This isn’t the first time the rumor has spread that Apple will be making a television set, but numerous sources are indicating that component suppliers and Apple insiders are saying this will become a reality in late 2012 or early 2013.
To be clear, we are talking about actual television monitors, not just the set-top box Apple TV devices that are already on the market.
This venture into the television set market may seem unwise, with the Android-based Google TV doing so poorly thus far. But an iOS-based monitor with iTunes in the Cloud integration and the full feature-set of the Apple TV devices built-in, might just be the head start to success that Apple needs.
I do have to question why Apple would want to start making television sets when they could stick with their Apple TV set-top boxes that work with any manufacturer’s hardware. Some may feel that it is a natural progression for anybody who already makes computer monitors and just extends their usefulness by building in all of the functionality of iOS so no external box is required.
But buying one means buying into whatever content and subscription structure Apple sets up, most of which seems very up in the air as their iTunes in the Cloud service is just coming into effect and other iTunes services, such as television show episode rental, are being phased out.
Also, if the sets are running iOS, can we expect that all iOS apps will be available? What will the interface be like for games and productivity apps? There are considerable possibilities, but the execution will have to be less complex and confusing than what competitors have shown so far.
There are no reports yet on what sizes may be available, though most expect they will start smaller in the 15 to 19 inch range. There is also no speculation as to the cost, but that will all come out in due time.