Apple dropped plans of introducing an ultra-high-definition television set more than a year ago because the company could not find any compelling features to justify building such a product, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The latest revelation counters expectations that Apple may launch a TV set with high-definition display in 2016.
Before scrapping the plan, Apple had conducted research for nearly a decade, trying to look for “breakthrough features” that could differentiate a potential TV set from the company’s existing products. Besides an ultra-high-definition display, Apple considered adding improved cameras to allow viewers to make video calls through the TV set, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report contradicts Carl Icahn, a private equity investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises, who wrote an open letter Monday to Apple CEO Tim Cook, saying that he believes the company will debut in two new markets in the coming years by launching a TV next year and an electric car in 2020.
Icahn also said that Apple is expected to start selling 55-inch and 65-inch ultra-high-definition TV sets next year, helping the company generate revenue of $15 billion in fiscal year 2016 by selling 10 million units.
However, the Journal reported, Apple has “quietly shelved plans” to make such a TV set with 4K displays, and is now focused on creating an online TV service and a new version of the Apple TV set-top box, both of which are expected to be announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
The upcoming version of the Apple TV set-top box is rumored to be slimmer than the existing model, and could feature a redesigned remote control and revamped software, the Journal reported.
According to recent reports, Apple’s updated set-top box would come with its own app store, along with improved hardware and the company’s Siri digital assistant. An earlier report also said, citing sources, that Apple was in talks with networks like ABC, CBS and Fox to launch a TV bundle service consisting of about 25 channels sometime this fall.