Investors are keen to hear more about the Apple TV. Here's a roundup of what the technology might offer.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) - To say investors are excited about the Apple(:AAPL) iTV would be an understatement, with the consumer tech giant said to be prepping its latest, greatest technology.
With rumors about the new television set swirling around the blogosphere, we have decided to round up some of the more intriguing Apple TV chatter.
This is what consumers could expect from the device, rumored to make its debut later this year:
What It Will Look Like
There has been plenty of speculation about the Apple TV's appearance. Some believe it will look like a larger version of an iPad, but a major question mark still hangs over the screen size. A Best Buy(:BBY) customer survey on potential Apple TV features revealed that consumers expect a 42-inch screen.
There is, however, reportedly a 50-inch version of the TV in Jonny Ive's studio. There have been other rumors that the TV set would come in 32-inch and 37-inch screen sizes.
The Best Buy survey also said the screen could be OLED (organic light emitting diode) and 1080p. There has also been chatter that the television set will have a screen from LG or Corning(:GLW), using the company's new Gorilla Glass 2.
The features of the proposed Apple iTV could potentially separate the device from other television sets. Analysts, bloggers, journalists and tech pundits galore have spent countless hours speculating on what the new television set will, and won't, have.
From the App Store, to Siri, to iCloud, the possibilities are seemingly endless for Apple TV. There are even rumors that Apple is working on an remote that would control multiple devices, and make set up much easier for the customers. Perhaps this is what Steve Jobs meant when he said he had "finally cracked it" while discussing the television set with his biographer, Walter Isaacson.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster speculated on Apple TV in a recent note and believes the App Store, Siri, iOS, and iCloud will be major features of the product.
"Apple's strong iOS developer community would likely jump at the chance to build apps for an Apple Television, and Apple's iOS users would likely jump at the chance to buy one," Munster wrote. Siri, he added, would "simplify the chore of inputting information like show titles, or actor names, into a TV (typically with a remote)." Munster rates Apple overweight with a $607 price target.
There has also been talk that the television set could contain a camera, giving consumers the ability to use FaceTime, Apple's video messaging platform, as well a microphone. Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes believes the TV set could transform several industries, including gaming, video communication, content delivery, apps, and computing. The TV, he explained, might be unlike anything currently on the market. Reitzes has an overweight rating on Apple and a $630 price target.
The price of the Apple television set remains unknown, although it's worth noting that Apple used to make a Cinema-wide monitor in a variety of sizes. The 30-inch size still sells for approximately $1000 on sites such as eBay(:EBAY).
Apple can make the most beautiful and interactive television set, but if it can't provide content to users, then it will be worthless.
However, many expect Apple will deliver on the content front, and the television set will be a meaningful contributor to the tech giant's future earnings. "We believe the product could contribute about $5.40 of EPS or 11% of our FY13 EPS estimate of $48.46," noted Barclays Capital's Reitzes, in a recent note.
There are rumors that Rogers Communications(:RCI) and BCE(:BCE) already have an Apple television set in their hands, and are reportedly working with the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm on partnerships around the device.
Apple is reportedly open to working with multiple service providers around the globe, as it gets ready to unveil its TV offering. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, for example, believes Apple could work with the aforementioned Canadian broadband providers, as well as AT&T(:T) and Verizon(:VZ) in the United States. "Partnerships with carriers/MSOs are possible/likely (e.g., AT&T, VZ, Bell, Rogers). We believe Apple thinks it can win on a level playing field for content," the analyst noted, in a recent research report. Misek rates Apple at buy with a $599 price target.
The Jefferies analyst also believes that Apple will provide access to a broader range of integrated content. Some have speculated that companies such as Hulu and Netflix(:NFLX) would be heavily integrated as well.
No matter what the "iTV" has in it, looks like, or who Apple works with, one thing is certain. The rumors will only increase in frequency as the product launch gets closer.
Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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