The rumours that Apple is building a television amplified this weekend with news that the company has hired LG's OLED expert, who just happened to work for Samsung once-upon-a-time. Added to that, claims that Apple's television will launch this summer, and news that Corning might make Gorilla Glass for the TV screen, and you have a round up of Apple Television rumours.
Apple's OLED-expert hire hints at TV plans
Apple had hired James (Jueng-jil) Lee, a senior researcher at LG who had been working on creating a printed AMOLED TV (organic light-emitting diode) based television display, according to The OLED Association.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Lee lists his role at LG as "OLED Technology Development for TV Application" and he said he was "developing the Soluble Technology (RGB Type) for OLED TV application at LG Display".
Before he was at LG Lee was at Cambridge Display Technology, where he was the leading developer of solution-based polymer based OLED material, notes The OLED Association.
Before that he was the R&D head for LCD technology development at Samsung. At Samsung, he "successfully started the first three generations LCD production lines" and served as "R&D head for LCD technology development at Samsung Electronics".
Lee is "no doubt more knowledgeable about OLEDs that any of Apple's current staff, which is known to be quite strong," suggests the OLED Association.
It certainly sounds like he would be useful to Apple, should the company be planning moves into the television market…
Apple Television coming this summer!
Stuff is claiming that "Californian tech industry insiders" have told it the Apple Television will arrive this summer and that the product’s delay isn’t due to "development hell" but rather: "It’s been held up by video licensing issues as film and TV producers try to ensure they don’t follow the music industry into the digital ditch."
That site claims Apple won’t be going in for 3D or 4K (Ultra HD).
Corning could get involved with the Apple television
A quick look at Corning's website shows that the company is involved in TV: "By supporting the sleek, ultra-thin seamless designs that are a popular trend in today’s LCD TV industry, Corning Gorilla Glass is literally changing the face of LCD TV," it says here.
"With its pristine surface enabling a crisp, clear viewing experience, Gorilla Glass helps deliver on the promise of high definition and 3D TV," it adds.
The Fool has noticed this and speculates: "This all leads to the most interesting opportunity for Corning."
"If Apple does create an iTV, in one fell swoop it could help solve the problem that caused Corning to push so hard into Gorilla and Willow Glass in the first place: It could restart stagnant TV sales," writes that site.
"With Corning's existing relationships with Apple, there's a good chance it could provide glass substrates for an Apple TV. But the larger point is, as competitors rushed to catch up with Apple, it'd see outsized gains as glass prices for television stabilized and demand increased," is the conclusion.
What Apple could do to fix TV
Forbes has reported that 82% of customers from the ages of 18 to 24 choose to watch channels on the internet rather than through TV. The site speculates what Apple could do to win over this market to the rumoured Apple television.
Forbes asks: "What if consumers could interact with the content? What if online television-based communities existed where customers could 'like' content? What if Facetime was integrated into the TV in a way that friends could watch a football game together? Can you imagine Apple-inspired virtual Super Bowl parties?"
The site also suggests: "What if those high-dollar cable 'packages' became a distant memory and customers only paid for the channels they wanted?"
Speaking of which, this is interesting: Hat Trick productions (who produced Drop the Dead Donkey, Episodes, Father Ted, Facejacker, Have I Got News For You, Room 101, and many more other television comedies) are teaming up with YouTube to produce and upload videos – including topical sketches, animations, behind-the-scenes features and archive clips - to the online comedy channel Bad Teeth, which launched last month. Via The Independent.
“It’s quick, cheap and a good way to introduce talent to an international audience”, says producer John Pocock. “The model for comedy online here is that you put stuff up and about two people watch it. We want everyone to see everything we make.”
Imagine a world where quality programming would be uploaded to YouTube without requiring a broadcaster to air it on a television channel.
On a similar theme, Apple could learn a lot from Netflix, suggests AppAdvice.
"Apple should consider getting into the television production business, or at least partnering with someone else," suggests that report.
We want an Apple Television, says survey
A new study, noted by Fool, suggests that customers could well be ready to pay about 20% more for a television that features the Apple company logo on it.
11% of participants said they would be "very interested" in purchasing an Apple-branded Television set.
36% stated they would be "relatively interested".
46% of participants would pay more than $1,000 to have an iTV and 10% were prepared to pay above $2,000.