Apple Had Plans For A Television, But Scrapped It Half Way Through 2013, Says Brian Blair


Tim Cook Apple TV


Of all the products in the world that could use an Apple-ification, television is number one on the list.

Just like Apple took the mobile phone market, which was dominated by the Motorola Razr and BlackBerry, and flipped it on its head with the iPhone, people want the it to do the same thing with the TV business. And when we say "people," we're including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," said Cook in December of 2012. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."


As a result, tech pundits, and analysts have been expecting Apple to make a television for years. And yet, so far, we have bupkis to show for all the breathless anticipation of an iTV. The talk about an Apple television has shifted in the tech world from being a possibility to something that's ridiculed. People are highly skeptical it was ever in the works, or ever will be in the works.

However, Brian Blair, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities told us that in Asia, supply chain sources talk about the Apple television in a "matter of fact way." He says it's "not speculative" and people there say Apple was planning a television but it was shelved.

Blair was in Asia last week and filed a big report on everything he heard from talking to key suppliers. Here's what he said about the television:


While we do not believe that Apple has plans to do a TV near term, we do understand that Apple had a prototype of a large screen TV and talked to a number of panel makers last year (as well as Foxconn) about building a product in 2013. We understand that Apple decided midway through last year to hold off on production of a TV. Some of the concerns around a TV are believed to revolve around 1) the unique logistics that surround the TV business (you can't easily bring one into a store for repair, for example) and 2) features that would differentiate it from competitive offerings. It is believed in the supply chain that Apple is still trying to find a way to make the product work, though timing remains uncertain. We believe that Apple is focused on building up content and establishing differentiated media relationships before reconsidering TV plans again.

So, where does this leave the Apple television? The same place it's always been: Limbo.