Analyst: Apple Wants iPad to Control Your World

| Apple Stock Watch

Rumors have claimed for months that Apple is about to release its own high definition TV, but Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes thinks those reports are wrong. Instead, he thinks Apple is working on a remote control system that will drive more than just your TV, and it'll be iPad-based.

Apple: All your TVs are belong to us!Apple: All your TVs are belong to us!

"One of the best ways to increase the iOS device total addressable market is by expanding use cases so that every home could use an iOS device as a TV remote," Mr. Reitzes said. The iPad is the logic choice for this new remote control system because Apple can "make this product better through software – and allow it to control more tasks in your life."

Taking the remote idea further, he thinks Apple could eventually expand its remote control system to control other items such as light schedules, thermostats, and garage doors.

A smaller iPad, like the rumored 7.85-inch mini iPad, fits perfectly with Mr. Reitzes' remote control scenario, according to AppleInsider. We believe the 7-inch screen on iPad mini could be used for traditional content consumption such as reading books or watching movies, but Apple may have bigger plans for this device over time."

While a remote control system may not sound as exciting as a big screen Apple television, it would be easier to manage in Apple's retail stores since it would likely be a software add-on for the iPad since the multimedia tablet is already there -- and is substantially smaller than a TV.

He isn't, however, discounting the idea that Apple is working on its own television. That's still coming at some point, but not until Apple can finish working out content deals.

"We believe the big secret about Apple's TV strategy is not the TV itself -- it's about selling the remotes," he said.

Mr. Reitzes is maintaining his "Overweight" rating and US$810 target price for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $643.23, up 7.38 (1.16%).

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9 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

Um…
Outside of a couple of geeks, I know no one that has purchased a remote. I guess someone is buying them, after all they are in the stores, but the vast majority of people that I know just use the remote that came with the TV or the cable box. I just don’t know what Apple could bring to the table that would revolutionize this market. It’s just a remote. You push a button, the TV turns on, you drop it on the couch and forget about it.

I can see a lot of back pressure from customers that don’t want to worry about sitting on their iPad, rolling over in bed on their iPad, setting a tray of snacks down on the table on the iPad. Remotes are single function devices that have to be nearly indestructible. iPads are multifunction devices that are fragile.

BurmaYank

Thank you, Ben Reitzes, for agreeing with me!

Lee Dronick

I have bought half a dozen or more replacement remote controls, universal ones, to replace broken, lost, or dog chewed one that came with the device. OEM remotes are rather expensive.

Scott

one thing a touch-screen can not replace is the sense of touch… tactile feedback to the user. Some of the best remotes I’ve ever used are ones that give a very distinct “feel” to types of buttons and where they are located.

Even my current cable remote, I can be mostly asleep while the tv is on, reach for the remote in my dazed state, feel which way is “up”, feel which button is the power macro… and press it. No looking, no waking a tablet… the PHYSICAL button WINS in many cases when it comes to remotes because you literally do not have to look at the remote to interact with your device (after the learning/memory curve). I *HATED* my programable Marantz (Pronto) touch screen remote for that very reason. I ALWAYS had to wake-up, illuminate the device screen, focus my sleepy eyes on the display and press the correct portion of the screen. You could not use “touch” blindly or you could be doing any NUMBER of things wrong.

ctopher

@Scott - You don’t need to open your eyes to mash the home button and tell Siri to shut everything down.

Dorje Sylas

@Scott, while Apple doesn’t have it yet, haptics are on the way. Senseg is at least one company that’s marketing it. In some way it could actually be better then any remote that could be safely manufactured. No one is going buy sand-paper textured remote, but may use a virtual button that feels like fur or sand.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/senseg-demos-prototype-touch-feedback-technology/9742-1_53-50115714.html

mhikl

Scott, you are more dexterous than I. I have almost taken a finger off many a time whilst eating a sandwich. Remotes are beyond my control without a strong light.
And I have a foot in both your boats, Mr Soon to be Canadian and Burma Bank and it won’t be the first time I end up in the drink when Apple makes its decision.
I dream of perfect Siri talk: “Siri, dearie, take me to, mmmmm, You know what I want”.

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