Now that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, has convened its Worldwide Developers Conference with the usual product splash, what happened to Apple TV or more likely, iTV?
Foxconn, Apple's major manufacturing partner, has expressed interest in buying more shares in Sharp, according to Slash Gear. This is fueling rumors that the companies are working towards Apple's rumored "iTV," although there has been no official word on the device's development.
Missing from the presentations by CEO Timothy Cook and Senior Vice President Phillip Schiller were both the much-awaited new product as well as dates for consumer availability.
The Cupertino, Calif., company is known to have shipped preliminary models to the labs of major TV providers headed by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the No. 1 telecommunications carrier and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), No. 2, as well as international carriers like Deutsche Telekom (Pink: DTEGY).
Apple TV or iTV was first expected at January's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where South Korean electronics giants like Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 5930) showed their interactive and PC-linked advanced TVs. In March, Apple introduced a $99 device that connects to the iPhone 4S to provide TV reception but that's not the fully functioned iTV expected by the Apple enthusiasts.
If Cook wanted the thousands of developers, now ready to work on the new iOS, new apps for the iPhone family and upgrades to the Siri voice-response system, to work on Apple TV, wouldn't he have debuted the product for later 2012 release?
"There was too much content for Apple TV to be announced," said Peter Misek, analyst with Jefferies. The boatload of new MacBook Pros, MacBook Air, Mountain Lion OS and iOS 6, the new Passbook app for financial transactions like Starbucks passes and airline tickets, was enough for now.
Rather than unload Apple TV now, the consumer product will merit its own debut "within the next three to six months," he added.
Webush Securities' Scott Sutherland, who attended Cook's keynote, said he was impressed by the general WWDC tone and new products, which will likely lead to Apple TV sometime soon.
"An integrated TV " with a premium price point should come soon, he said. It ought to be easy to integrate with Apple's multimedia because the iCloud already has signed up 125 million subscribers since last October, and Apple has continued to expand movies and TV offerings for the iPad. Part of that is also to compete against Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), the No. 1 e-retailer, which is selling the Kindle Fire for only $199, or $300 less than the iPad.
By coincidence, both Misek of Jefferies and Sutherland have an Apple target price of $800 over the next 12 months.
Apple shares closed at $576.16, up $4.99 inTuesday trading. The shares have declined 11 percent since their all-time high on April 10.
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