Low Hanging Fruit
I love the "Journalists and readers around here may disapprove of the company, but rivals appreciate Apple's ability to successfully enter a market it wasn't previously associated with and make it it own."
The tribalism is funny. Wow, Apple do what every company wants to do a little bit better. Name me a company that would not want the levels of user satisfaction, future purchase intentions, update cycle (as in when a user will want to replace an existing device that still works) profitability etc. that Apple have.
Oh, side note; what do you call Samsung's R&D department? Apple. Anyway, low hanging fruit aside...
Plenty of failure to get the point in these comments. Yes, Apple have a record of entering a market and then owning it. iPad is example two; example one was the iPhone where as far as profitability goes, you wonder why everyone else bothers. Yes mobile market share is low, but that wasn't their primary objective, eh? They want money. Shock, horror.
Anyone who thinks that Apple do not release a product having a fairly precise idea what the next version will be, and what features it will have that will make people who purchased the first version want to buy it (even if that means artificially excluding features from a release) is silly, and anyone who doesn't think this makes sound commercial sense should not run a company.
And more often than not they get it right.
So, the Apple TV with a screen will have a high quality panel, probably with two or three size options. It will not have a lot of hardware bells and whistles other than being really easy to use and integration into AppleSpace. It will run iOS. There will be a remote control, almost certainly the standard Apple Remote. But this will not be used a lot as you will be able to say 'TV, BBC1' or whatever, and it will change the channel.
You will also be able to adjust volume, mute, call up programme guides, play anything in your iTunes library (which may become iMedia if Apple can buy or bully the name away from other users), and if it does have a HDD or can record to external devices, set recordings too. The Siri-esque user interface will allow you to tell it to "always record Top Gear on BBC2 on Sunday", or "alwats record Eastenders on BBC1 on weekdays", etc. And agreement pending, you will be able to have uTV.
Want to see Big Bang Theory, House and NCIS as they come out? No problem. Also want to get Goode Tijd, Slecht Tijd and re-runs of Bantjer? Great. C4 or BBC if you live anywhere with a decent internet connection? Of course. And you'll pay for it, and maybe get rid of another paid for service that gives you lots of stuff you don't want.
Oh, and you will be able to use some form of pointing device as a mouse for its baked in web browser, as well as an Apple Wireless keyboard or equivalent Bluetoothery.
It will also have Apple touch (not screen, user experience) feel and industrial design all over it.
As for price, I think it will be the cost of an equivalent size screen from a main manufacturer plus $500 of Apple specialness.
And it will sell. mainly because complexity of remotes has reached a point where they are universally shite. If you don't find remotes complex, I bet there is one person in your household or family who does.
And if we engage stereotype mode for a moment, the keeper of the household budget will spring $1,000 on a new TV that is easy to use and pretty before they spring $500 on something else.
And new Apple gear is better than old other gear, so many an Applephobe will drink from the Cidercup....
PS; not a Fanboi, have an iPhone but everything else is Windows... but I know good business sense when I see it.