NPD DisplaySearch is reporting through its anonymous sources inside the TV supply chain that Apple’s rumoured HD television plans have been put on hold once again, and are likely to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices, such as an iWatch. Earlier rumours have suggested that Apple is readying a TV product for release in second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution.
While the source points out that in the past, the reported hangup with Apple’s television plans has always been the content, it has not specified the reason why the research firm believes Apple’s project has been put on hold this time around. The report also notes that Apple needs to achieve three goals to have a successful television product for the living room. These include selling enough units to generate sufficient content purchasing points, offering a unique point of differentiation to capture market share, and keep hardware sales from “flat-lining once household penetration peaks”.
“The average TV replacement cycle is 7-8 years, as opposed to replacement cycle purchases for mobile devices Apple currently sells, which is 2-3 years. In addition, consumers are likely to only purchase one Apple TV per household, as opposed to multiple phones or tablets. Even laptop PCs have a much shorter replacement cycle than TVs. In the end, Apple would have a difficult time keeping products updated with the latest hardware and software, unless it took a modular approach to upgrading components, such as what Samsung has done with their Evolution Kit for TVs”.
For Apple to capture market share from existing smart TV brands, it would need to either deliver some exclusive source of content that the other brands cannot, or proprietary content not available on other devices.