Gene Munster: TV Will Fix Apple’s Problems

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is not tired of predicting an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) television launch for this year. The analyst told Bloomberg that his recent checks with Apple suppliers in Asia and other industry sources had indicated that the company was preparing to release a full-fledged high-definition television this year with a new remote.

“The core of the debate is an improved set-top box — a hockey puck that attaches to your TV more than an actual television,” Munster said. “Based on our work, in part, with talking to suppliers in Asia to talking with people in the industry, we think it’s an actual television. Specifically, the basic thing it fixes is the remote control problem. You can’t go to a friend’s house and work the TV … We think fixing that is going to be an important part of it.

“The second piece down the road is content, the concept of content on demand. That’s further down the road because there are issues [regarding] getting that to the international market, but that is essentially what Apple television is. Fix the remote control in a design that people like.”

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Munster has earlier predicted said that an Apple television would be a standalone flat-screen device between 43 and 55 inches.

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The Piper Jaffray analyst added that the television would be one of three catalysts for Apple’s stock this year, helping investors gain confidence in the company once again. The other sparks would come from the launch of a new iPad mini with Retina display in March and a low-cost iPhone later in the year. Munster said that while a cheap iPhone sounded like a bad idea for Apple in principle, the company was failing to address 65 percent of the smartphone market in the absence of such a product in its repertoire.

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