Rumor: Apple's First TV Delayed Again, Lack Of Content Blamed
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) first television has encountered another setback.
According to DisplaySearch's North American TV Research Director, Paul Gagnon, the Mac maker's TV has been postponed again.
The illusive, unconfirmed Apple-made TV set has moved in and out of the rumor mill for more than two years. Many industry watchers expected the product to arrive in 2014, but that release date may be unrealistic.
Apple has been actively approaching a number of content producers, including Disney (NYSE: DIS), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA). But Disney has its own networks to service. The Mickey Mouse empire has also committed to providing Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) with a number of exclusive shows. This could make it difficult -- if not impossible -- for Apple to gain a meaningful deal.
That's not to say that Apple and Disney have not grown closer. The studio recently brought two new channels to Apple's set-top box, Apple TV. Neither channel contains exclusive content, however, and may only be viewed by Apple TV users who also pay for cable.
In addition to the content troubles, DisplaySearch reported that Apple is also struggling to deal with the lengthy lifespan enjoyed by most TVs. Gagnon, the report's author, stated that the average TV lasts for seven to eight years. At that length, Apple will not be able to continually achieve high TV sales. The market will eventually peak -- and when it does, sales will decline.
This is a problem that TV manufacturers have always faced, but it will be new territory to Apple. The Mac maker has successfully convinced consumers to buy a new phone every two to three years. Many Apple customers buy a new iPhone every 12 months.
Even tablets, which have a much longer lifespan than an iPhone, are likely to break or become somewhat obsolete in five years.
TVs are different, thanks in part to the fact that they typically remain stationary. While the average set may die in seven or eight years, many will survive for more than a decade.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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