Latest in Apple

Apple HDTV in Best Buy survey is not news


There's a lot of speculation going around about an Apple HDTV of some sort. The Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs started a lot of the rumors when he quoted Jobs as saying that Apple had "finally cracked" the method of interacting with a television. Now the speculation is bordering on the ridiculous, with screen shots of a customer survey done by Best Buy that describes an Apple HDTV concept product appearing on a number of tech sites.

The survey describes an "all new 42" Apple HDTV" available at Best Buy for US$1499, with a 42" 1080p LED flat panel display, built-in iOS, app and iCloud support, the ability to use an iPad or iPhone as a remote control, and a "built in iSight camera and microphone for Skype."

So, an overpriced HDTV with a built-in Apple TV is all the Cupertino Kids can give us? There are other things that make this alleged story a farce, such as the survey's insistence on referring to an "iSight camera" rather than a FaceTime camera and using Skype instead of FaceTime.

Retail chains do customer surveys all the time, and this particular survey is only "newsworthy" because it has the word Apple in it. Had the survey been asking about a new Internet TV from LG, we wouldn't have seen at least four major blogs writing about it. Apple's insistence on secrecy means that we're not going to know what awe-inspiring new way of interacting with television Jobs was talking about until the product is ready to ship ... or until an Apple engineer just happens to leave an HDTV at a bar.

In the meantime, the Apple community would be better served by blog posts with a little more meat on them, instead of breathless stories speculating about the deep inside meaning of a simple market survey.

Steve was born two weeks before the start of the Space Age, and has been a fan of technology since birth. A lifelong resident of Colorado, Steve graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (1978) and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (1983).

He began writing for TUAW in 2008, and is now the Features Editor for the blog. One of his passions is "The Internet of Things", so you can find him controlling his house from his iPhone most of the time ... except when his battery is dead.

When he's not blogging for TUAW, he's writing books for Pearson and his personal blog, Transient Spike