Apple will release a television in 2013 for between $1,500 and $2,000, but it won't instantly revolutionize the industry, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. You have to wonder how much time it takes to trim a hedge that big.Munster says the content offerings on an Apple-branded set might not initially be that much different than that of the currently available Apple TV set-top box, but that within five years he would expect the company to push back against the current cable and satellite TV models and move toward more DVR in the cloud and unbundled channels that consumers can pick and choose.Just imagine how much smoother Thanksgiving will go with the ability to add Lifetime and the Golf Channel to your bill for just the month of November, keeping your more opinionated relatives occupied and away from each other's throats.
Some other features Munster says to expect in his latest missive include Siri, compatibility with third-party devices and the ability to run apps and games. He also says to look for screen sizes in the 42- to 55-inch range.Munster has consistently and boldly predicted the imminent arrival of an Apple television for a few years now and while it didn't show up as he assured us it would in 2011, he's now marking the first half of the 2013 calendar for its release. The Apple TV rumor mill is especially hot right now, with WWDC a week away and (somewhat dubious) reports from China that Foxconn has started a trial production run of the sets.In a recent interview at the D10 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook dodged questions about the company's much-rumored plans to sell an HDTV set but also cryptically noted that he felt for many consumers, television "is an area of their life that they aren't pleased with."
Given the fact that many Americans watch several hours of the stuff a day, we seem to have missed the memo -- but, it wouldn't be the first time Apple has shown us how disappointed we are in something we thought we loved.