One tech industry analyst believes the lack of concrete evidence that Apple is working on a flatscreen TV could mean that the company has a different solution altogether in mind.
James McQuivey of Forrester Research reckons Apple's failures to secure top content to make its Apple TV set-top box makes it less likely to enter the home flatscreen market with a standalone offering - at least for the time being.
In a note to investors he wrote: "The reason it has failed with the Apple TV so far is not that it hasn’t tried. It’s that the TV business is a tough nut to crack: Content is still controlled by monopolists unlikely to give Apple the keys to their content archives. And simply introducing a new display on which to watch that content as it is currently delivered by existing distributors won’t offer consumers much that’s new."
Instead, McQuivey believes that Apple should press on with a device he calls 'iHub,' which hangs on the wall and acts as a centre for family life with calendars, photos and videos and could put Apple in a place where it could pave the way to eventually launch its TV set.
"Apple should sell the world’s first non-TV TV. Instead of selling a replacement for the TV you just bought, Apple should convince millions of Apple fans that they need a new screen in their lives. Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates for planning, talking, or eating — in more and more US homes, that room is the dining room or eat-in kitchen.
"By pushing developers to create apps that serve as the hub of family life — complete with shared calendars, photo and video viewers, and FaceTime for chatting with grandma — this non-TV TV could take off, ultimately positioning Apple to replace your 60-inch set once it’s ready to retire."
Naturally this is just one gadget fantasy fom a keen Apple fan with a vested interest, but the man certainly makes an interesting point.