Apple to Develop 65-Inch Ultra HD Television (AAPL)
The Mac maker is finally making progress toward the production of its first television set.
Apple is reportedly in the process of testing the technology, so it has not yet finalized its order with LG.
If it does, it could mean that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant will release its first television in 2014.
While this would be a couple years later than analysts initially anticipated, it could allow Apple to ship its first TV in time for the estimated sales explosion of Ultra HD displays.
Ultra HD (also known as 4K) TV manufacturers are expected to ship more than two million units this year, versus just 63,000 in 2012.
Even if Apple purchases TV panels from LG, the company is unlikely to settle for traditional Ultra HD displays. Instead, expect Apple to build the highest-resolution TV possible and apply the Retina Display moniker.
The current crop of Retina Displays actually cost more to produce than an Ultra HD television. Over the last several months, TV manufacturers have been able to drop their prices from roughly $20,000 (or more) to less than $10,000 for a new 4K set.
Comparatively, Apple has not reduced the price of any Retina Display product except for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. That price change could have been due to a reduction in component costs, such as solid state memory. It may not have had anything to do with acquiring a cheaper display.
Retina Displays are so costly that Apple decided to use a traditional monitor for the iMac's redesign last fall. The company is not expected to add a Retina Display to either the 21- or 27-inch iMac for quite some time.
The MacBook Air was once rumored to get a Retina Display in 2013. Instead, Apple kept the old display, increased the battery life and dropped the price by $100.
Apple is now rumored to release the iPad Mini 2 without a Retina Display. Panel shortages are being blamed, but by retaining the old display, Apple could reduce the price -- or simply maintain its current margins.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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