No, we Apple watchers haven’t been expecting an Apple-branded television since before electricity; it just seems that way. About five years ago Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster started the Apple television parade by insisting, annually, that Apple would launch a television. Soon. Nothing Apple did publicly through the years changed Munster’s stance about an impending television.
Even Steve Jobs seemed insistent that Apple could crack the television market when he told biographer Walter Isaacson:
I’d like to create an integrated television set. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.
Whatever it was that Jobs cracked hasn’t seen the light of day. Yet. AAPL stock owner and corporate raider Carl Icahn said he expects Apple to enter the ultra HDTV market next year. Well, that was enough for Gene Munster who pulled the plug on his annual television prediction.
This is a tough day for me. It’s a hard reality to accept, and I think that is the reality of it: the TV is on hold… It’s a small consolation that they were aggressively looking at this. At the end of the day, I was wrong… Unfortunately if I were to replay this the last 10 years, I would’ve probably gotten to the same conclusions, because there were such strong indications that they were building it. It just didn’t see the light of day. That’s no excuse, but I think we approached it the right way. It just didn’t turn out.
So, Apple television is in hibernation (a death-like state), but Apple TV– the much maligned, and overdue-for-a-facelift, odd-shaped device you can still buy at an Apple store– is not dead.
Here’s colorful proof.
That’s the invitation graphic to Apple’s upcoming World Wide Developer’s Conference in early June. Notice the NBC peacock-like colors, and the shapes– much like viewing Apple TV from the top.
Something to do with wicked cool TV this way comes. Soon. Since WWDC15 is a developer’s conference we can expect an upgrade to Apple TV that will involve developers. Rumors suggest Apple may launch a new hardware device which runs applications (think HomeKit meets Watch), and a streaming TV service to match. While television remains merely a grotesque version of itself from the early years, TV is changing; or, rather, how we view video programs is changing. YouTube and streaming video are the norm for an increasingly large and growing generation of mobile device users. That’s where Apple will go.