Because the exploding smartphone and tablet markets weren’t enough, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) expands the way it toys with the TV market. And because it’s not sport without a little friendly competition, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is also looking into ways it can engage the TV market.
Both companies have worked with set-top boxes, but have seen only limited success when compared their other tech endeavors. Apple sold only 1.3 million of its $99 set-top boxes in the quarter ending in September — currently, the device offers Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Hulu (NASDAQ:CMCSA) applications, but no traditional TV programming.
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Apple’s own outward engagements suggest that it may actually go ahead with producing a full TV set, as it has been working with Hon Hai — or Foxconn — in China, and Sharp in Japan, which have a close relationship in large LCD production. As Apple is typically more discrete with it’s products early on, working together with external companies is a flag that they may go into production in the near future. A survey shows that consumers would be willing to fork out top dollar for the devices.
If Apple begins producing TV sets, the very multifaceted relationship between it and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will become further embroiled, as Samsung is both one of Apple’s largest suppliers and competitors, and is also the world’s largest TV maker. Apple’s next move could put it into another major battle with Samsung and Google, especially if Google goes ahead and focuses on software for other device manufacturers as it did with Android.
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