At least partly positive indications from Tim Cook and information from his own suppliers have led Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster to believe that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil a television set late this year and launch it in the first half of 2013. “We believe ‘if’ has been decided and now the question is ‘when’,” Munster wrote in a note to investors on Friday.
According to Munster, if Apple was to capture only between 5 and 10 percent of the predicted 2013 connected TV market of 110 million units, it would still sell between 5.5 million and 11 million units of the device. At an average selling price of $1,750, this would add 4 to 8 percent to the company’s calendar year 2013 revenue.
The analyst believes the television will come with an LCD screen between 42 inches and 55 inches, and that Apple’s key focus will be on creating a revolutionary interface. He thinks Siri integration and compatibility with third-party devices could be the device’s key selling points. The television set’s design will make it “the stand-out centerpiece of the consumer’s living room,” he wrote. The device could also potentially have its own app store for content. Apple could ultimately offer unbundled channels, but this would not be an immediate offering.
“This will take time (3-5 years), and while we believe Apple will innovate on its existing TV content offering at the launch of the Apple Television, we caution that the initial offering may more closely resemble the apple TV content offering (Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), iTunes, and eventually Hulu (NASDAQ:CMCSA),” he wrote.