If this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, which ends today, could be said to have a theme, it would have to be HDTVs. New and remarkable TV designs were unveiled by Sony, LG, Samsung, and others. Yet one widely-rumored TV that was physically absent but present in everyone’s mind was Apple’s rumored iTV.
Apple first dipped its toes into the TV market with the Apple TV, which Jobs famously called a “hobby” several years ago. Things got more serious with the launch of the much-improved second generation Apple TV in 2010. Ever since then, rumors have been flying that Apple would eventually integrate the functionality of the Apple TV box into an HDTV. These rumors have been heating up in recent months, to the point that it looks as though Apple really does have such a device in the works.
Part of the impetus for this round of rumors comes from Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs, wherein Jobs reportedly said that Apple had been working on a TV for years, and that shortly before his death Jobs “cracked it.” Though the company has remained characteristically quiet about the project, that statement has been taken by most to assume that Apple really is preparing to launch an iTV.
The tech industry being what it is, Apple’s competition is not inclined to take such statements lightly, even from a man three months dead. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald Philip Newton, director of audio-visual for Samsung Australia, insists that Samsung does not see Apple’s rumored iTV as a threat. He insisted that the kind of connectivity Jobs reportedly “cracked” has already been in the TV market for a year, and was in fact “nothing new.” The newness, he claimed, only applies to Apple, who have never participated in the TV business before. Newton also said that although some of Samsung’s competition might suffer from an iTV, Samsung itself was not worried.
Of course, Newton may well be right: Apple is new to the TV market, and notwithstanding the success of the Apple TV, the iTV may turn out to be one of many HDTVs offering internet connectivity. On the other hand, in 2007 Apple launched the iPhone and entered into another market it had no experience with, and we all know how that turned out.[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]