While most Apple fanboys spent the bulk of yesterday’s live-streamed event from Cupertino reveling in the splendor of Apple’s new spread of iPads, computers, and the new Maverick operating system, an intriguingly detailed rumor emerged to add to the lore of the fabled Apple-designed TV. Reported by Bloomberg news, the latest rumor was cast by a Japanese analyst named Masahiko Ishino, who claims that Apple is not only planning to release its own Ultra HD/4K TV, but that the company is already in development of both 55-inch and 65-inch Ultra HD/ 4K TV models to be released by the end of 2014.
And here’s the kicker: Ishino says the TVs will be offered at a manageable price of around $1,500-$2,500.
In an interview on October 18th Ishino, who works for Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo, poured out a surprisingly detailed account of the clandestine project, including a list of possible partners selected from the usual suspects who would supply the pieces for Apple’s new device. Ishino said LG Display would likely provide the panel, Samsung would provide graphic processing chips, and Corning, makers of the famed Gorilla Glass, would provide Gorilla Glass 3 for the display cover. The analyst even went so far as to specify design characteristics for the new TVs, saying they will likely be frameless, implying a dissolved bezel design.
But perhaps most intriguing (and possibly telling) is Ishino’s price quote for the new gems. That number blows the doors off recent 4K offerings from TV titans like LG and Toshiba, which bottom out at around $4000 for their entry-level models – near industry lows for non-Chinese manufacturers at present.
Now, whatever you think about Apple, the company doesn’t aim low on the price scale. If anything, Apple products like the iPad and Macbook traditionally cost nearly double what you’ll pay for comparable devices from competitors, touting better performance and a more intuitive user interface to atone for their exorbitant price tags. Accordingly, that low price projection has us wondering just how much credence this latest whisper about Apple’s foray into the TV realm should be given.
Still, it’s a compelling new piece to add to the Apple TV puzzle. If Apple really can leapfrog straight to the crown jewel of LCD resolution with its own Ultra HDTV – and offer it at competitive pricing – it would be an impressive feat that could cause a monumental shake-up in the fiercely competitive television industry.
As with any rumor in the Apple TV mill, this latest morsel seems to have us reeling with more questions than answers. How about you? Are you buying what Mr. Ishino is selling? And if so, are you already saving your pennies for your very own piece of Apple’s 4K magic? Let us know.