Ever since Steve Jobs quoted to his biographer that he had “finally cracked” the problem of interactive TV interfaces, rumours have been rife about when Apple will announce they are releasing a TV set.
Jobs stated that he wanted to create an integrated television set that would have a really simple, user friendly interface, similar to that of iPads, and would be able to synch with other Apple devices.
The actual concreteness of the Apple TV rumours has not been supported with evidence, although in 2011 a former employee of Apple confirmed they had entered into a partnership with a TV component company.
Still, the Apple Television project remains shrouded in mystery and there are doubts it will even materialise during 2014. If it is to happen at all, it will have to be something really special in order to compete with other impressive television sets already in existence, and the expectations of Apple’s product quality and innovation will have to be lived up to. Hints from Jobs’ biography suggest that the TV will be able to synch with all iOS devices so that media is shared between them. Last month Apple acquired PrimeSense, the Israeli company who were behind the original Microsoft Kinect, suggesting that their TV project is still under way and will have motion sensor controls built in.
The exact specifications of the Apple Television are unknown but rumours have spread across Apple authorities such as Apple Insider and Cult of Mac, to respected publications such as Forbes. According to these online sources, Apple have been dropping hints that the TV set will have a screen resolution of 4K which is the standard movie studios use to capture every little detail when filming. Other features may include Siri voice command, touch screen and motion sensor controls as well as the ability to connect to the internet, synch with all other Apple products and download apps. New information published by Macworld has suggested the television will be 60 inches wide with a curved, seamless OLED screen.
It makes sense that Apple would bring out a Television; they have music devices, phones, tablets and computers with incredible screen resolution. You can already view programs and films on the majority of Apple devices, so a television set for viewing video and playing games would be a natural progression. Another suggestion that Apple will be releasing an Apple TV at some point in the future is their break into the TV market with the Apple TV set-top box. The Apple TV box has in fact been in existence since 2007 but didn’t really take off until 2012 when its third version was released which allowed it to stream HD videos. An actual Apple TV set with a 4K screen resolution would be the perfect complement to the Apple TV box and they would help each other sell.
The question is not really when the Apple television set will surface, but how it will fare in comparison to its competitors such as Toshiba and Sony who are already firmly established in the TV market have some truly impressive devices. The Toshiba 46TL963 for example is a sleek 46inch LED TV with built in internet connection, Freeview and HD resolutions. It is also 3D ready and is available from online stores such as Electronic World for as little as £490. You can even get a 50 inch Panasonic plasma screen with Freeview and internet connectivity for less than £500 too, so it seems if you’re considering a new TV there are already plenty of high quality, good value options.
Despite the hefty price, the Apple TV will sell as long as it has enough to make it a unique viewing experience; HD and 3D features will help, but the TV set will have to offer everything it says it will such as motion sensors and touch screens. Those who buy the TV will probably be Apple addicts- the sort of people who buy a new iPhone upon every version release and point blank refused to buy a tablet unless it was an iPad. Apple products are certainly sleek, iconic and strongly branded with the addition of an easy to use interface and you can integrate your downloads to each device.
The performance of the Apple TV box suggests people don’t view Apple as a serious TV supplier: it could be the steep prices of Apple products that put people off or the fact that other electronics companies are doing very well to design innovative products. As the technology world advances speedily and companies such as Samsung often bring out new innovations, Apple’s TV would have to be something really special for people to choose it over other perfectly good quality TVs that sell for a third of the price.