Apple to expand to TV? Easy to do, with iOS

August 30, 2011

There’s a rumor that just won’t die about Apple going into the television business — not with Apple TV, but with an actual Apple-branded television set.

Venture Beat’s Dylan Tweeney is the latest to report an update on speculation that the company is looking to further expand its reach from personal computing to entertainment. Citing “multiple sources in Silicon Valley,” Tweeney’s Monday report said that Apple would be looking to launch a television by the end of 2012.

Entrepreneur Steve Alsop told VentureBeat that he predicts Apple’s TVs will be 15-inch or 19-inch touchscreen televisions running iOS, and will hook into the company’s existing ecosystem of computers and mobile devices.

The iTelevision is a pet theory of Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, and the Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple is “working on new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service.” The Journal report seems to indicate that Apple is exploring content delivery, perhaps in addition to a hardware push.

Expanding into television wouldn’t be tough for Apple, as Motley Fool analyst Eric Bleeker said last week in a Washington Post article on the future of tech giant.

“If they wanted to do an Apple-branded TV, they can just expand iOS to the TV. It doesn’t need to be anything mind-blowing,” Bleeker said.

The iOS platform, analysts say, is what will keep Apple’s culture of innovation going for the next few years. The company can build out that platform and adapt it for new uses.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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