Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster made a proclamation at the Business Insider Ignition conference today that did little to surprise the audience. The analyst, who concentrates much of his efforts on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says the company is due to release a full Apple television set next year. It’s the third year in a row that Munster has made the same prediction.
Munster is one of the most well known Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) analysts, and his word is reported all over, but that doesn’t mean promises about the Apple iTV are likely to be taken seriously. This time around he has more evidence to back up his claim, but that doesn’t mean the product is coming in the next twelve months.
Apple iTV on the way
According to Munster Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been testing out components for a widescreen television set. The analyst says that he and his colleagues have spoken to the people in the company’s supply chain and have confirmed the component testing. Apple iTV components have been rumored before, however, and the product has still does not have any strong basis in reality.
Munster says that 50% of the people his company surveyed said that they would be interested in a full Apple TV. For the first time a significant number of those surveyed said that they were looking for a way to get easier access to all of the content they wanted access to. An Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) television may see significant demand but that doesn’t mean that Apple is going to release it next year.
Today’s presentation does not really carry much stronger weight than those before. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has the same reasons to launch a television as it always did.
What’s an Apple iTV for anyway?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to have a new product category if it wants to continue to grow in value. The smartphone market is becoming saturated and competition is driving the company’s gross margin down. If Apple were to get into a new business, it could force its gross margin, and profits, up once more.
Apple may indeed decide to release a full television product in 2014, but it’s a difficult prospect for investors to bet on. The promise has been made too many times before, and the evidence is only incrementally better this time around.