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Apple's iTV may happen -- and this may be the remote
By Jonathan Anker
updated 4:21 PM EDT, Thu April 04, 2013
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As Mad TV's fantastic "iRack" skit once proved, you can put a lower case "i" in front of pretty much any noun and instantly transform it into a fantastic, futuristic-sounding must-have device.
"The iMicrowave! The iVaccum Cleaner!"
But the one real world, i-appended product that has always had Apple fanboys' imaginations racing is the one which, to this point, has remained merely a rumor. Verging on mythical, in fact, at this point -- but still, just a rumor with no concrete evidence to support its existence: a TV. An iTV.
The possibilities seem endless given the track record of the magical wizards Apple allegedly employs in a glittering cave 1,000 feet below their Cupertino, California, headquarters.
And then comes this report from analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets, who visited Apple suppliers in China and Taiwan and found all sorts of evidence that an Apple iTV is going to hit the markets in late 2013. You know -- holiday season. The device, White reports, "will revolutionize the TV experience forever." Well then.
The specs (and the iRing remote!) he writes home about do sound truly amazing. Maybe too amazing. So far, a lot of skepticism has greeted the analysts' report. But that doesn't mean certain aspects of it might not still be accurate. Here's hoping anyways.
So if we can't have it all, here are the five rumored iTV features we'd be most excited about:
1. The iRing. Of course.
Described as a device "that will be placed on a user's finger and act as a navigation pointer for "iTV,"' enhancing the motion detection experience," Gollum officially seems to have a new obsession. The One Ring to Rule Them All, as a gesture-enabled remote control, seems straight from science fiction. Urgent question: Will one size fit all? There are some meaty digits out there, and everyone should have the opportunity to flaunt this high-tech jewelry.
2. The price
Wanna know what's a serious amount of money? About $2,000. That's the midpoint of White's hunch that the iTV will cost between $1,500 and $2,500. Wanna know what's a pretty reasonable price tag for the most space-agey TV yet (especially considering the standard Apple premium which would see iWater sell for $13 a bottle)? About $2,000.
3. Mini iTV
That's just like Apple, right? Roll something out, then immediately hit back with an even more desirable, miniature version of that exact same device. Right?! Except that's not what this is. From White: "iTV" will come with a "mini iTV" screen that will seamlessly allow users to view content on this smaller, 9.7-inch screen, while also opening up use cases around home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other areas."
The TV's Mini-Me would have a range of 200 meters, so you can watch as you move anywhere around your house. This is why your spouse has been in the bathroom for the last 45 minutes.
4. iWatch, meet iTV
In a beautiful mash-up of Apple rumors, this Super Rumor claims the iTV would play nicely with the not-yet-confirmed iWatch. "The interaction between "iTV" and making phone calls will be an important feature of this experience," according to White's note. "While the 'iWatch' and 'iRing' will provide increased mobility around the home, supplanting the need to carry a smartphone around the house." So it's all kinda vague how this works, but the upshot seems to be that all these new "i's" will render one of the original "i's" -- the iPhone -- obsolete at home.
5. Siri and FaceTime integration
Ever shout at your TV? Of course you do, Sports Fan and/or "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" Hater. Now imagine your TV shouting back at you. This is pretty much how I imagine Siri working within the iTV, and it sounds pretty fun. Apple engineers likely have something more useful in mind, but that would just mean they've never had to sit and watch all four Kardashians whose names start with a K speak at the same time.