Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is out with a new research note today outlining a remarkable set of features for Apple's rumored television set product, claiming that the TV could launch later this year. White believes that the television will be available as a 60-inch model, with 50-55 inch models also potentially being available.
In a new addition to the Apple television rumor roundup, White's report claims that Apple will revolutionize the television market with an "iRing" device to facilitate motion control of the device.
[W]e believe Apple will release a miniature device called "iRing" that will be placed on a user's finger and act as a navigation pointer for "iTV"', enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote.
White also believes that Apple's "iWatch" will play into Apple's television ecosystem, complementing the iRing to support interactive TV services and phone calls.
Beyond the basic television set, White claims that Apple will be releasing auxiliary screens similar to iPads, with the devices allowing users to watch their television content on wireless devices within range of the larger television.
"iTV" will come with a "mini iTV" screen that will seamlessly allow users to view content on this smaller, 9.7-inch screen, while also opening up use cases around home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other areas. As part of this experience, Siri and FaceTime will be important. Essentially, we believe the "mini iTV" screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch "iTV" across a distance of up to 200 meters, allowing a user to view "iTV" content in the kitchen, washroom, garage, bedroom, backyard, etc.
White claims that the basic iTV package would include one such mini iTV, with customers able to add on additional screens up to a maximum of four. He notes that while some aspects of the mini iTV would be similar to the full-size iPad and thus benefit from manufacturing efficiencies, they would have much more limited functionality and features.
White believes that the entire iTV package would be priced at $1500-$2500 depending on how many auxiliary mini iTVs are ordered, with some service providers perhaps subsidizing the cost to draw in customers.
Several of White's new claims appear to a fleshing out of his previous reports that have cited motion control and "iPad-like" touchscreen remotes. Still, while Apple has been said to be trying to revolutionize the television industry, White's reported feature set seems difficult to believe and has so far been uncorroborated.
After a lull in Apple television rumors while many observers turned their attention toward the company's iWatch efforts, reports on the iTV are beginning to ramp up again with White's report coming on the heels of rumors of a 4K "Ultra HD" set perhaps launching late this year or early next year.