Apple wants to redefine television for a new age

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Apple has redefined mobile computing over the years with its wildly popular iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. So what's next for Cupertino?

Television, or so hints Apple CEO Tim Cook. As you may recall, Cupertino has thus far referred to its set-top box as a hobby, despite rumors and reports of an impending Apple-branded HD television set.

However, a recent NBC interview with Cook indicates Apple is ready to reshape the current perception of television.

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told NBC . "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

Although reports of a full-fledged Apple television are nothing new, Cook's latest remarks indicate that Cupertino may be implementing a strategy originally formulated by the late Steve Jobs, who told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had "finally cracked" the secret to building a next-gen television.

"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs said without elaborating further.

It should be noted that a January 2012 report from USA Today claimed Apple lead designer Jony Ive  has already built a "slick" 50-inch prototype - as the company continues to mull the potential manufacture of televisions measuring 42 inches or larger with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity.

Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently opined that 2013 would bring "significant changes" to Apple's product mix, with a full-fledged TV set (priced between $1500-$2000) expected to hit the streets in time for the 2013 holiday season.

He believes the Apple TV will boast screen sizes between 42 and 55-inches, while offering both Siri and FaceTime capability, along with unbundled channels.

"We expect the beauty of the design to be a feature, but the most important feature will be the ability to use the TV as the main interface for the living room across multiple devices," Munster wrote in an industry note. "We believe the TV will include Siri and FaceTime. The biggest item unlikely to come with the TV will be unbundled channels."