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back to article Apple flat-screen TV to ship by holiday season?

It's time for another rumor about Apple's long-buzzed-about flat-screen television – and here comes one, right on schedule: it'll ship in time for 2012's holiday shopping season. "A holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers," wrote Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in an …

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J 3
Coat

Unique remote control?

Am I the only one who imagined a remote control with only one button? OK, sorry, I'll be on my way then...

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Silver badge

Re: Unique remote control?

No need to imagine it — just check out a third generation iPod Shuffle (the intermediate one, before they all but reintroduced the previous model).

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Anonymous Coward

Are they really going to venture into the biggest loss making industry in electronics? Televisions?

Then they are madder than a mad thing on mad tablets.

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Anonymous Coward

A mind controller

MIND CONTROL... YOU MUST BUY, YOU MUST BUY, YOU MUST BUY, YOU MUST BUY, YOU MUST BUY....

Subliminal messages and without realising it you will have every model of iPod, iPad, air book, pro book, mac book, accessory there is and you will wonder why it is there.

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Silver badge
Coat

>'Are they really going to venture into the biggest loss making industry in electronics?'

Who knows? I'm amazed by how cheap TVs are these days... people used to pay much, much more for them. People used to think there wasn't much room in the mobile business for a new entrant, too...

The question is, what can an all-in-one device offer that a set-top-box can't? (besides my dad not understanding how to turn on both the TV and the Freeview receiver from the same remote control...)

Possible answers include:

-Motion control: See Douglas Adams: Heart of Gold

-Voice Control: Red Dwarf, David Lister: "Spin on!"

-Interactive Charades linked to iTunes Film Rental: "It's a film! Ok, four words. First word. Twist? Nonono er vertebrae... spine.. Spinal Tap?no ok ok back. Back? Yes! First word back. Second word. Yep, second word. Two sylla, ok no two. Two. TO! Back to. Fourth word.. sounds like... sofa? cushion. pillow. err. ah Pink. Red. Pink. Rose. What, FFS?! er.. Fuchsia! Back to something Fuchsia. .. Back to The Future! Now playing Back to the Future. Buffering..."

-Really Big Buttons: so TV can be operated by throwing something at it / poking it with a long stick.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think so. I think Apple like to do R&D like everyone else, just because they order samples doesn't mean they are going to release it.

They also like to put out fake information just for fun.

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Remember the Thunderbolt launch demo..?

When Intel announced Thunderbolt, they demonstrated its capabilities by using it to drive a 'prototype Apple 4K display...'

Mike

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Re: Remember the Thunderbolt launch demo..?

Which is probably the next version of the 30" Cinema display, which would ship when the new PowerMac model ships next year.

Why would Apple sell a 4K TV when there's no 4K content? When Steve Jobs claimed he "cracked" making a TV simple to use, I don't think his idea was "I'll make it just the same as current TVs, but with 4K resolution!"

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JDX
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Why would Apple sell a 4K TV when there's no 4K content?

Why would they decide 3K is what a 13" laptop needs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the Thunderbolt launch demo..?

Why would they try and sell a 4G device where there is no 4G network? this is apple we're talking about, they'll try anything to flog their over priced products onto their iLemmings.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the Thunderbolt launch demo..?

>over priced products

Does that mean that you think:

a) "They charge more than I want to pay for them"

b) "I could build it myself for half the price, and I'll overclock it too"

c) "Apple could make more money by pricing it at x, and thus bring in enough new buyers to compensate for the lower margins. If only they would employ me as head of strategy they might make some money"

d) "I like their stuff, but when ordering a Mac I made the mistake of having Apple upgrade its RAM and storage for me.

>iLemmings

Er... what? You can get Psignosis' classic hit Lemmings on iPhone now?

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Silver badge

Re: Why would Apple sell a 4K TV when there's no 4K content?

Laptops don't "need" 3K, but some people are willing to pay for it because it does improve your experience (show more detail in photos, sharper text, angled lines look smoother, etc.) Whether that's worth the extra cost or not is up to the buyer, as (for now at least) you can still buy one at the traditional resolution for less money.

4K in a TV offers nothing, and while I'm sure there are a few videophiles who would pay over the odds for a 4K TV, in a mass market product it would add a tremendous amount of cost without giving the end user anything in return. Even the "Apple is all marketing" Apple haters wouldn't believe that Apple could sell millions of people on paying an extra $1000 for a 4K TV by convincing them that their 1080p content will somehow look far more amazing. Anyone that has viewed what a DVD (480p) looks like on a 480p display versus a 1080p display will quickly agree that interpolating additional pixels doesn't do much. Then pop in a Blu Ray and suddenly all that extra resolution is worth it.

Now if Apple could get a bunch of films remastered on 4K and sell them via iTunes (for those who have no broadband caps, otherwise a couple movies would blow your whole monthly cap) I suppose they could sell it as the high end model, but I still think it would be a tiny market as the additional cost isn't worth it since even with the 4K remastered movies, 99% of your content would still be 1080p at best.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember the Thunderbolt launch demo..?

HD camcorders were around long before HD content was widely available.

4K TV would show games very nicely. Not to mention photographs.

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zb
Stop

Holiday season?

Do you mean next month when we Brits start our summer holidays? If you mean Christmas please say so. I hope the euphemisms of political correctness can be banished from El Reg for at least another ten years.

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mrd

Re: Holiday season?

The writer is "in San Francisco" so...

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Re: Holiday season?

And in SF they don't have summer holidays for two reasons:

1. They don't have "summer"

2. They don't have "holidays", (i.e. Americans work too much)

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Bronze badge

Re: Holiday season?

Hey we do have sumer. It's on Sept and Oct. We do have holidays. What do you call it when you spend 3 days in the hospital do to stress.

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Anonymous Coward

I see it only working with iTunes content coming from a Mac though.

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Silver badge

Why?

"a special type of motion detection technology" and "a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad."

If it's got motion detection, what's the need for the remote at all?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

The motion detection is so you can sit on the couch and swipe your way through the channels by waving. The reason this will work is that the sort of people who will buy this don't have kids (probably because they're too busy i-ing each other to have sex, but that's for another topic).

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Coat

Re: Why?

Children's TV character: "Hi kids!" *waves*

Child: *waves back*

*TV switches off*

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Why?

I used VideoKinect on the Xbox to chat to my family, and everytime we wave goodbye, it gives me control of the device. Whoever decided that the waving gesture should do that is an idiot. Would be far better to have a unique gesture that people are unlikely to do while talking to family on video (i can think of a few, but it depends on your family of course).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

Jane Fonda "Move your hips like this."

Viewer waggles hips.

TV switches to channel 99.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

Samsung have already released sets with gestural controls and cameras etc....

Of course when Apple launch, the iLemmings will all claim just how wonderful Apple are for inventing such things. And if course iContent will be much better than normal content.....

SIGH!!

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so who's going to be the first

to sue apple for infringing on their motion detection patents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: so who's going to be the first

Maybe Samsung (?).

The demonstrations how each of the controls: http://www.johnlewis.com/Magazine/Feature.aspx?Id=1182

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I don't doubt that there is some fire behind the smoke, but I don't this is going to be a big earner for Apple.

The TV business is cut-throat, with notoriously tight margins and a 6 year replacement cycle amongst US consumers (for LCD - it was 9 years for CRT). Compare that with the huge margins Apple makes on smartphones and tablets, with a 22% replacement cycle, too.

Six years down the line, a first-generation Apple TV is going to look pretty janky, OS upgrades and all.

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It's all about the content.

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Anonymous Coward

"a special type of motion detection technology"

I dont really desire apple features on my TV, I'd rather get anything like that via an external box so that I can retain control of the ability to watch free to air stuff (just thinking, they might try to put the TV in the walled garden with some future update) but if it cam be set so that whenever I'm within range it will switch off any Eastenders/Jeremy Kyle etc regardless of what the memsahib wants then I could be tempted....

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Flat and wide

It always amuses me when headlines still refer to flat screens and wide screens.

People battered MPs for spending money on 'Widescreen TVs' - public servants should presumably all have to use 4:3 displays.

As to your headline - it would indeed have been surprising of the Apple telly had been a CRT, but I suppose it could have been, so perhaps it was relevant for you to point out the flatness of the Apple box.

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MJI
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Re: Flat and wide

My last TV was flat and wide - and CRT.

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MJI
Silver badge

Can't see it selling

It might sell if cheap but if it is premium priced it will be up against the big boys in the market, why buy one of these over a Sony, Philips, Panasonic, or other decent brand (RIP Pioneer plasmas).

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And on, and on, and on.

What a surprise. Yet another analyst seemingly finding out some random bit of info and immediately assuming it means that Apple are going in the TV business. Previously, it was some vague assumption that Steve Jobs was referring to TV when he said "I've cracked it". Now, it's the fact that Foxconn have reached a deal with use of a TV production line.

I would be happy to be proved wrong, but this deal means nothing. Foxconn manufacture products for many companies, including some who actually have a range of TVs. This deal with Sharp could be for one of them.

I don't think Apple will enter the TV market. Why? Look at their history. They don't enter a market unless they think they can do things differently, and make a profit. That has never changed, with or without Jobs. Fair enough, they haven't always been successful, but they have stuck with that idea.

Look at the iMac. Until that was released, PCs tended to have multiple items, and be liberally spread around your desk. Then comes the iMac, and everything apart from the keyboard is built into that.

The notebook: Apple were the first to shrink a full size computer down to the size of (an admittedly huge) laptop, and the first to use the current Clamshell arrangment of an LCD folding over a keyboard.

The iPad: The first tablet PC with a UI that wasn't just a desktop UI shrunk. Also the first tablet with reasonable battery life.

The iPod: One of the first hard drive based MP3 players, and a lot easier to use than most of the competitors.

They are some examples of where Apple has not necessarily opened up a new market, but they've created a product that is different to the current norm, and have been successful

Compare that to the TV. The market is currently saturated to the point where margins are low enough that some of the current large players have either left the market, or are rumoured to be considering doing so.

Also, all of the rumoured ideas for how Apple with "revolutionise" TV have already be done, and in a lot of cases, found not to work well (if at all).

As I say, I will be happy to be proved wrong, but I don't think I am.

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Anonymous Coward

Deja vu

"Why? Look at their history. They don't enter a market unless they think they can do things differently, and make a profit. That has never changed, with or without Jobs. Fair enough, they haven't always been successful, but they have stuck with that idea."

I'm 90% sure I read literally that exact same comment on here way back when, when people were discussing whether the rumours that Apple were working on a mobile phone ("Smartphone" not being a word yet) were true or not.

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WTF?

Re: And on, and on, and on.

I doubt Apple produced the first "clamshell" design laptop/notebook. Idf they did they'd be sueing every other maker of laptops for the "look and feel"

A quick google shows laptops with the screen over the keyboard being produced at least a couple of years before the first mac portable.

Just another case of history being re-written to suit Apple. They invented breathing don't you know....

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Silver badge

Re: And on, and on, and on.

The Grid Compass, introduced in 1982 was a "clamshell" portable computer that went up on Discovery in 1985. The Mac Portable was introduced in 1989 so not only was it not the first "flip top" there were laptops in space before Apple spit up a clam.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And on, and on, and on.

Apple didn't invent the small HDD, the scrollwheel or a form factor akin to a cigarette case. They put them together.

The amazing thing is that many of HD-based mp3 players that existed before the iPod modelled themselves on cheap Sony Discmans (Creative, I'm looking at you) rather than expensive late-era Walkmans.

There is no inherent virtue in originality if what you wish to achieve ( a product that slips in and out of your pocket easily) has already been done many times before.

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Alert

Re: And on, and on, and on.

I know I'm risking feeding the trolls, but my Goodness have you been drinking the Apple Kool Aid much?

Look at the iMac. Until that was released, PCs tended to have multiple items

Er, no - There were MANY other manufacturers of PCs that combined the computer into composite devices (Usually the keyboard)

iMac + Keyboard + Mouse = 3 Pieces

Amiga / Atari / Archemedes + Mouse + Monitor = 3 Pieces

Schneider IBM PC (1 example) + Mouse + Monitor = 3 Pieces (We had these in my secondary school)

C64, BBC, Spectrum, Amstrad and just about every other 8/16 bit and earlier Personal computer + TV/Monitor = 2 Pieces.

.

The notebook: Apple were the first to shrink a full size computer down to the size of (an admittedly huge) laptop, and the first to use the current Clamshell arrangment of an LCD folding over a keyboard.

Seriously? Tell me you don't actually believe that!

A quick Google reveals that Apple released theirs at least 6 years after the first - Epson, Radio Shack, NEC, IBM and Compaq all got their first.

.

The iPad: The first tablet PC with a UI that wasn't just a desktop UI shrunk. Also the first tablet with reasonable battery life.

I'll give you that they produced the first tablet that had vastly reduced functionality (that isn't necessarily a bad thing).

.

The iPod: One of the first hard drive based MP3 players, and a lot easier to use than most of the competitors.

First - No - there were several that came out before - just google.

Easier to use - possibly - although the previous ones had the ubiquitous up/down/left/right/play/pause/stop/RW/FF etc buttons, which people had been used to using for decades, so they were pretty damn easy to use. The interface was better streamlined - absolutely, and the iPod became 'sexy' so that non-techies went out and bought them.

.

Apple produce great Human Interfaces - probably the best in the world, and they make products sexy, making non-techies go out and buy them - fantastic - other than that, they haven't really innovated anything - just taken other peoples ideas and improved upon them - that isn't a slur - what they do they do well, but I challenge anyone to come up with an example of an apple 'innovation' or 'invention' that wasn't thought up before (or had prior art), or was just a natural, obvious evolution of an existing technology (e.g. multitouch)

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Though it's true that current TVs are crap

As far as the UI is concerned - LCDs have made the picture quality pretty similar (except for the cheap ones).

The main problem is the incredibly slow response time when trying to do anything - press a button on the remote and then have a little wait to see if it's going to do something - nope, press the button again and - whoops - the first press finally registers and the seconds press buggers up what you were doing...

However, the difficulty is that more and more people are going through a set-top box to get their content (Freeview or SKY or cable), and that adds its own layer of UI hell. Unless Apple is seriously expecting people to move all their viewing over to iTunes/AppleTV - at the expense of lots of missing content - I cannot see this working.

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Re: Though it's true that current TVs are crap

Rupert, it's not just the UI that's crap on current TVs...

1. the sound is crap

2. the remote control is crap

3. not exactly upgradable software or hardware

4. not possible to customize setup for each source (sound level, colour etc)

Mr Cook, how far away is your Retina TV, please? I'd like to order one now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Though it's true that current TVs are crap

Valid points you make. However, the first three points can be fixed without bringing a new TV to market, by means of a set-top box and external sound system - albeit with extra wires and power cables. What 'killer feature' might require a new TV screen?

Since Apple are not likely to have developed some super-duper OLED-beating display tech, people are assuming this TV's unique selling point makes use of something extra in the bezel (since Apple are not likely to have developed some super-duper OLED-beating display tech on the sly). This may well be a form of sensor already on the market, but put to a slightly different purpose. A web cam seems a safe bet, with Apple's FaceTime. If they just left it at, but tidied up the points you raised about the sound and control, they might sell a few sets, some even to boardrooms for teleconferencing. But 'a few' doesn't seem enough, unless Apple are still claiming 'hobby status' for the project. ARM chippery is cheap enough, might Apple be after the 'casual gaming' market that Nintendo have ruled for much of the last half decade? What about Kinnect-style motion tracking- can Apple make this form oft television UI less Hitchiker's Guide?

Then we have Apple's history of getting content producers into their bed.

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MJI
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Re: Though it's true that current TVs are crap

My last TV had 3 or 4 software updates and a hardware update to support Ondigital CAMs.

Current TV has an auto update fascility - no idea if it has triggered, all our PVRs auto update, but one is not DSO compliant and refuse to fix it (only software as well they reckon) - welcome to my shitlist Pace

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Anonymous Coward

I believe this rumor completely...

except for the "flat panel" part.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple fanboys will buy any old shit.

A sharp telly with a Apple logo even.

I have some magic beans for sale, if you plant them in your garden, an Apple Tree may grow.

I may ebay they for £99

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It's not like El Reg to let go of a good hook

Have you people at El Reg received a letter from a certain TV companies solicitors about using the term iTV when referring to Apples rumoured LCD flat panel television or what. Twice now I've read a story about the TV and the term iTV hasn't been mentioned once.

Regardless, I probably couldn't afford one anyway and am perfectly happy with the one I have. I can a browse what's on, select what's on, pause what's on, record what's on and even watch what's on. Any more "media consumption" (I really fucking hate marketing buzz words) capabilities than that is overkill for me. I'm sure it will be incredible though with an amazing screen that will display a beautiful picture, and would presumably require me to part with a redonkulous amount of cash.

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Anonymous Coward

"providing customers with a new TV experience"

W O W. Apple custs really are fking dimwits!

They will believe anything. They will believe that their Apple Telly is bringing them new innovations, the same innovations which are currently available from competitors now.

They will sell because people are stupid enough to believe that next generatin services are only available via AppleTelly.

We can hear the agruments now.

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Anonymous Coward

>We can hear the arguments now.

You seem to be the only person here trying to start one. These forums are more fun if you play the game, rather than hurl abuse at imagined strawmen.

The game on this particular forum might be to imagine what possible features this imagined TV would have to possess to compete in this market, and why Apple are bothering to enter this market. This form of speculation is common to other popular coffee-time pastimes, such as general knowledge crosswords or brain-teasers. It is also akin to to 'design your own dream car' exercises- though some us might create a car like the one Homer Simpson created : D

I invite you to forget Apple for a moment and give thought to how you would improve your TV to suit you.

(And yes, we all already know that Apple will be wanting to sell Apps and Movies, and not just the TV hardware. And most of us know that we can such things for free, if we thought it was right to do so and could be bothered with the hassle. )

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Anonymous Coward

I will print out this thread and eat it -

- if Apple ever launch a flatscreen TV

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h 6
Thumb Up

Finally

'Apple-branded, Foxconn-assembled, Sharp-equipped big-screen"

Ah, I see Anna is not the author. Of course.

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