Rumors are spreading about Apple and the probable development of a "smart TV".
Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley believes that Apple is developing a "Smart TV" prototype, while citing Asian suppliers as her source. What is being put into the prototype by Apple is unknown. The Morgan Stanley analyst speculates that a complete TV might join TV and video programming, gaming, DVR functionality, and even iPhone/iPad-style apps and FaceTime video chat into one single creation.
Huberty claims that a smart TV is "potentially the next new product category", and has the possibility of giving Apple an extra $4 billion per year for every 1 percent of the potential TV market the company takes by 2013.
This story made rounds earlier in August 2009 when Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that Apple would enter the TV market by 2011, according to Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Munster later adapted his prediction, affirming that an Apple HDTV set would turn up as early as 2012. However, others have spoken about the hurdles when it comes to designing and producing a device of this nature. Apple itself seems wary of third-party services, and technologies that might take away from its current holdings.
One more possibility is that Apple's rumored Smart TV might not be an actual television, but rather a separate device which connects to a HDTV. When one considers that millions of consumers have already upgraded to big-screen HD sets, the latter option does seem to have more intrinsic worth.