Would You Pay $1,499 for an Apple Television?

Apple TVNo one will be surprised if Apple (AAPL) rolls out a full-blown flat-screen HDTV later this year. The only thing that may turn heads will be the price.

A Best Buy (BBY) online survey -- originally unearthed by tech blog The Verge -- is asking participants how they would respond to a $1,499 high-def TV from Apple. The specs as stated on the Best Buy survey are impressive:
  • The set will be a 42-inch 1080p LED flat panel display, though some suggest that Apple may also offer smaller sets at lower prices.
  • An iPad or iPhone can be used as a remote control. One can imagine that perhaps a scaled down iPod touch may be included as a factory standard remote.
  • The Apple HDTV will naturally incorporate the same proprietary iOS platform that powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices.
  • App Store? You know it, though it may take some getting used to manipulating your iPad or iPhone for actions on the big screen.
  • The TV will include a camera to allow owners to engage in FaceTime chats.
  • There will be support for iCloud Web-based storage for music and video purchased from iTunes.
  • And support for other streaming sites will be offered, so fear not, YouTube fans.
This obviously doesn't confirm that Apple's much-anticipated entry into the cutthroat television market is at hand. It could just be Best Buy dreaming out loud so it can get an idea of how consumers will react when the world's most valuable tech company really does introduce a premium HDTV.

Apple tv

Apple Sells Premium Products, but ...

Consumers already know that a Mac will cost a bit more than a similarly equipped PC. No one is surprised to find that an iPad is more expensive than an Android tablet with the same specs. Apple's penchant for design and its proprietary features justify the premium.

However, at $1,499, we're not talking a set that's just a little more expensive than other high-def monitors available. At that cost, Apple may actually price itself out of the market.

The best-selling 42-inch TV on Amazon.com -- and it's a decent 1080p LG set -- is fetching a mere $529 right now. Prices continue to head lower, so it wouldn't be a shock to see quality 42-inch TVs for less than $500 by the time the 2012 holiday shopping season rolls around.

Get It Right the First Time

Apple can't afford to come up short here. This will be the first major product line introduced since Steve Jobs passed away late last year. Jobs won't be there to tell us how "magical" this TV will be.

There's also a viral hurdle here. The iPod and iPhone -- and later the iPad -- took off because they were easy to carry around. Folks saw plenty of Apple devices on the wild. The signature ringtones go off. Bored kids whip out an iPad 2.
Well, no one is going to be carrying a 42-inch LCD around, so it will take longer for word of mouth to turn the iTV into a "must have" appliance.

Again, this is only a survey. Apple hasn't officially announced that it's introducing a TV later this year. However, Apple hopefully is smart enough to price the TVs competitively. The last thing the company needs is to put out a product that everyone may want but few can afford.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls in Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.

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February 13 2012 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



February 11 2012 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why buy apple anything? its crap

February 10 2012 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They love to dupe the fools into buying their overpriced items.

February 10 2012 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not me, but a lot of apple lovers would in a heartbeat. Probably not enough to make it a commercial success.

February 09 2012 at 8:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rick, you motley fool! when, in the last ten years, have you seen Apple price themselves out of the market? You sound like the PC wonks that have kept up the same mantra that Apple is overpriced. Fortunately, the buying public has been discovering that for a few bucks more they can have the best equipment there is and, as Steve always used to say, "It just works." I bought stock in Apple before I bought my first Mac more than 25 years ago. At work, I had to suffer through using PCs and MicroSoft - what a drag. But, I got to go home and use my Mac, and it was good! Don't count on the Apple television being $1500 when it comes out but, DO count on it working. Have you ever owned ANYTHING from LG? If you have, you would know that they have lowered CRAP to a new level! You should be ashamed of yourself for EVER using "decent" and "LG" in the same sentence!

February 08 2012 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cbtmkst's comment

Do you know who supplies Apple with the panels for their iMacs and studio monitors? OH NOOOOO they are supplied by LG!!!

Apple is a marketing company, they don't produce a single product themselves. There is no magic Apple factory. Everything Apple makes is made by the same exact companies that make PCs, Asus mainboards, Sansui cell phones, and every other gadget made by Chinese slaves, slapped with a big corporate logo.

You've bought into the Steve Jobs con. I feel sorry for you.

February 09 2012 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

aw, poor baby, at work you had to "suffer through" using a PC that ran windows. but then you went home to your mac.... are you related to forest gump? i hear he's low tech as well.

February 10 2012 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't take pricing points or suggestions for functionality too literal yet. Apple doesn't tip thier hands to anyone, even Best Buy.

Although, the iPhone is severly subsidized by the phone copmpanies. They won't get that by retailing their TV's. I have to admit that I'm curious as to what Jobs said he figured out.

February 08 2012 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not worth it. Especially sans the camera, attaching an Apple TV does the same exact thing for $99

February 08 2012 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My friend bought a TV recently and hes a bargain hunter, I think its 46 inch or so and has internet stuff connected to it as well. Mine is similar but a year older and has none of the features his has, but I do know neither one of us would spend over $500 for TV. Nice for those who need it I guess, but Im not that interested in having the latest gadgets anymore, Ive learned buy it and its obsolete next year or the price will be half of what I paid. What I have works fine for the little time I actually watch TV-maybe 2 hours a week at most.

February 08 2012 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would depend on its functionality and ease-of-use in streaming, serving as an alternative monitor for web-browsing, movie-editing, etc. I paid about $2,000 for my first 42-inch HDTV six years ago or so, so if it did the right things, it doesn't seem that expensive.

February 08 2012 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply