Apple's 4K TV Plans Bite the Dust

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's perhaps the longest running rumour in all of consumer tech, that Apple would eventually supplement its set-top Apple TV box with a full blown television. But it seems after years of whispers, the product has now finally been shelved permanently.

According to the Wall Street Journal, despite a decade's worth of research, Apple ditched its TV plans altogether at some point last year. So that's one thing to strike off of the WWDC "most wanted" list then.

The report claims that Apple made the decision after failing to find a meaningful way to separate its product from the stacks of other televisions that line the shelves of gadget shops across the globe. This is despite the fact the screen could have made use of many Apple-exclusive features and technologies, such as Siri voice commands and FaceTime video chat. Even a camera system that would follow a viewer around the room and react to their presence wasn't deemed unique enough for Apple to pursue.

Many had also expected the screen to come in at a 4K resolution. And though the super high definition displays are now gradually coming down in price to a point where Joe Bloggs could consider picking one up, Apple's marketeers and supply chain experts considered the panels too expensive to successfully monetise. When Apple calls something expensive, then you know to be worried.

So what remains for Apple's living room plans? With iTunes movie sales still an important business slice, don't expect to see the Cupertino crew give up on its Apple TV set-top box anytime soon. It seems the company is currently preparing to launch a redesigned Apple TV box, one complete with an overhauled remote. While the box itself sounds as though it will remain fundamentally unchanged, the new remote control will be larger and touch sensitive, allowing users to trigger the same sorts of gestures they're now familiar with through the Apple Mac trackpad and the company's mobile touchscreens. Expect to see it pop up at the June developer's conference. [WSJ]