Perhaps more has been written about Apple and its TV ambitions than any other unannounced product. That probably reflects the hunger customers have for a new way dealing with an entrenched TV industry. Even though the entire industry has circled the wagons against Apple, Tim Cook has said it's an area of "intense interest." What are the deepest challenges Apple faces?
Just in time for Christmas, we have one more Apple TV rumor to stuff into your stocking—the Central News Agency (CNA) of Taiwan reported on Friday that initial testing of television sets for Apple has started at Chinese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry.
Component makers in Apple's supply chain have been spilling the beans again, this time claiming that they are working with Apple to test out different designs for a high definition television set. Unnamed sources said that Hon Hai Precision Industry has been collaborating with display maker Sharp on testing Apple TV designs.
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We've noted this before, but it bears repeating: Apple tests all kinds of things all the time in all manner of product categories, but few of them will be shipping products.
Speculation about an Apple TV continues to pick up, and JP Morgan is adding to the mix with a roundup of six Apple patents that could be involved with such a device. StreetInsider reported that analysts Katy Huberty and Jerry Liu identified patents that pertain to interface, remotes, 3D, and an improved TFT-LCD display.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has once again hinted that his company is interested in disrupting the TV market. In a teaser for an interview with NBC's Brian Williams set to air Thursday evening, Mr. Cook said that the TV space was of "intense interest" to Apple.
Apple's share of the smartphone market in emerging markets could get a boost in the future from a cheaper iPhone, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. In a presentation called "The Future of Apple," Mr. Munster told the IGNITION conference that Apple might turn to a cheaper iPhone to grow its share of this price-sensitive segment of the market in 2014.
Since Apple doesn't seem likely to launch a new product for the TV market, we know lots of people are going to be thinking about getting an Apple TV. Fortunately, Apple has some refurbished units for US$85, a 14 percent discount over a new one. This is the current generation device that was released in March of 2012, and it ships for free.
Apple's self proclaimed hobby, the Apple TV home entertainment device, sold 1.3 million units during the company's fourth fiscal quarter for 2012, and 5 million for the year. Sales for the device are low compared other Apple products, but have been on the rise year over year.
Apple is offering refurbished Apple TV units (current generation) for US$85. That's 14.1 percent off the regular retail price of $99, and it qualifies for free shipping. You also get a one-year limited warranty. This is a great way to get an Apple TV in your living room.
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