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back to article Apple to kick start 'iTV' production in Q2

Apple will start punching out 2-5m so-called 'iTVs' during the latter part of Q2, one financial analyst has forecast. Peter Misek, an analyst with US stockbroker Jeffries, told investor clients this week that he believes the companies making the display units have already started receiving core components, albeit in small …

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Not for the UK market, obviously

at least if they want to call it an iTV, unless they want to lose an expensive legal battle with the 'real' ITV

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Re: Not for the UK market, obviously

Gonna be a tricky one this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not for the UK market, obviously

They're not going to call it ITV when it's already called Apple TV. It's just lazy journalism

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Re: Not for the UK market, obviously

Bearing in mind Apple's design guru is from Blighty, he'll know better than to use the name of the chavtastic home of the Jeremy Kyle show and X factor.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Not for the UK market, obviously

ITV is broadcast via Satelite in many European countries. Also ITV content is broadcast in the US, and there is a US production company called ITV Studios America (owned by the UK ITV) which produces US version of shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, First 48, After the First 48, Steven Seagal -Lawman, Four Weddings, America Now and funnily enough the Jeremy Kyle Show (please keep him over there). http://www.itvstudios.com/us/home

There are also ITV production companies in France, Germany, Sweden and Australia.

So I think Apple will have a hard time passing off ITV as their own trademark , relating to TV content pretty much worldwide.

Unless they decide to simply ignore them like they did The Beatles.

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Trollface

"It may not sell as many sets as Samsung or Sony, but it can make a mark"

No doubt it'll dig up some spurious patents for a "rectangular media delivery panel" and commence legal actions against Samsung in Australian, German and Scandinavian courts to block sales of their infringing 'televisions'...

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Meh

This seems odd, to me.

Apple has a well-tried, extremely successful business model that involves taking an emerging technology, kicking it into shape, and storming the market to establish a big and loyal following before anyone else has had a chance to get established. This pretty much describes all of their successful products to date, with the possible exception of the laptop range.

Taking on established incumbents in a price-sensitive market like TVs just isn't their style, and I can't see why they would want to. The only possible reason I can see for this is that they have developed something genuinely revolutionary and ground-breaking technologically that will completely change how we watch TV, and with all due respect to their massive cadre of engineers and huge patent portfolio, this also isn't their style, generally. And, also, I don't think that "watching TV" is an activity that is amenable to such changes, really.

Still, we shall see.

GJC

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Re: This seems odd, to me.

Good points, but have to comment on "with the possible exception of the laptop range." Actually, I'd argue that it was laptops where this strategy first found success. The first true "clamshell" laptop was an Apple product (The PowerBook 100 in 1991), at a time when true portable computers were very much an emerging technology. It was priced high, and sold well in a world that was already standardising on Microsoft.

Even in the days when Apple was one quarter away from shutting down, the laptops kept selling, because Apple had such a lead on the market, and such a large installed base. Without those products, there would probably be no Apple today (for better or worse).

I also think the "TV" thing is going to be a problem for Apple. People don't change their TVs every year or so, and unless Apple make a major technological leap and make it work, they're going to find it hard to compete with Sony, Samsung and Philips on pricing. Also, TVs are an infrastructure component, not an end in themselves - they need to interoperate well with other equipment, something that Apple's most profitable lines just do not do.

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Re: This seems odd, to me.

>> "Taking on established incumbents in a price-sensitive market like TVs just isn't their style,"

You mean, like they did with the iPod in the MP3 Player market and the iPhone in the Smartphone market?

Sure, in retrospect it may seem like these were emerging markets that were completely re-invented. However, when they entered these, the view from outside was that they were attempting to compete with entrenched players, such as Creative Labs and Nokia.

Perhaps in five years you'll look back and recognize the "Smart/Internet TV" as an emergent market that nobody knew how to handle properly until Apple came along.

Then again, the "iTV" may flop.

-dZ.

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Re: This seems odd, to me.

There was no broad MP3 player market before iPod arrived. Sure, the tech-heads knew about the Creative players, but you couldn't just walk to a local shop and buy one - and you had a choice -- Flash-based players that held nothing, or HD players that were too big to put in a pocket. These devices were also very expensive: iPod launched at $400, when a top-of-the-range MiniDisc player was $250.

Again, Apple took a new technology, and focussed on producing a good product regardless of cost. iPod was a big gamble, and it did pay off, but it was a gamble...

The only time I recall Apple getting into an exsiting sector of the CE business, with an offering that did nothing more or less than the competition was the iPod Hifi. Priced like an Apple product, it was outclassed by offerings from specialists like B&W, and it failed badly.

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There's nothing about the iTV

that makes it a game changer. It's a box that does TV.

It doesn't even do a *lot* of a TV, because some of the content co's aren't talking to Apple.

So what's the magical cool shiny blah etc USP? What's the lifestyle angle?

The logo isn't enough.

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Re: This seems odd, to me.

There isn't a single major television manufacturer making a profit at the moment even outsourcing production to China and Turkey. The latest range of main-stream 32" sets from Panasonic is £100 cheaper than last year's offering and includes 'smart' functions as standard. Perhaps this time Apple will bite off more than it can chew?

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Re: This seems odd, to me.

At the risk of going slightly off topic, the iPod Hi-Fi is much maligned.

I bought one after comparing it to a range of other speaker docs and at the time it was (to me) the best sounding and actually capable of producing a stereo sound stage. The Klipsh one sounded slightly more "natural" on acoustic material but the stereo was non-existent.

My guess is they stopped making it as it had done its job in creating a market for upmarket speaker docks, some of which probably do sound better, but ven now its several years old mine still sounds pretty amazing for a one-box system.

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Can't see it ever taking off

although I seem to remember posting similar about the ipad, so what do I know?

Surely the gap in the market isn't so much a lack of TVs (or even ugly TVs), but the difficulty of getting stuff easily onto it - basically they just need to sort out the existing AppleTV. Maybe once that's done, they could consider bundling its internals into the back of an actual TV.

I'd have thought the main issue was that everybody already has a TV that wants one.

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Holmes

Re: Can't see it ever taking off

> I'd have thought the main issue was that everybody already has a TV that wants one.

That'd be why no-one sells TVs anymore, then. Oh, wait....

Most people who want a computer already have one, too.

Most people own at least one phone, too.

I suspect it is more likely that, should they actually make one of these, that it's an integrated media hub thingy, that can grab stuff from the iTunes video store, possibly allowing for US networks to distribute internationally without having to deal with foreign media corporations - so it ends up a competitor to Sky & cable if those networks think they can get more money distributing through the Apple storefront. Channel in some ad breaks in the videos and another revenue stream opens up - particularly if the codec is closed source (yay, more DRM).

Next step will be the UK govmt ruling that d/l non-realtime telly needs a TV license as this seems to be the direction things are going - on-demand access to whatever is available rather than watching a scheduled program.

Apple do have a history of doing some Good Things (TM) for user interface design, and for finding use-cases that break the mould a bit, and carving themselves a generous niche from that. Granted, they also have a history of price-gouging and somewhat dubious patent/business tactics (if you believe everything that's written), but I guess there's a reason why they're valued at half a trillion dollars...

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Re: Can't see it ever taking off

"Apple do have a history of doing some Good Things (TM) for user interface design"

In the main you are correct, however, have you used an AppleTV? the UI is really, really shite.

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Re: Can't see it ever taking off

> In the main you are correct, however, have you used an AppleTV? the UI is really, really shite.

I've played with the iPhone and have listened to much anecdotal evidence of the art/design crowd raving about it. For the most part, the reviews are all very good and it highlights that Apple *can* bring the technical to the non-geek.

I've not played with Apple TV - I've not joined the media-box crowd as I stream via laptop&HDMI to my telly, no need to buy another box.

Perhaps the new TV venture will have a UI overhaul

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Facepalm

The more I see these predictions from analysts, the more I think they are coming from the analysis of tea leaves.

Are Apple going to release a TV? It is possible, but as each Apple event comes and goes and they just unveil a new set top box with a slightly improved spec, the claims of the analysts just sound more and more desperate, and I can't believe they get paid to come out with this stuff.

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A rose by any other name...

Has anyone asked ITV what they think about this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A rose by any other name...

Yes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/9076502/ITV-warns-Apple-not-to-brand-smart-television-iTV.html

That's why it win't happen apart from the fact that it's called Apple TV.

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I can;t wait...

I can't wait to see just how ridiculously overpriced this new iShiny thing will be.

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Facepalm

Another lawsuit coming?

So will they be trying to force the ITV channel into selling their name?

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Facepalm

So will they be trying to force the ITV channel into selling their name?

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Always emerging?

It would be difficult to argue that the MP3 player; the MP3distribution channel; and the tablet computer were emerging technologies when Apple entered those markets. They had all been around for some time and not demonstrated significant growth. What Apple did, highly successfully, was make them work seamlessly for people who didn't want complexity and ambiguity.

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Stop

Cue every other comment being about the name iTV and how it's a channel in the UK

Can we please stop all the smug posts about how Apple will have a problem trademarking a name that only the tech press have made up - they've not even confirmed the product - did any of these "Apple insiders" even once get the name of an "iDevice" right?

Utter bo**cks to get column inches in my opinion.

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MJI
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Media box yes - TV no

As a media box you plug in the Apple TV would work, but as a whole TV - I would say not much luck against the big TV manufacturers.

A media box would sell better and make more sense than a whole TV.

Please note what I called it.

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Stop

STOP!!! You're all wrong!

The debate about ITV's name is wrong.

Apple's lawyers can PROVE that they had the name first, therefore Independent Television will have to cease trading under that name immediately.

In a year's time when the next version comes out, there will be no problems with the ITV2, since Independent Television Two will have already been renamed the previous year (this year) to a name which Apple did not prove it already have the rights to.

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Trollface

iTV

Presumably they already purchased the global trademark, no?

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Stop

This is the same iTV/Apple TV that the same analysts have already told everyone would absolutely, certainly have been announced by now, yes?

IMO, analysts should have to wear a uniform. A clown's uniform.

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Stop

old enough to remember....

When ITV was previously known as ATV - ( future aka Apple TV?). I would suspect ITV still owns the ATV TLA

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Re: old enough to remember....

Doubt that - ATV (aka Alternative TV) was a punk band in the late 70's and I don't remember them getting any hassle.

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Re: old enough to remember....

Doubt that - ATV (aka Alternative TV) was also a punk band in the late 70's - don't remember them getting any hassle from Lew Grade's henchmen.

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Re: old enough to remember....

It was only ATV in the Midlands. Other regions had different franchise holders, eg Granada in the north west.

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Anonymous Coward

It might work!

My dad is still struggling with our TV since I fitted it with a DVR. He gets, in principle, the navigation, but he just can't get on with pressing [TV] [power] [PVR] [power] on the new remote control. He is not receptive to the concept that the new remote controller can ape the TV's remote controller, or that the TV won't work if the new thingy isn't turned on.

He is a baby boomer, with money to spare. With it he buys things that are EASY, and doesn't mind paying a premium as long as they just bloody work. Like his Brennan (hard-disc jukebox). He puts a CD in, it whirrs for a few minutes and then he knows the music is available to him- all without touching a computer or knowing what an MP3 is.

A TV that is simpler than the competition - even if by only a button-push or two- would get his custom.

[If the above sounds like an advert for Brennan, I could balance it and say you or I could make a box to do the same, for far less, out of old PCs and with more functionality... or we'd stream to a client box... or we might not even have CDs to rip.. or something nice and techie and fun. My old man couldn't be bothered, and would rather pay a techie man in Cambridge to stick all the parts in a compact metal box and tie it together with a simple UI]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It might work!

Have you not seen the Sony Bravia Internet TVs?

One on/off button.

iPlayer, Lovefilm etc. all easily accessible. Skype is there (although you need to buy a camera).

To record: there's a usb port round back, once a hard drive or usb memory stick is plugged in it's as easy as pressing record on the remote, or opening the program guide and selecting the program.

26inch model is under £300.

All I can imagine Apple adding is apps, an inegrated web-cam, and maybe voice control? and then charging three times as much.

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Joke

Re: It might work!

Voice control that you would expect to work, but horribly fails to.

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Pint

What is Apple offering that compels content providers to work with them?

As it's obviously a huge secret, anyone who knows isn't telling. If all this will be is planting the Apple TV guts inside an LCD TV with an Apple logo on it and charging a hefty fee, this is one time Apple may not be able to pull off a magic upset victory. TV is a much different field and yes, for those who already have working TV's attached to Cable, what is the incentive to over pay for an Apple branded LCD TV? If they are planning to charge $699 for a 37" LCD when a 40" LCD can be gotten from Walmart for $299.98, They are definitely going to have to offer something that can't be found on Cable or Satellite that is worth paying three times over for an Apple branded TV. I could be wrong though and they masses may just buy it because Apple makes it. We shall see, assuming Apple does produce an Apple branded TV set.

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MJI
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One final thing

If they do produce a TV they will be competing against companies are make them as a major business, the big companies know more about TV sets than Apple will ever know. When you think of the technologies developed by the big ones, Apple will struggle like mad.

People in the know will carry on buying the mass producers upper ranges, the enthusiasts the mid range quality sets, and so on. If you find my who buys what Sony sets - that would happen across the market.

Apple would be too expensive to compete against LG & Samsung, too much of an unknown against Sony, Panasonic, and Phillips.

Would people take the chance on a new brand at a premium price?

Would they be able to out perform the big brands top end sets. I have a mid upper range Bravia and it was one of the few LCD TVs I have seen not to look bad next to a FD Trinitron tubed TV.

Just remember that TVs are the above companies core businesses.

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