Investment analysts Piper Jaffray have predicted Apple will enter the TV market by 2011 with an Apple-branded television set with digital video recording and home media functions.
“With the popularity of ad-based internet TV and subscription models, we believe a-la-carte (iTunes) video purchases have lost share against other video models in recent months. As such, we believe Apple is exploring a subscription-based offering for its TV content in iTunes,” senior analyst Gene Munster says.
“Apple could leverage its deep library of content with many network and cable channel content owners to provide unlimited access to a sub-library of its TV shows for a standard monthly fee. Such a product would effectively replace a consumer’s monthly cable bill and offer access to current and older episodes of select shows on select channels.”
As evidence for Apple’s interest for pushing deeper into the living room, Munster cites: COO Tim Cook’s statement last month that the company will continue to invest in Apple TV because “we fundamentally believe there is something there for us in the future." There are also patents covering digital video recording and a five-year $500 million partnership with LG to produce LCD screens.
Munster notes that Apple currently controls an addressable user base of more than 65 million iTunes users and has sold more than 48 million iPhones and iPod touches that could be used as TV remotes or interactive TV game controllers.