Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may launch a full TV product in the fourth quarter of this year according to one analyst. There have been rumors for years that Apple was working on such a product with fans expecting it to be announced at any time. The closest they have come so far, the AppleTV, was less than expected though still a highly sought after product. That set top box was well received but was not what people have been waiting for Apple to release. An analyst from Topeka last week said that Apple would probably release such a product in the next twelve months as he said his price target for the company at $1001 for the same period. That view was bolstered today by the release of a report by another analyst that has more details regarding the product.
The report from Jeffries analyst Peter Misek calls the device the iPanel and suggests it could be announced for release in Q4 2012 in time for the holiday season, where it would be sure to be a top seller. In support of his thesis Jeffries points to a new $800 million deal between Apple, Foxconn and Samsung and order in China of specialized components, certainly for a new product, to be sent to Apple’s suppliers. Misek also points to analysis of building permits and satellite imagery which he says shows the company is doubling the size of its data center in North Carolina. The evidence is circumstantial to be sure but it it also persuasive. One criticism aimed at greatly positive projections of the company’s stock price has been the need to innovate constantly.
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Apple knows more than anyone that their continued success does rely on product that continue to surprise consumers and grab their attention. They have managed this with plenty of their new launches in the past with only a few that went a little under the radar. The company cannot rely on simply updating its products year on year as consumers, but clearly not fans, get jaded of incremental upgrades of the same products. So now is the perfect time for the company to release a product that will wow consumers on the day it is released and continue to surprise them until it is commonplace.The iPhone went through a similar cycle and is now common enough in Public, while the iPad is quickly reaching the same end of the cycle.
Another important aspect of the company’s new releases is highlighted by Misek. The Apple Halo effect which he says means greater integration into the Apple ecosystem by consumers. With this effect he projects that an Apple Television would grant thee company the sale of an additional iPad or iPhone with each product sold. Along with the 30 percent margins he expects the device to have the Apple would be wrong not to follow through, assuming his projections are correct.
I speculated earlier this week that Apple’s possible release of the iPhone 5 during the Summer rather than for the holiday season may be a sign of something awe inspiring being released in that time slot. If the analysis of the television are true a real announcement of a June release for the smart phone will send speculation sky high over what the company will release at Christmas. It the company continues to deliver updates to their line in the same fashion and receives the same attention at each it won’t be long until the company has to manipulate the calendar itself to fit them all in. The length between major innovations appears to be shortening at the company, good news for shareholders, bad news for the exhausted scheduling staff in the PR department.