The rumors about the iTV or iPanel have been floating around the internet for over a year now. But there is still no solid evidence to back them. So what’s the deal? Will we ever see an Apple television?
I can see why this rumor is gaining popularity. It seems that since Apple entered the consumer electronics market, they have been gobbling up market share for whatever type of device they release. At this point Apple is king in music and communications, and has a huge piece of the computer market. So, of course, if you are trying to predict what market they will move into next, the logical leap would be TV. They have already dipped their toes in the pool with the Apple TV.
Now let’s think about how Apple actually works. Apple tends to find a hole in the market that no one else knows exists and gives you a product that blows your mind. Back in 1999, no one was saying “wow, I wish I had a small white little hard drive that could connect to my computer, download digital music and store all my music all with out the need of a CD.” We were saying “hey man check it out, my disc man has a whole minute of skip protection.” But then, in 2001, Apple released the iPod and people shit their pants. Something similar happened in 2007 with the iPhone, then again with the iPad.
Now let’s talk about Television. Its one purpose is to watch stuff. No matter how many features it has they all lead back to that singular purpose: watching stuff. I’m sure if Apple releases a TV it will be amazing. But at the end of the day you will still connect cable, or satellite to it, and you will still hook your blu-ray and game console to it. Sure maybe it will have SIRI and you can talk to it, you will be able to hook your iPhone and iPad to it to control it. But why would they jump into an over-saturated market that they are likely to fail in when you can do most of these things already by hooking a $99 box to your TV? It doesn’t make sense. The television market is owned by Samsung and Sony. If Apple jumps in, their TVs will need to be competitively priced, which is unlikely given Apple’s pricing model. Additionally, people don’t replace their TVs every year or every other year. Most people keep them till they burn out. Tell me you don’t still have friends with CRTs.
Here is what we are more likely to see and no one else is saying this. The iPanel is a monitor!!! Not just any monitor, most likely a capacitive touch screen monitor. It’s not gonna replace your mouse or keyboard, but it will be an additional interface device for the user. You wanna zoom a screen just pinch like you do already with the iPad. Apple is already moving in a direction to merge the lines between their mobile devices and their computers. So this is the next logical step. There is a hole in the way we control our Macs compared to the mobile devices, we can not touch what we see. The reason I say it will not take away the mouse and keyboard is because you can not sit there all day with your arms in-front of you to control a computer but you can do specific tasks in that matter. Photo editing removing red eye, swiping to different full screen windows, and more. Combine that with a SIRI integration and the iPanel begins to make a whole lot of sense.
I could be wrong maybe an Apple TV will be released. If it is I predict it will be Apple’s next flop. It will be priced to high and simply won’t sell. Given the massive success out of Apple recently we do tend to forget they have the occasional failure. Remember the first Apple TV, or the Time Capsule? However if I am right and they release a capacitive touch screen, iMonitor, and couple that with a SIRI integration in OSX, it will be a huge success.