One of the longest running rumors in the Apple pipeline is some version of a television. The set-top Apple TV has been on the market since 2007 and has evolved dramatically. Originally a way to stream media on your Mac computer to the television, the device has grown to include stream media services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as apps from several professional sports leagues to watch games live.
According to a report from NBC News, this product line could be a focal point for the company in 2014 and the proof is a link on the Apple website. On the homepage of the online retail store, there are several products prominently placed across the top. One of them is now the Apple TV.
There had been a feeling for some time that the device was just a hobby for the company. However, with prominent placement above the fold, this is prime real estate for something that is considered nothing more than a hobby. This could mean something big is coming down the pipeline.
The article features a conversation with Gene Munster, the managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. He said that while the placement on the website could mean an upgrade of the current system, CEO Tim Cook has made many comments about a "new product line" being introduced in 2014, which could point to a full Apple Television.
There is a potential profit margin here of 20 percent, though that is lower than the 38 percent that the electronic giant is used to.
"Your computer screen has been conquered, the screen on the smartphone in your pocket has been conquered by iOS and android, but TV is still an open field," Munster said. "There still a lot of usage of TV. If you want to be relevant consumer electronics company, you need to make a play on TV."
There are also rumors from the Apple blog 9to5mac that a new version of the set-top device is on the horizon. It would include features that include an integrated wireless router, games that can be played with the iPhone or iPad and an Apple interface for controlling current cable boxes.
With Apple's tendency to integrate products, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see an Apple TV in a conference room to help during presentations. By partnering with an IT consulting firm that specializes in Mac integration, any business can find out how these products will help their business and deploy them if desired.