×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple Gives Up On Building TVs, But Not On Changing TV

Your next TV set won’t be built by Apple: The Cupertino company gave up on the idea of building televisions some time last year, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. The news has even Piper Jaffray’s Apple analyst Gene Munster, who had been predicting an Apple TV for years, giving up on his dream. But it doesn’t mean that Apple is turning away from TV altogether.

Apple has been working on TV sets for many years, according to the report, and even had a prototype for a translucent TV display about 10 years ago. In the end, the technology to power such a display proved unfeasible; the company later was looking into producing 4K TVs, with plans to integrate cameras for FaceTime video calling.

However, the Journal reports that these features simply didn’t seem compelling enough to make a splash in the market — a market that has been plagued by razor-thin margins. Apple would have needed a product that would have warranted a significant premium price to get anywhere close to the margins the company achieves with products like the iPhone or its Macbooks.

Reality set in for Munster as well Tuesday, who conceded in a research note that there won’t be an Apple TV any time soon:

“Our latest thinking prior to this story was that Apple would launch a television in 2016. Based on this report, we no longer expect a television to launch indefinitely.”

Then again, maybe Apple doesn’t need to launch a TV set to change TV. The company is reportedly working on the next generation of its Apple TV set-top box, which could be unveiled as early as during next month’s WWDC conference. The new Apple TV will integrate with Apple’s Siri personal assistant, and offer third-party developers an easier path to bring apps to the platform, according to a report from 9t5Mac, which also notes that consumers will be able to use their Apple Watch as a remote control for the device.

Apple TV hasn’t seen any major changes in three years, and and the market for streaming devices has gotten a lot more crowded since: Both Roku and Google’s Chromecast have stolen away significant market share from Apple TV, which also has seen competition from Amazon’s Fire TV, as well as Google’s Android TV initiative.

Still, the ultimate challenge for Apple may not be producing a better box, but offering new ways to access content on the TV. The company is reportedly also still looking to launch its own TV service, which is likely going to look a bit like Dish’s Sling TV or Sony’s Vue service, streaming live and on-demand programming through an interface that’s more compelling than a traditional cable TV service. Apple could unveil that service in June as well, but isn’t expected to launch it until later this year.

More Digital

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Denies Report That It's Exiting Scripted Dramas, Comedies

    YouTube claims it is not pulling up stakes from original entertainment — denying a report by Bloomberg over the weekend that the Google-owned video service was cancelling plans for “high-end dramas and comedies” and had stopped taking pitches for “expensive” scripted shows. In a statement, a rep said, “YouTube denies the report” and cited its [...]

  • Apple to Launch New Apple TV

    This Is What Apple's New TV Service Will Actually Look Like

    Apple unveiled its much-anticipated video service at a press event in Cupertino Monday, promising a range of originals via its forthcoming Apple TV+ service as well as easy access to third-party video subscription services. But while many of the big names attached to Apple’s video efforts were known beforehand, one significant detail wasn’t: How are [...]

  • Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service

    Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service Apple Arcade

    Apple detailed its long-rumored gaming subscription service during a special event it held in Cupertino, California Monday. Apple Arcade is the world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and living room, the company said. With a single subscription, you get access to more than 100 new and exclusive games. The games won’t be on [...]

  • Apple News Announcement

    Apple Unveils $9.99 News Subscription Service Dubbed Apple News+

    Apple unveiled a news subscription service called Apple News+ at its services event in Cupertino, Calif. Monday. The $9.99 service gives paying subscribers access to over 300 magazines as well as select newspapers and premium digital news services. “We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it will have on your lives,” said [...]

  • Katie Drummond - Vice Digital

    Vice Names Katie Drummond Senior VP of Digital

    Katie Drummond, who has worked as an editor in digital media and publishing for a decade, joined Vice Media as senior vice president of Vice Digital. Drummond comes on board to take over many of the duties of Ciel Hunter, who left Vice in January as global head of content for Vice Digital after more [...]

  • Apple Event: How to Watch Live-Stream

    How to Live-Stream Today's Apple Event

    Monday is the coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event. The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from the [...]

  • Google Stadia Is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia Is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content