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Apple exec quashes some Apple TV rumors

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue September 8, 2009

Denies some expected features

Apple is unlikely to turn the Apple TV into a DVR set-top, despite analyst suggestions and hints in patents, says research firm Caris & Company. Analysts from the firm are said to have met recently with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who immediately tried to dispel rumors. "While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product," a Caris investor note reads, "Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business."

Speculation in the past few months has held that in the long term, the Apple TV could eventually be adapted to record live TV, and integrate with cable providers. Short-term expectations have typically called for a refresh of basic features, such as new capacities. Some analysts have proposed that an updated Apple TV could be announced at Wednesday's music event in San Francisco.

Oppenheimer is meanwhile said to be implying the company will continue to drop prices on Macs, or offer new systems at cheaper prices. The executive is also pleased with the popularity of the iPhone 3GS, which the company has had trouble keeping in stock, and will soon go on sale in China. With the help of China, says Caris, Apple will likely sell 27 million iPhones by the end of 2009.

Oppenheimer does caution that component supply is currently "tight," and that prices are rising as a result. Another concern is that most cellphones in China are pre-paid, whereas that iPhone is normally post-paid; Oppenheimer dismisses both issues as surmountable. Caris is holding on to a "Buy" rating for Apple stock, with a price target of $200.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacOS

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DVR Feature

    I would love to a DVR feature built into Apple TV, even without cable-tv support.

  1. fm1365

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What happened to Apple not commenting on rumors?


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Open up AppleTV

    Apple should open up the AppleTV to third-party developers, ala the iPhone, and include at least one model with a tuner. The living room is the final frontier of computer makers, and Apple must act fast and grab the lead in this market. It's clear from competitors like Samsung (who introduced a Blu-ray player that streams Netflix and Pandora) that there is great potential in this space. Consumer electronics giants are dipping their toe into these waters, but no one has a robust platform like MacOS.

    Imagine an AppleTV with its own App Store: a Netflix app, Facebook app, Hulu app, + tens of thousands more--and with an AppleTV with a tuner, a TiVo app. Imagine the allure to consumers! And what if developers could package apps that work on the iPhone AND AppleTV, unifying the App Store? This box would prove irresistible to consumers.

    Apple has always said that the iTunes Store primarily exists to drive hardware sales. If this is to be believed, an open AppleTV with competing content should win hands down over a closed system.

    Come on, Apple! It's time to rock this market.

  1. traix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No DVR-is that like the no phone announcement?

    We have no interest in TVs (AppleTV) or phones (iPhone) or music (iPod, iTunes) etc.

    Apple does this all the time. Hasn't this guy paid attention to the last, I don't know, 10 or 12 years or so.

    If Gene Munster says no DVR function, I might buy it . . . nah, I wouldn't even buy it then.

    It might not be coming out this week, or even this month or they might not call it a DVR, but Apple is doing TV.

    And if they do TV on demand for a flat rate as has been alluded to by nearly everyone, why would you need a DVR, just call up the show when you want it?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Open up AppleTV

    Apple should open up the AppleTV to third-party developers, ala the iPhone, and include at least one model with a tuner.

    First, the iPhone is not "open". Apple only allows apps they want to allow. That is by no means 'open'.

    Second, Apple wants to make money from video sales and rentals. They're trying to convince people TV is dead and to just buy what they want from iTMS. As such, there ain't a chance in h*** they'll ever include DVR capabilities.

    Third, even if they wanted to, then you get into the whole hassle of competing standards across countries, extra fees and taxes (I believe in GB they pay extra for TVs as the money goes to the BBC or some such thing).

    If you want DVR capability, just buy a freakin' mini and be done with it. Waiting for Apple to do this is like those of us waiting for a mini-tower from them.

  1. brainworks

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mini + eyetv

    i went with the mini because of the dvr limitation. im using remote buddy with eyetv, front row, boxee & hulu - its functional, stable, and a seamless experience (once set up)

    i was hoping the apple tv would become an all-in-one media center solution, even if it took some plug-ins - but no dvr is the deal-breaker for me

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too many players

    There are too many players to make DVR functionality worthwhile for Apple. They need support from Comcast, AT&T, Dish network, Rogers, Bell, Starchoice, etc. and that's just US and Canada. For a $250 item that is a niche product, it's simply not feasible to get this support to provide a truly good experience that doesn't involve standard definition recordings, infra red repeaters for decoder boxes, etc.

  1. triplethreat25

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Try Plex

    Apple TV with Plex-like plugin functionality is what I've looking for.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Open up AppleTV

    My main point was to turn the AppleTV into a platform accessible to 3rd party developers. You can quibble about DVR, no DVR, etc. etc. but the game-changer will be introducing a PLATFORM to living room. Give users the choice whether they want a DVR or to buy content or stream it, etc. Apple has always been about selling high-margin hardware. The content portion is a small percentage of their bottom line.

    Yes, you can do it with a mini. $600 plus all the add-on software, plus the hassles of installing, etc. And you have to buy a wireless keyboard. Apple has the smarts to improve the experience at a $300 price point.

    Samsung is selling a TV with some internet and streaming functionality ( I would rather pay $230 for a box with thousands of app choices, and that can be upgraded. And I bet many others would too.

    Oh, and "closed" iPhone = 65,000 application choices in a year. I'm OK with that.

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