Is an Apple TV set just around the corner

first_imgWhen Steve Jobs clearly states in his official biography that he has figured out the formula for a successful Apple TV set, it doesn’t take an analyst to see that said device may be coming soon. But that hasn’t stopped Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster from chiming in on the subject. He cites the passage in the biography as further evidence of the prediction he’s been standing with for a couple of years.In the just-released authorized bio Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, the late co-founder of Apple is quoted as saying that he has finally “cracked” the integrated TV set. He says that it would have an extremely simple user interface, be integrated to all of a user’s devices, and sync with iCloud.Many have speculated that the living room is the next frontier that Apple will be venturing into. The Apple TV set-top box has been around for years, but Apple has always referred to it as “a hobby.” This left room for a more significant successor down the road.Content has been (and will continue to be) the biggest challenge in Apple’s (or Google’s, or Microsoft’s) invading of the living room. On the one hand, you have 21st century services like Netflix and Hulu, which allow on-demand streaming of both older and recent content. Apple’s iCloud offerings (including an upcoming Apple Netflix-like streaming service?) could be put squarely in that category as well. But then you still have live television that is controlled by the traditional 20th century content providers (such as Comcast and Verizon).What did Jobs “crack?”How Apple will integrate the old and the new remains to be seen. Was Jobs’ epiphany about having one simple UI to control the live TV and the digital streaming, or was it about something more? If he found a way to eliminate (or even reduce) the dominance of the cable companies in this equation, then this would indeed be revolutionary. That’s quite a huge if though.Either way, the integration of iPhones and iPads would certainly be a huge boon for an Apple TV set. The devices, which many viewers would already have at their disposable, could essentially become remote controls. Perhaps Siri would be involved as well, bringing a voice-controlled element to selecting content.Munster estimated that a dedicated TV set could add $2.5 billion to Apple’s revenue in 2012, $4 billion in 2013, and $6 billion in 2014.via CNN/Fortunelast_img read more