Popular activist investor Carl Icahn recently published an open letter to Tim Cook, asking for an increased share buyback from the company. And among other products mentioned in the letter, he points to an earlier discussion regarding the possibility of Apple releasing its own television set in 2016.
Apple has long time ago stated that they weren’t interested in a HDTV lineup since their upgrade cycles are pretty long. But Icahn says that the ultraHD TV will replace the normal HDTV by 2016, and this upgrade cycle would be a huge opportunity for Apple to step into the television business.
[..]we believe UltraHD’s (ultra-high-definition television) superior picture quality in comparison to regular HD will drive a major TV replacement cycle as the price gap between them narrows.
It should also be noted that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has referenced UltraHD as a major catalyst for Netflix going forward, and while this is true for Netflix, we believe it is also true for Apple.
Against the backdrop of this replacement cycle, FY 2016 represents an opportune time to introduce an UltraHD TV set.
Icahn forecasts that the Apple TV set would be sized between 55 and 65 inches, and be priced around $1500 (remember this Best Buy survey from 2012?). He even predicts that the TV set will sell about 12 million units in 2016 and more than double that in 2017.
He also tries to persuade Cook into the idea by citing the huge success of iTunes Store and how users would be able to enjoy UltraHD movies from iTunes through such high resolution screens.
We have been hearing rumors about the Apple standalone TV set for more than four years now, and earlier this year we received some contrasting reports on its development status. You can read all about the Apple’s HDTV here.
It is also worth remembering that rumors of an UltraHD TV from Apple filled the news in early 2013.