back to article Smart telly trends make Apple 'iTV' a certainty

It's no longer a question of whether Apple will produce a TV - the so-called 'iTV' - but when. That's the clear conclusion to be drawn from an analysis of TV technology trends provided by DisplaySearch, a market watcher, at Panasonic's 2012 Convention today. Starting inside the box and working out, we're at the stage where …


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  1. dotdavid
    Thumb Up


    I agree, but I think the importance of an app ecosystem cannot be understated. If the TV manufacturers continue down the route of only providing proprietary apps for their TVs they will become left behind in the capability stakes.

    The way I see it happening is Apple enter the market to some success, IOS apps are available for their TVs which extend the functionality of their product. Manufacturers will continue to try keeping up with their own offerings, but some will give up and use Android/GoogleTV or create an application standard.

    I just wish they'd skip to the end before faffing around with the proprietary stuff.

  2. Haku

    Smart TV? No thanks.

    I like my screens to be dumb input devices, but even that seems to be asking too much, some tv's nowadays which aren't 'smart' will often have some retarded menu selection method of choosing which input to view content from if you wish to use an external video source. Do the people who make these things actually use them at home, or even for more than 5 minutes?

    My mum got one of those freeview satellite DVRs for christmas (finally ditched the VCR) and she does like it, but I was surprised to see an actual physical on/off switch on the back, it wasn't until the box crashed whilst my mum was trying to use the programme guide one time that I realised why - it was the only way to reboot the thing! It makes you wonder how many times people will be reaching for the physical on/off switch because their 'smart' tv crashed...

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Smart TV? No thanks.

      It is a Humax HDR isn't it - I can tell by the crash and the switch!!!!

    2. sqwai

      Re: Smart TV? No thanks.

      In the mean time I set up my media devices to be turn on and off with a light switch for convenience in rebooting.

  3. Tom 38

    Strange. I agree with almost all of the arguments put forth in the article, but still disagree with the overall conclusion.

    I think making a success out of the TV market will be harder for Apple than cracking the mobile phone market. Unlike the mobile market, TV makers are already competing against each other for smart features, and an Apple TV would not be significantly better than competitors at launch. The original iphone had very few real competitors, which is why it has had such a strong following.

    The big 'in' Apple should have is their controllers - iphone, ipad, ipod touch - which should allow them to give a highly polished UX. Despite this, there is nothing stopping other manufacturers from also adding controller apps to ios, so even that isn't a good lock in.

    How people buy TVs is also wildly different to how they buy phones. A user who would upgrade their phone every other year is much more common than a user who will upgrade their TV every other year. Also, TVs are sold on price, price and features so I can't see an Apple premium being too appealing.

    At $JOB we predict consumer trends, and we've been gagging to predict this trend (smart TVs) for almost 3 years, it just never looks likely to succeed. The reason why is content.

    People buy TVs to watch stuff on them, and the content is locked up by the corps that currently profit from that content. For Apple to break the UK, for instance, they would need to be in bed with Murdoch/Sky, and to have all that content available on their device, and I cannot see the dirty digger ever giving up his content.

  4. Purlieu


    Isn't ITV already a trademark ? You remember, a large commercial channel in the Uk.

    Oh wait

    1. craigj

      Re: ITV


      This product has not been confirmed by Apple. If indeed it does exist, Apple have not released anything to say that they will name it iTV. El reg and other websites are simply giving a name to a probable product, that might emerge, maybe soon.

      Please use your brain.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: ITV

        The current Apple TV set-top boxes had *already* originally been intended to be sold under the "iTV" name and changed for that reason.

  5. banjomike

    I wonder what they would call iTV in the UK?

    I don't see ITV giving up their name and Apple's natural arrogance suggests that they would simply name the UK box "iTV" (small i) and wait to see what "ITV" (capital I) do about it. Should be a good fight.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I wonder what they would call iTV in the UK?

      No they wouldn't ITV have already told them.

    2. James Delaney

      Re: I wonder what they would call iTV in the UK?

      AppleTV anyone?

      They have a using a name even though the specs change considerably over time - and they don't have version numbers so AppleTV seems the most likely to me.

  6. MrXavia

    Personally I'd not touch an apple TV , I am still frustrated that the iPad can't play AVI's!

    My PHONE plays AVI's, MKV's & any other format I've tried, and that was out of the box, so does my TV... Plus they both can access all the media from my Windows 7 PC, my iPad can't, neither can my Mac Book (well not found software that can yet)..

    I do think an Android/Google TV sounds good, but as I've just brought a new TV, so i wont be upgrading that for a good few years...

    1. James Delaney

      They're not interested in people with AVIs

      or those with MKVs for that matter. Most don't know there even are different formats and containers and don't care. They'll continue to buy whatever they're presented with.

    2. TWB

      Re: Mac can't play AVIs or MKVs....

      Try VLC plays most things quite well and there are free plug ins for Quicktime as well.

      1. MrXavia

        Re: Re: Mac can't play AVIs or MKVs....

        But does it do DLNA? An iPad DLNA client would be great

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Re: Re: Re: Mac can't play AVIs or MKVs....

          AirPlayer and GoodPlayer both do DLNA, I've not used either but GoodPlayer seems to have the better rating (and price).

          There's also media:connect to make your device a DLNA server.

  7. MJI Silver badge

    ITV are warming up their lawyers

    Ready to pounce if they use iTV on their Apple TV.

    And good luck to ITV if it happens, even if the only things I watch are Doc Martin and Downton Abbey.

  8. Citizen Kaned

    nice idea... but will be limited and expensive

    why would most people pay for this when they can get a cheaper media box that will be more powerful, cheaper and more flexible.

    i guess iTards will always pay for limitations (is appletv still only 720p and limited/no surround sound?!?!) and i say that as someone who uses iphone and android to access our dlna server and stream to multiple devices and speakers or sync up all devices. smartphones are actually very quick at searching dlna servers and browsing for content.

    check out sony homeshare. pretty good and very cheap hooked up to decent speakers, amps and TVs

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iTV already exists. Apple TV just hasn't sold well.

    Put an "i" infront and they will fly like hot cakes to those "cool and trendy" punters who were not clever enough to purchase it in the first place.

    W O W! Most humans really are thick! Doesn't matter where they come from.

    Sad pathetic lowly people.

  10. fixit_f

    Dual core tellies

    The way they're slamming silicon into domestic consumer electronics, the time of the Red Dwarf talking toaster cannot be far.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dual core tellies

      You mean toasters cant talk yet??? so I shouldn't be doing what it told me to do....

      1. squilookle

        Re: Re: Dual core tellies

        A/C 13:00, you're going to need a 14lb lump hammer...

    2. Fibbles

      Re: Dual core tellies

      Howdy doodly doo!

    3. Alfred 2

      i-TV or something






      the possibilites are well pretty rubbish

      oh well ...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. squilookle

    Even if the internals are becoming more similar, I believe the television, for most people (and definitely for me) is a different animal. It isn't something exciting or a toy.

    Your mobile phone is your own, generally. You carry it with you most to all of the time, you put your personal data, apps and whatever other customization's you want on it, and you're the only one that uses it 99% - 100% of the time. You identify with it, but because of the speed the technology moves on and the fact a lot of us have contracts, you get a new one in 18 - 24 months and it's a new toy to get excited about.

    The television, by contrast, is there for everyone to use and so, I believe, people don't really identify it or feel attached to it, you just pick up the remote and expect it to do it's job, and then replaced it when it breaks.

    Maybe Apple can change that, but I suspect *if* they release this TV, it will appeal to Apple fans that want to go further into the apple eco system (actually, a smaller section of those fans who both have the money to buy the TV, and whose families will not object or influence the purchasing decision in another direction). I believe it will be a moderate success but not much more than that.

  12. Pamplemoose

    I still can't see Apple getting into the TV market. Even with the "Apple Tax" or whatever you want to call it and Apple's immense buying power, there still isn't much profit to be made in the TV market.

    I think it's far more likely to see a revamped AppleTV box, perhaps one that will aim to replace a cable/SKY service entirely.

    This whole "Apple are going to make a TV" hysteria is getting out of hand. All based on one quote in Jobs' biography.

  13. Lallabalalla

    They can call it a friggin gumbleplop for I care

    I'll still be getting one. Eventually.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think people are underestimating the Apple effect. Apple will launch a TV that does *nothing* that dozens of other sets don't do already. The entire media will breathlessly repeat Apple press releases about how Apple have redefined the television experience, and everybody will act like they've never seen an LCD screen before.

    It'll be twice as much as a similarly-specced TV from another manufacturer, you'll only be able to watch shows that Apple permit you to watch, and on launch day, hundreds of Apple drones will be falling over themselves to be the first to own one.

    Cupertino should be nuked from space.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      TVs ect are different

      The sort of money they want you would be in the serious operator market.

      Where Pioneer used to be.

      They would be up against established names who are already pushing hard, Panasonic, Philips, Sony to name but 3.

      This is a cut throat market where even the established players are having difficulties, hence you see multiple price ranges, you have the cheap ones with no toys and lower quality panel (a) and the top end panel with lots of toys (b), or occasionally the top panel with some toys (c), and finally the not so good panel with more toys that it should have (d)

      (a) by price buyers

      (b) over paid or snob value

      (c) enthusiast buyers

      (d) Seen them - no idea who buys them

      Apple could only go for (b) or maybe latch onto the (d) market

  15. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Few things..

    1) There is no real evidence this product exists. We have a vague comment made by Steve Jobs that he's cracked it, and we have a couple of people in some random cable company saying they've seen one. The rest is speculation based on the above.

    2) Why would Apple release an integrated TV when the Apple TV does largely the same thing? Unless it has a far more powerful CPU and/or can run apps, it's not going to have any real selling point.

    3) We don't know what (assuming it exists) the device is going to be called. The original Apple TV was codenamed iTV and was renamed before launch. So, no point in ITV "warming up their lawyers" next.

    Being an Apple fan, I'll probably have a play with this device assuming it exists, but won't buy it if it's too expensive.

  16. HP Cynic


    Anyway I look forward to seeing the specs and the display which will be decent / very good respectively but countered by lies about its innovations coupled with a ridiculous price.

  17. This Side Up

    why do they have to...

    cram everything into the back of the screen? I just want a big flat screen that I can stick on the wall. Everything else can be in a box somewhere else, connected to the audio system. Oh and while I'm at it, how many people have a box on TOP of their sets?

  18. GotThumbs

    Paid for and endorsed by Apple

    Give me a break. It's a no-brainier that Apple will sell a smart-tv. Any idiot can see the development and trend is moving towards a single point of media/information experience in the home.

    I'll never own an Apple product, but then Apple does not make any one product that another option is available....and that I would want. Only the technical ignorant would think that only Apple has these devices/technology.

    The LG Smart TV will stream movies, photos, and music from my WHS using the DNLA feature which is becoming more common with smart TV's. Why use a proprietary system which limits you, when you can use a more open source design that allows you the power to chose your media information/entertainment. Current smart TV's allow you to stream content from Netflix, amazon, hulu, and local servers. Over time...firmware updates will allow greater options for this.

    Guaranteed...Apple TV will only provide content through Apples market place. Apple LOVES the power/control it wields over its followers. "If we build it...they will buy it...over and over again" mentality. Slapping the internals of an iphone/ipad into a tv is not an innovation, but does provide an expected progression...but Apple will rape and pillage its followers wallets along the way.

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