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Feb 7, 2012

The Apple Television. Best Buy believes it's a thing.

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Rumours continue regarding the notion of an Apple television. Should Apple release such a device (quite likely), it represents a game changer for smart televisions. While most leading TV manufacturers offer smart functionality on their units, the marketing power of Apple takes it mainstream. An Apple television would not only have the media and people talking about smart TV watching, but they do have a knack of making content distribution rather easy, attractive, and palatable for everyday users.

An interesting report from The Verge has US electronics department store chain Best Buy running an online survey of its clients about the purchase of such a device. The tone of the survey is less ‘if’ and much more ‘when’ it is released. As Best Buy are likely in a good position to know that such a product is on the horizon (even if they don’t have the specifics), this has generated some interest.

From the information in the survey, it is evident that the US launch of the ‘Apple HDTV’ will offer iTunes integration with cloud storage offered for TV and movies. Further to this, it may well have services like Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr pre-installed (much in the same way as YouTube is pre-installed on iPhones). The survey also makes mention of an iSight camera for use with Skype, which seems a tad odd for several reasons, but especially because it doesn’t make mention of the FaceTime service.

A price point of US$1,499 and screen size of 42 inches is cited.

The most note-worthy aspect of the specs sighted is just how generic sounding the device will be. Beyond access to the Apple eco-system, the device sounds like it is offering very little beyond what other (much cheaper) televisions have on offer. $1,499 also sounds considerably expensive compared to other similar TV’s.

My assumption would be that the description offered by Best Buy isn’t that far removed from the reality of what an Apple TV would look like. Where an iPad and iPhone offer different sized storage space within their product lines, I’d assume the Apple TV would have their point of difference in screen size – likely 3 different options  (42, 46, and 55 inch screens?). There has been talk that the television will offer some sort of innovation with the remote control, with some sort of voice control sounding likely.

TV distribution is going to have an interesting year ahead.

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