Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next move in the television space may come soon, but it’s not likely to be a full-fledged set just yet. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said in a research note that he believed a television remote control system operated through iOS devices could possibly be key to Apple’s “next big thing.”
“We feel one of the best ways to increase the iOS device total addressable market is by expanding use cases so that every home could use an iOS device as a TV remote,” Reitzes wrote in his note. While current remote control capabilities of iOS devices are limited to other Apple hardware connected to it, an Apple TV set-top box paired with a super-functional iPad has tremendous potential, the analyst felt.
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“With iCloud, we don’t see any reason why Apple wouldn’t eventually allow an iPad to be an interface for the TV — to perform basic computing tasks with a virtual keyboard like checking emails and calendars, surfing websites, editing your PhotoStream and even chat with iMessage,” the analyst said, according to Apple Insider.
Reitzes said these features and capabilities could easily be added to iOS devices through software updates. The analysts, in fact, was of the opinion that that the rumored iPad Mini line may be the first to expand functionality by becoming a TV remote.
“We believe the seven-inch screen on iPad Mini could be used for traditional content consumption such as reading books or watching movies, but Apple may have bigger plans for this device over time,” he wrote. “We believe the big secret about Apple’s TV strategy is not the TV itself–it’s about selling the remotes.”
Reitzes does expect a full-fledged television set, which Apple is rumored to be working on, to be announced as well, but only once it has negotiated licensing terms with content providers such as Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). The analyst has Overweight rating on Apple stock at a $810 price target.
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