Apple will launch their new Apple TV in time for the last quarter of 2012, with sources in Japan telling SmartHouse that 3 sizes are being planned including a 32″ model and a 55″ model.The Apple TVs will incorporate a new processor that is set to appear in the iPad 3, which is due midway through 2012. A totally new software interface has been written that allows users to call up programs using voice commands via the new Siri personal assistant app built into the iPad, iPhone and directly into the TV.
Sources at a major Japanese company who are involved in manufacturing the TV believe that the 55″ model will compete with new Smart TVs from Samsung and LG that will have new processors built in while offering a combination of OLED display, as well as new Super HD TV technology from LG.
In Australia manufacturers are banking on the new generation of Smart TVs combined with new content services from the likes of Telstra, as well as new display technology to drive sales.
Tim Barnes, Senior Marketing Manager Entertainment at LG Electronics, believes that the attraction of first run movies and access to movies hitting DVD rental stores will drive sales.
“We will see new technology and a new generation of Smart TV launched at CES in January. These TVs will have 3D TV capability as well as new Smart TV capabilities. This will allow us to deliver a new generation of content from the likes of Telstra and other providers like Red Bull TV, while delivering a new viewing experience for consumers”.
“If Apple does launch a new TV it will help us grow the Smart TV market in Australia with consumers upgrading to not only new TVs, but attach home theatre systems that will deliver for them a big movie experience”.
The respected Piper Jaffray, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster, said recently that Apple will launch a new TV offering called iTV in time for the US 2012 holiday season.
However it is not known how Apple will go in the UK where there is already an ITV Company, there is also a web site called itv.com.
Munster said that the new product was likely to come in a range of sizes, but that they would retail for twice the price of an equivalent set. He claimed the premium would be justified by the comprehensive integration with other Apple services and the cloud, whether that was via either a standard remote, voice control via Apple’s new Siri ‘personal assistant’ or apps on the iPad or iPhone. Use of Siri might allow the device to respond to commands in natural language, such as “Watch Channel 7”.
SmartHouse has been told that Apple will look at integrating the new Telstra TV app into their new TV which will also deliver access to Foxtel for Apple TV owners.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK claims that previous reports have suggested that Apple is working on a new TV. Sources within the company said that Jeff Robbin, the engineer who helped create the iPod and iTunes, is leading the effort. Apple has declined to comment publicly.
According to Bloomberg, an Apple insider said that the company wants to let users seamlessly access television shows by integrating all the available sources, such as satellite TV, online film rental services and iTunes downloads.
Shortly before he died, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, told his biographer that he had “finally cracked” the problem of building a television.
In Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs, the Apple founder says: “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”