Apple could launch an Internet-connected high-definition television set by the end of 2011, entering the lucrative $100 billion LCD TV market, a new report claims.
The TV business is really cutthroat with pretty thin margins. They are commodities with little customer loyalty. Price usually determines the sale.
What would this provide that a monitor and a $99 Apple TV box doesn’t? $2000 for this new thing. Really? How big a market is there for something like this? Netflix is hot but it only has 20 million subscribers. How many of those would put up $2000 for anApple product, even if it is a unique product? 10% would be high, I think. Would the total market be much bigger than 2-3 million?
Why would Apple enter a marketplace with low profits and a constrained audience? I’m not an expert here but it doesn’t seem like a very smart thing for them to do.
And the big problem I see here is the data packages from ISPs. All of them have data limits or will shortly. 250 GB of download sounds great until you realize that an hour of HD content from Netflix can be up to 2.7 GB. Several TVs and you could reach that limit.
Because of data limits in Canada, Netflix is providing lower versions of its movies that use 2/3rd less data, at some cost to quality. I’d expect to see the same sorts of things here.
Would Apple want to have the real control of its TV in the hands of ISPs and what they charge? Heck, if people start doing this, I’d expect the ISPs to lower the data limits and try and make more money off of those doing HD streaming. There is nothing to really prevent them. They can start comparing those streaming with data hogs using up all the available bandwidth.
As a rumor, this seems unlikely without a lot more idea of how Apple would be different.