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.


Sharp records a $398m net loss, LCD division mostly responsible

Bigger doesn’t always turn out to be that better, but when it comes to Sharp it might just fly. While Samsung and Sony focussed their recent CES presence on Ultra HD displays and improved software, Sharp relied on the oldest trick in their book. Next to IGZO, Sharp made the race to make the biggest Ultra HD display the key of their presentation. As it turns out, Sharps TV business is about the only departement that made any money over 2012, in which the company recorded a $398 million net loss. Making barely any recovery with the $28.5 million profit in the third quarter.

Fortunately, the Japanse tech giant did setup a series of smart partnerships (including one with Qualcomm) and announced a slew of new (non-TV) devices at the CES. Time has to tell if this is enough to get the company through 2013  and will eventually put that 8K HD-TV in our living rooms!

(image via The Star)