According to sources supply chain vendors including Sharp who will build the display panels for the new Apple TV offering are close to moving to final production of components.
Key to the new Apple TV offering is a brand new user interface and content management system which includes an “iRing” which is a device that fits onto a finger allowing the user to have better gesture control of the TV as well as access to content. Currently LG has gesture control packed into a device called the ‘Magic Remote’ this device allows users to point at a screen to get access to applications and content as change programs.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White wrote in a recent investor memo recently. “Clearly, there has been plenty of misguided speculation around the timing of the Apple ‘iTV’ launch and we believe that this is largely due to changes by Apple, most recently around the creation of entirely new user interface aesthetics.”
According to several sources Apple will launch a 60, 55 and 50″ version of their Apple TV offering with prices ranging between $2,500 and $1,500. As part of the package Apple will include a 6.7″ tablet instead of a remote.
White claims that the tablet will not only let people view content from the TV but get access to home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other IP enabled applications.
“As part of this experience, Siri and FaceTime will be important,” White continues. “Essentially, we believe the ‘mini iTV’ screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch ‘iTV’ across a distance of up to 200 meters, allowing a user to view ‘iTV’ content in the kitchen, washroom, garage, bedroom, backyard, etc. We believe Apple will offer one ‘mini iTV’ per ‘iTV’ but package options will include up to four screens (i.e., one screen is part of the standard package and pay extra for each additional).”
“While the ‘mini iTV’ screens will be similar in size compared to the iPad, and thus allow for some manufacturing efficiencies,” he said, “the capabilities and features will be very basic and thus not an iPad replacement. Furthermore, we believe ‘iWatch’ will be an important part of the ‘iTV’ ecosystem, tapping into ‘iTV’ services in a much more mobile friendly manner, complementing the ‘iRing’.”
“The interaction between ‘iTV’ and making phone calls will be an important feature of this experience, while the ‘iWatch’ and ‘iRing’ will provide increased mobility around the home, supplanting the need to carry a smartphone around the house,” White added.