John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple TV? Think Bose VideoWave, Only More Apple-ish.

Before he passed away earlier this month, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had finally conceived of a way to build the integrated television set the company has long been rumored to be working on. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” he said. “I finally cracked it.”

That remark, published Monday in Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs,” has quickened speculation that Apple is poised to reinvent yet another product category and tap into what some analysts believe could be a $50 billion to $100 billion revenue opportunity.

So what might an Apple HDTV look like?

Akin to the Bose VideoWave integrated home entertainment system, against which it is reportedly being benchmarked, says Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry.

“Apple HDTV is directionally similar to Bose VideoWave TV, in terms of simplicity, image and sound quality, and reducing clutter,” Chowdhry theorized in a summer research note republished Monday, adding that Apple, in typical fashion, will take it quite a few steps beyond as well, using its spartan-but-elegant design sensibility to virtually eliminate the more cumbersome aspects of current TVs.

Whereas the VideoWave requires three cables, says Chowdhry, Apple HDTV will likely need just one. It may also be significantly thinner, though he expects it to have an equal number of built-in speakers. “Bose VideoWave HDTV is 6 inches thick and has 16 speakers,” Chowdhry writes. “Apple HDTV will be one third of that thickness and will also have 16 speakers -– these 16 built-in speakers give a complete surround sound experience, without the need for any external speakers.”

Finally, while there is but one VideoWave (a $5,200 unit with a 46” screen), Apple will likely produce three models of its television across a range of price points.

And assuming Apple is working on such a device, there are likely to be other features as well — iTunes support, obviously, a wider viewing angle than the industry standard, voice control via Siri, and integration with iCloud and Apple’s broader hardware and software ecosystems.

But again, that’s if an Apple television is in the pipeline. And at this point, that’s not yet clear.

UPDATE: AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka discussed the subject on “Digits” today. Here’s the clip:

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