An aerial view of the new Apple datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, which doubled in size. More super datacenters are due across the US and Europe, an analyst says.
More and more analysts are calling for an Apple-branded television set that should wow us with a big, beautiful display (Retina, anyone?), built-in Apple TV and DVR capabilities, live programming and television channels via iTunes, 1080p iOS gaming via the App Store and what not. In addition to Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster and Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, brokerage firm Jefferies & Co. is out with their prediction of a new video gadget from Apple in 2012 or 2013 and a companion cloud service stemming from an alleged array of super datacenters:
Jefferies & Co. believes Apple Inc. is about to launch a new video-focused cloud-based service. The brokerage continues to believe that the assault on the living room likely means the introduction of another Apple appliance or device.
According to analyst Peter Misek, a Netflix-like $10 a month video subscription could boost Apple’s projected fiscal 2012 revenues from $118 billion all the way up to the $150-$171 billion range. He reminded Apple’s North Carolina datacenter (which cannot be seen on Google Maps) doubled in size and speculated that Apple could be building more of these in the US and Europe as we speak. We also know Apple ordered 12 million Gigabytes of storage. The gist? Apple could be building a cloud-based 21st century broadcasting network:
Misek believes Apple will launch a new far reaching cloudbased service that is more than just a music or content locker and focused on video. Misek believes this service will allow Apple to maintain higher than expected average selling prices for longer than he and the Street think. It is also likely to lead more people to buy Apple devices, in Misek’s view.
I’m confused. I thought Apple already has a “video-focused cloud-based service.” Apple’s been doing iTunes movie and television show downloads and rentals for ages. About that so-called iTV…
Sure, a TV set with a shiny Apple logo could become popular with the faithful, but people outside the Apple fold may see little incentive to upgrade their existing television experience. Most have already transitioned to high-definition television, mind you. Besides, it isn’t an appliance you would upgrade every 2-3 years. Plus, it’s a cutthroat business with razor sharp margins.
Apple would either have to make up for a low average selling price with high volume of sales. Should they keep their fat margins, sales would be limited to early adopters and television enthusiasts due to high price, which in itself is a very nascent market.
On the other hand, television and game consoles are the only two high volume consumer electronics markets left for Apple to conquer. Plus, the analyst says that big media removing television channels from iPad apps could be an indicative of these companies “negotiating some sort of deal with Apple”.
In my personal opinion, Apple would never bother commit its resources to build a questionable product and risk a flop after a string of hit products? Unless, of course, this mysterious device will revolutionize television in the same way the iPhone and iPad have become blockbuster releases. Meet us in comments.