Apple “To release their own TV set by 2011”

Apple “To release their own TV set by 2011”

Would you buy a TV made by Apple? One’s coming within two years if analyst and Apple crystal ball-watcher Gene Munster is to be believed.

Fortune Brainstorm Tech reports that Munster is predicting an Apple-branded TV with digital video recorder and home media playing facilities will be on sale by 2011. Basically, we would be looking at a TV with an Apple TV set-top box and a DVR thrown into the same casing.

In the meantime, Munster sees Apple improving its existing Apple TV set-top box and offering an iTunes TV Pass, allowing customers to subscribe to a bundle of TV shows in a bid to lure people away from subscription TV packages from cable and satellite companies.

Is this possible? Until now Apple has been clear that its Apple TV set-top box is a “hobby project”. With the cost of HD TV technology reducing noticeably in recent months, Apple may see the living room as a viable target in the medium term.

Fortune writes that Munster’s reasoning is that Apple COO Tim Cook recently stated that Apple intends to continue investing in Apple TV as “we fundamentally believe there is something there for us in the future”;. DVR-related patents and a five-year, $500 million deal with LG to produce LCD screens are also reasons to believe Munster might be onto something.

So, a believable idea but would Apple really want to go to the trouble and expense of manufacturing TVs? Wouldn’t improving their set-top box and making it even more desirable be a cheaper option? After all, most people change their TVs less often than they change their computers so they would only be likely to sell their TVs to a small but very hardcore, Apple-adoring market.

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