Will Apple Create A New Smart TV Set?

Apple must be a bit wistful when it comes to the ultimate home electronic device -- the TV set -- in light of a story about Comcast Corp. and Walmart mulling the idea of making TV sets together.

Comcast Corp. is in reported talks with Walmart to develop a line of smart TV sets using Comcast proprietary technology, its Xfinity X1 operating system.

This would be a step above independently owned CTV services carried on TV manufacturers’ proprietary smart TV operating systems -- Roku, Amazon Fire, for example -- in Samsung, Vizio, LG, and Sony TV sets.

Apple's main focus is elsewhere.

While it has started its own Apple TV streaming programming platform, it still has heart -- and expectations -- wrapped around its new 5G iPhone 12.

Apple had considered the idea of an actual TV manufacturer some years ago. But we now know the economic premise -- in light of how Apple sells its high-profile iPhones -- would be limited. It wants returning customers to buy new phones every few years. That isn't the case with TV sets.



Perhaps that is why Apple continues to offer its own modest Apple TV set-top OTT unit -- a la Roku and Amazon Fire. This effort comes at a much lower consumer cost ($169 for Apple TV 4K at Walmart, currently) rather pushing consumers to spend $800 to $1,000 on a new TV set every few years.

Still, at some point, an all-encompassing TV set -- with the simple Apple packaging -- is what many Apple devotees would love.

A Comcast/Walmart brand? That’s undermined. We aren't sure how much total marketing/manufacturing effort is behind this.

We also don’t know if this will be a lower-end priced electronic device -- akin to what some Google Chromebooks can be for hard-press students. A way to get stuff done without all the bells and whistles.

The bottom line: Comcast/Walmart would continue to declutter all those extra set-top electronic units sitting in our living rooms -- a cleaner look at a home-entertainment experience.

The data works in favor of such moves.

Now, as of Q3, 56% of U.S. broadband households own and use at least one smart TV, with 43% of U.S. broadband households owning and using a streaming media player, according to Parks Associates.

In other words, taking limited-risk smart steps -- vis-a-vis growing smart TV usage -- continues.

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