I shoulda written this six months ago.
Rumors like Apple Developing ‘New Technology’ for Delivering Video Content keep popping up and all I hear is that Apple is going to enter into the branded TV space. I mean look at this nonsense:
- Analyst Claims Apple-Branded Television Could Appear Later This Year 
- Apple to Launch 3 HDTV Models by March 2012? 
- Apple Chasing Global Content For Tipped 55″ OLED TV 
- Logitech Slashes Google TV-Based Revue to $99 as Returns Exceed Sales 
- Apple Television Set Rumors Revived, To Launch in 2011? 
- Analyst Continues to Believe Apple Will Launch Internet-Connected TV 
- Munster: An Apple TV set by 2011 
- MacBook with Blu-Ray and Networked HDTV from Apple? 
- Apple to Announce 42” and 50” Plasma Viiv Displays? 
- Apple HDTV Tuner? 
Apple is not going to make TVs.
Why not? Gee, where to start. That HDTVs are a market with preciously thin margins? Apple’s displays are more expensive than other monitors and still aren’t the best. Or how about the capricious nature of the HDTV market? Apple will have to chase the finicky home entertainment trends — 3D, 240Hz, plasma vs. LCD vs. OLED vs. lasers, internet, wireless internet — on what amounts to an expensive commodity. Then there’s the size issue. Is it 50-inch, 60, 72? How thin is it? Apple will have to compete with all those specs, because TVs are an electronic commodity and must compete on specs. And those are just the specs you can measure. Nevermind the inflated, ridiculous specs of most TVs, like the laughable “infinite dynamic range”. All this effort to make a couple of bucks on a product that’s physically bigger than anything else Apple makes?
Why would Apple dedicate the bulk of their warehouses to a product that would potentially make them the least amount of money? Apple uses iTunes to help sell iPods and iPhones. Tiny, high-margin products. They won’t make nearly as much as they would if they continued to sell these handheld devices, unless Apple can sell a TV for $4000-$5000. Would you pay that much for the convenience of having a TV with iTunes?
All this: the stiff competition, the razor-thin margins, finicky trends, so Apple can sell an expensive commodity just to get iTunes in more homes? They already have a product that does that for under $100. If AppleTV exists, an Apple TV makes no sense.
I’m guessing what happened was some dim tipster heard, “Apple’s working on something big for the home entertainment market!” and assumed Apple is working on a big ass TV. And at times, this rumor may have alluded to the iPod Touch, AppleTV, the iPhone, AppleTV 2, AirPlay, and so on… I don’t know what the next thing will be, but it isn’t going to be a huge, expensive TV.
Even this guy says no, and he seems to be in charge over there.
UPDATE: And still, the rumors keep flying: Apple is working on a television for 2012, sources say . The article actually guesses “2012 or early 2013.” But it was supposed to be 2011 just a few rumors ago!
BETTER UPDATE: Chris Rawson at TUAW gets it.