer Foxconn had to refute reports in late May that it had begun to produce the Apple iTV after a story emerged quoting chief executive, Terry Gua, as saying Foxconn was "making preparations for iTV."

When Will iTV Be Released?

Most rumours predict a 2013 Apple iTV release date. The New York Times says that price, not technology, is the problem. Apple is waiting for the cost of large LCD panels to fall further before building iTVs.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested in November 2012 that the iTV would come out a year later, in November of 2013.

This is big change in Munster's thinking. Earlier this year Munster was calling for Apple to announce the Apple television in December, then release it in the first half of 2013.

As AppleInsider says. "Most notably, he expects Apple will launch a television set in time for the holiday 2013 shopping season. He expects the product to be priced between $1,500 and $2,000, with screen sizes between 42 and 55 inches."

Some rumours in May 2012 suggested that we won't see the Apple iTV until 2014.

In December 2012 Wall Street Journal reported that various TV prototypes have been on the company's slate for a number of years.

Apple iTV Design

In mid-May a new report from Cult of Mac claimed one of their contacts saw a working prototype of the Apple TV. The report claimed that Siri and iSight will feature (so face and voice recognition then), while the design is similar to that of an Apple Cinema Display.

The Telegraph says that "sources within the company" say that Jeff Robbin, the man who helped create the iPod, is leading the team. Apple has seemingly denied rumours that it is working with French designer Philippe Starck. Remember when he worked with Microsoft on a mouse?

However, it appears that Starck was actually working on another project, a yacht, with Steve Jobs before his death.

On 13 May 2011, we reported that Apple is rumoured to be in talks to buy TV manufacturer Loewe. AppleInsider wrote that talks have entered the advanced stages and Loewe is expected to make a decision on Apple's offer within the next week.

Apple iTV Specifications and Display

Engadget predicts an A5 processor and 1080p video - neither of which are a huge surprise, granted.

Australian tech site Smarthouse says that the Apple iTV will come in three sizes, including 32-inch and 55-inch models.

Sources at "a major Japanese company who are involved in manufacturing the TV" reckon the sets will have the same processor as the forthcoming iPad 3, which presumably means an Apple A6.

Smarthouse isn't usually the go-to site for Apple rumours, but its report echoes similar claims by respected Apple analyst Gene Munster, who told the recent Future of Media conference that Apple will make its TV in a range of sizes.

"The smallest one will be 42 inches in size, followed by a 52 inches one and a 60 inches iTV (coincidence or not, these exact sizes are available on Sharp TVs, too)," said Gozmorati. This information was repeated in several similar stories.

March, June and December 2012 rumours pointed at Sharp being the manufacturing partner. SlashGear says work on components is already under way. In mid April, Sharp announced it had begun production of 32-inch HI-DPI LCD panels at its Kameyama Plant No. 2 - could these be the panels destined for the Apple iTV?

Apple contractor Foxconn's parent company has made a rather large investment in Sharp - does this indicate something we wonder?

Both companies were apparently working together to 'test' TV designs in the December 2012 rumours.

Apple iTV Operating System

As with the Apple TV, any iTV is likely to run iOS, albeit in slightly disguised form. Compatibility with other iOS devices is a given: current Apple TVs already accept video streamed via AirPlay and access shared iTunes libraries. We'll be amazed if the iTV doesn't get apps.

Expect Apple iTV and Apple TV to work more like iOS does on the iPad; the newest iOS 6 Beta for the Apple TV enables app icons to be moved around the homescreen just like on the iPhone and iPad.

That has led some observers to conclude that the rumoured App Store for Apple's favourite 'hobby project' might be on the way sooner rather than later.

Apple iTV and iCloud

Steve Jobs told his biographer: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

According to one source which claims to have seen the device, the new TV has Siri and FaceTime.

Apple iTV Remote Control

Munster says the iTV will come with an ordinary remote control, and will be controllable with iPhones, iPod touches and iPads, but the real remote control will be Siri.

Apple's voice recognition system will be the heart of the new Apple TV, enabling you to choose channels and control the TV's functions with voice alone. That means " the simplest user interface you could imagine" is voice.

However, according to a new patent filed in March 2012, Apple has come up with the design for an advanced universal remote that would also be compatible with your iPhone and iPad.

Apple iTV AirPlay Mirroring

After AirPlay mirroring from Mac to Apple TV was present in the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, it's not a great leap to suggest that the Apple iTV could mirror the display of your Mac or iPad wirelessly too. AirPlay mirroring is now 1080p with the new iPad and new Apple TV.

When a prototype was reportedly 'seen' it did feature AirPlay.

Apple iTV Picture Quality

If Apple iTV does appear, it won't make manufacturers freak out in fear. That's according to Samsung's Chris Moseley who told Pocket-Lint in early February 2012 that the firm isn't overly concerned with what Apple iTV launch.

"We've not seen what they've done but what we can say is that they don't have 10,000 people in R&D in the vision category," he says.

No doubt Samsung has plans to create an Android-based competitive TV product with a superior quality display. A lot of this cool talk may also be bravado.

Apple iTV Gaming, Apps, and Geastures

Although most of the rumours so far have been about the hardware involved in the iTV; gaming may be a major focus of the new device.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in mid-April at the HQ of Valve Software, the company behind gaming platform Steam. S

ome rumours are drawing more from this meeting, saying Apple could be producing a Kinect-style gesture-based console. Rumours are predicting gesture controls for Apple iTV.

Apple iTV Media Programming

While the iTV will get content from iTunes and iCloud, it's not going to be completely separate from current TV broadcasters: Munster says that you'll still need a cable TV subscription and decoder because Apple doesn't have enough content.

As of 6 March 2012, rumours were continually doing the rounds that, as the New York Post reports, Apple is planning to launch a music streaming service this side of Christmas.

On 13 March, Les Moonves, who is CEO at CBS, says he was the recipient of a pitch from Steve Jobs regarding his network's participation in a subscription-based service, but turned him down. Apple is also rumoured to be talking about getting partners involved for movie streaming. Moonves says he was worried about damaging the network's existing revenue streams through broadcast and cable television.

The main question is whether Apple will open the door for third-party content, like the BBC iPlayer, CBC, CTV, Sky Go and 4oD and other apps we've seen on connected TV platforms. These may well arrive with apps - the Apple TV SDK will pull on the iTV ecosystem and we're expecting apps to be available for Apple TV too.

It has also been claimed that Apple may seek to cut traditional TV providers out of the content loop.

This is contradicted by rumours that Bell Canada, Rogers, and Shaw are all testing the iTV in their labs. It is entirely possible that Apple could forge similar relationships by piggy-backing on their iPhone and iPad carrier relationships.

Apple iTV Price

Gene Munster reckons that the iTV may be twice the price of a similarly sized TV. However, new March 2012 rumours point at a subsidised launch - courtesy of various partners.