“Apple’s TV will be called iTV, will be an Ultra HD and will be launched end 2013 / early 2014”

Apple iTV

At least, that is what Julian Ho and Alex Wolfgram of DigiTimes think. According to them, Apple will launch this television somewhere at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014. Next to the Ultra HD (3840 by 2160) screen, the television will have internet access and will be controlled by both motion and voice.

Personally, I doubt this to be true. The last decade, Apple brought us products that we did not expect. With features we had not thought about in a design we had not seen before and with an unprecedented user experience. They did not bring evolution, but revolution by creating completely new segments. And they did it in such a way that it took the competition a long time to come up with an answer allowing Apple to earn enormous amounts of money in the meantime.

So why would a company like that enter the market with a TV mentioned by DigiTimes. All television brands are introducing Ultra HD televisions. So where is the revolution if Apple would do the same. Voice and motion controls are already on the market and might not provide the best user experience for a television in the living room (picture yourself with the rest of family waiving and shouting at the television), so why would Apple use this? And last but not least, most television brands have a hard time making money selling TV sets. So if Apple does not bring a revolutionary new device, they are probably not going to make much money.

Does this mean that Apple will stay away from the television business. Probably not. But they will approach it in their own way. With something new that we could not think of.

 

image credit: Guilherme Martins Schasiepen

Second Screen company TunedIn acquired by traditional publisher Axel Springer

TunedIn

Berlin based TunedIn, a Social TV app that facilitates social discovery as a basis for selecting streaming video  has been acquired by the traditional publishing company Axel Springer. The German publishing mogul was already working with TunedIn before the acquisition, so the take-over was not a complete surprise.

TunedIn will probably combined with another acquisition Axel Springer  did a year ago when they took over recommendation technology APRICO from Philips to strenghten their Axel Springer Digital TV Guide that already includes Watchmi – Personal TV from TV DIGITAL.

It is to be expected to see more of these kind of acquisitions in the near future. It seems there is a run for TV check-in services / Social TV discovery apps. GetGlue, Dijit, Viggle Miso, but also a platform like Vinson that was (re)launched yesterday in Barcelona are gaining momentum. Especially now Samsung is not only expanding in hardware with their HomeSync but also in apps with TV Discovery, a new Xbox that is almost there and of course Apple’s TV hobby Apple TV or iTV will show tight integration of mobile devices, apps and a big screen. More and more, the intelligence seems to be in the mobile device leaving the “Smart TV” as a pretty “dumb” but excellent display.

 

Job posting at Apple spark new rumours about a coming Apple TV or iTV

Apple TV

Just like there are spotters at factories trying to figure out what a new iPhone would look like based on displays, antenna’s or processors they spot at a plant, FCC and patent watchers who meticulously read all new filings hoping to find a hint for new technology, keeping an eye on recent job openings is one other way to try to predict where technology companies are heading. Today, all Apple watchers are focussed on the job opening of Software Engineering – Manager Apple TV in Cupertino that suggest the company is in increasing their in investment in the development of a (new) Apple TV or even iTV.

Needless to say this does not prove anything. But Apple fans are hoping for an Apple product so badly that all bits of information are hot. Even proven untrue like the suggestion of an Apple TV event next months I also picked up earlier this week.

 

 

 

Apple TV, the latest rumours and developments.

Apple TV

The game is on. With big competitors like Microsoft (the new Xbox 720 is supposed to be coming soon and a Windows 8 based ecosystem), Amazon (Kindle, Amazon Prime Instant Video but also golden oldy IMDB), Google (Google TV, Android) and since yesterday even Intel but also the smaller ones like Netflix, Dijit and Roku, Apple must feel the pressure building up. And clearly CEO Tim Cook could use a success of his own. This could be the iWatch, it could be Apple iTV or even both. Whilst the continuous stream of rumours seem to indicate that something is bound to happen, it is time to sum up the most recent stories.

Techcrunch writes about an analyst note suggesting that an event around Apple TV will be organised in March. At this event, an offical SDK (Software Development Kit) is to be introduced. The quoted analyst Peter Misek also suggest the introduction of an Apple Television set somewhere in September or October.
If there is going to be a real television, this could be based on technology from Loewe. Stocks of the German hardware manufacturer jumped initially more than 40% on the rumour that Apple is about to launch a bid of 4 euro per share for the troubled company. Obviously all parties decline comment or simply deny but that is part of the game. Interesting to know also, is that Apple allegedly invested heavily in supplier Sharp last year in order to secure continued supply of displays for their telephones. But Sharp also builds televisions and owns 28% of the stocks of Loewe.

The big issue in the end however, will probably not whether or not Apple can build a television. The success of adding a TV set to the ecosystem will probably depend on content. MIT Technology Review wrote a good read on the Apple TV and, amongst others, also stresses this point. Where the music industry had not much choice working together with Apple and allowing them to sell songs instead of albums, the producers of films and series are in a completely different positions. And so far they are exploring new ways to distribute content to the livingroom whereas the only thing the music industry did was taking legal action in an effort to stop progress. Getting the major media companies on board and / or buying libraries and / or creating their own content (like Netflix and Amazon are doing) will be key to the success of any kind of Apple TV or iTV.