Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets is at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. According to him, Smart HDTVs being showcased at the event are actually not that smart. Because of this, the lack of innovation in TVs has created a huge opportunity for Apple.
Samsung’s Evolution Kit and S-Recommendation
Noted at this year’s event is Samsung’s Evolution Kit. It is a hardware upgrade that will beef up the functionality of last year’s HDTV sets. The kit is expected to become available in the second quarter of this year, and Samsung has promised a three-year commitment to customers. That said, the 2012 Samsung Smart TV can use 2015 features.
Aside from the Evolution Kit, Samsung is also pushing their S-recommendation voice control technology this year. Nothing much is known about this feature, but according to Business Insider, this is like Apple Siri for TV. On the other hand, White noted that the S-Recommendation has an almost identical logo with that of the Apple Siri.
Apple: Reinventing the TV Experience
With existing TV manufacturers not able to won industry watchers this year, White believes this is the right time for Apple to reinvent the TV experience. Moreover, his checks within the industry indicate that Sharp will be providing display panels to the Cupertino-based company. The panels are said to be sourced from the Sharp’s Gen 10 plant in Japan.
Last December 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook made the strongest hint about their interest in working on a television set. It could even be an expanded set-top box functionality.
In an interview with NBC’s Rock Center, the CEO said how the current televisions make him feel. He also admitted that the television market is an area of “intense interest” for Apple.
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. It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.
Previous Apple TV Rumors
Rumors about an Apple TV have persisted for years, but they gained traction during the latter part of 2011. That is after the authorized biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was released. According to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, Jobs has “finally cracked” the secret to building a television.
In relation to this, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said that the Apple TV will be priced between $1,000 and $2,000. It will also feature screen sizes between 42 inches and 55 inches. Moreover, he believes that the device will go on sale during the 2013 holiday shopping season.