Citing a high-ranking source at a major electronics retailer, Technobuffalo reports that Apple’s rumored HDTV will likely see the light of day by April, or May at the absolute latest. As for the TV itself, it’s rumored to be a 42-inch OLED described as being ‘gorgeous’ and ‘very thin’.
While we don’t know if the set will be running it’s own version of iOS, we do know that will have deep integration with devices running the popular operating system. They’ll also sport Siri style voice controls as well as facial recognition software, and plans for the TV’s voice control system are said to far exceed what’s currently in use on the iPhone 4S. And if the user opts to not use voice, an iOS device can be used as a stand in remote. Apple execs are reportedly describing the new product line as a “hub” to your life, replacing the PC as the most-used device in a consumer’s home. Welcome to the “Post-PC Era.”
Our source said Apple is exploring the notion of using the set to control other connected devices in the home; think along the lines of ovens that pre-heat while you’re watching TV before dinner, and garage doors that can be closed by voice command while you sit on the couch. No details were given as to whether Apple would consider manufacturing such devices, though given their history, a “Made for iPod” style accessory program would be a natural fit for a TV-based connected home system.
Our source also said the controls for the television set would be unconventional and unique. The TV will follow the Apple tradition of going into power-saving sleep mode more often than actually turning off. Thanks to facial recognition software, something we’ve known Apple has been playing around with for some time now, the television will reawaken when someone it recognizes walks in the room. Should two recognized users be present in the room at the same time, an iOS app can be used to tell the set which person should be given control.
Well the report certainly sounded credible at first, no? But we quickly became skeptical, to put it mildly, when we saw mention of ovens and garage doors. A 42-inch OLED though? Intriguing. The only question, though, is price. There are no shortage of amazing HDTV sets on the market. A quick trip to Best Buy reveals a plethora of incredible LED sets from the likes of Samsung and LG. OLED is nice, but Apple will need more than an incredible picture to compete in an aggressive market with already paper-thin margins.