Apple spent several years researching new ways to innovate the television set, and now the company has decided that transparent UHD displays, sensor-equipped cameras and FaceTime capabilities are not worth launching in a new Apple product. Instead, the company plans to continue developing its online television service as an alternative to cable and will redesign the Apple set-top box. This way, the company will be able to uphold its reputation for innovation and high profit margins.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in 2013 that the company had a “grand vision” for television. For now, that vision will not translate to a new type of television set. The company had previously experimented with a display that was transparent like a piece of glass when it was turned off, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple also put in sensor-equipped cameras that would focus on the person speaking during FaceTime-like video calls on a television set. However, none of those features will be coming to an Apple product any time soon.
Instead, the company is focusing on updating its Apple TV, which hasn’t been updated since 2012, but has sold more than 25 million units since it was first launched. The new Apple TV will reportedly have games, a new remote control, integration with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and maybe even Apple Watches, and will also work as a smarthome hub.
Apple TV may prove a better fit for the company than a television set. “Rather than the onerous, barely profitable drudgery of manufacturing TVs, a set-top box allows Cupertino to mold any existing television into its home entertainment vision,” notes Wired. Apple gets much higher profit margins when it sells the set-top and people can buy one every few years because it is so affordable. More importantly, Apple has complete control over your experience, rather than allowing cable and satellite providers to frustrate a customer through an Apple device.
Apple will have even more control when it launches its online TV service later this year. The company is in talks with programmers to deliver channels over the Internet, starting in the fall. Apple already struck a deal with HBO to become an exclusive launch partner for HBO Now.