June 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM ET
Almost as mythical as a telepathic iPad, the idea of an Apple-made television is making the rounds again, with some industry watchers scoffing at the very idea and others expressing some cautious optimism.
Daily Tech kicked off this batch of speculation with information from an anonymous "former executive" who told them Apple intends to "blow Netflix and all those other guys away" with a television set that would come with Apple TV + iTunes. (Would they call it an iTV?) That device would be manufactured by someone else (Samsung came up as the most likely partner) and rebranded Apple. He told them to expect to see it later this year, with customers being able to walk into an Apple store and walk out with one.
This caused the equivalent of milk being coughed up through the nose, with TechCrunch's MG Siegler declaring, "I don’t have any problem going out on a limb and saying this isn’t happening."
His reasoning: the control freak in Apple wouldn't allow another original equipment manufacturer to create their baby. "If Apple does a television set, they’re going to make it. From concept to manufacturing to shipped product, it will be an Apple television." Also, it's going to take Apple time to build up to the sizes people have come to expect from their beautiful living room centerpieces. Right now, the biggest display Apple makes are 27-inch iMacs.
Siegler thinks it may happen, just not anytime soon.
Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes also sees an Apple-made TV as a possibility, due to the patents the company has filed in the past three years, including a 3-D display that doesn't need glasses and a wand-like device that may be able to control/interact with screen elements. Estes sees Apple being able to make a go of it, despite Steve Jobs calling his company's first not-so infectious foray into this terriroty — Apple TV — "a hobby."
Also bullish on the potential for an Apple boob tube, an analyst cited in a story by Business Insider's Jay Yarow, who said such a device could generate something like $2.6 billion in revenue next year should it finally become a reality.