In a recent note to clients, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek writes that manufacturers are “scrambling” to react to claims that Apple is preparing to enter the television set market.
Based on our discussions, interestingly other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do.
They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat footed by Apple.
Misek goes on to note that “mainstream TV manufacturers are likely to be at least 6 to 12 months behind in a best-case scenario,” giving Apple a significant advantage in the marketplace if they do launch a revolutionary new product.
The report also details some rumours, suggesting that production of the Apple TV will begin in February at a Sharp factory in Sakai, launching some time in mid-2012. Previous rumors had claimed that Apple would announce its television set much later. For instance, last month The New York Times forecast that Apple would announce the product by late 2012, with it launching in early-2013.
Rumours of an Apple TV picked up considerable steam with the release of the authorized Steve Jobs biography. In the biography, author Walter Isaacson quotes Jobs saying he’d “finally cracked” the secret to building an easy-to-use television set, and said it would have “the simplest user interface you could imagine.”
A report from last month suggested that the simple user interface would be Siri, allowing users to replace remotes and standard navigation with voice commands, for instance, “What’s new this week?” and “Play the next episode of The Wire.”
Apple has not yet made any announcements regarding the rumoured TV.