The WSJ reports that Apple has been quietly making major new investments in Internet infrastructure in a move which may simply be designed to boost the performance of its existing online services, but which could also be in readiness for its upcoming television product.
Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for International Internet Exchange, which helps companies line up Internet traffic agreements, estimates that Apple has in a short time bought enough bandwidth from Web carriers to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second.
“That’s the starting point for a very, very big network,” Mr. Norton said …
Apple also made a couple of senior infrastructure hires in September: Lauren Provo from Comcast and Jean-François Mulé, a former technology VP at a TV R&D company.
Apple, of course, already shifts a great deal of data though iTunes, iCloud and the Mac App Store. Historically, it has out-sourced most of that to third-party Content Delivery Network (CDN) companies, with Akamai believed to be Apple’s key supplier, while StreamingMediaBlog, who reported the Apple CDN buildout yesterday, names Level 3 as another major supplier.
Apple building its own CDN would give the company greater control and would likely boost performance for streaming media in particular. This is the approach taken by Netflix, for example, which stores its video content in a number of data caches around the world to enable faster and more reliable delivery.
An iPhone user who subscribes to Sprint Corp., for instance, might download a song more quickly if Sprint’s network links directly to the Apple data center storing that song, rather than channeling the file through a series of middlemen.
So the move may mean nothing more than improving the delivery of Apple’s existing services, but the timing is at least interesting. 2014 is the year for which Tim Cook has said that Apple has “some big plans” and “really great stuff coming.” A new Apple TV is believed to be one of the new products on the way, and building a large content delivery network would certainly be a logical part of the preparations for such a product.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple HDTV, Apple television, Apple TV, CDN, Content Delivery Network, icloud, iPhone, iTunes, Mac App Store, Sprint
Among the less likely of the many rumors surrounding Apple’s long-expected move into full televisions is one reported in Bloomberg today, suggesting that Apple will launch 55- and 65-inch 4K televisions in the final quarter of 2014 with pricing in the $1500 to $2500 range.
Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan Co, claims the displays will be made by LG, the GPUs by Samsung and the frameless glass cover made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with Foxconn assembling the products …
The specs are not unreasonable. By late next year, it would be unimaginable that Apple would release anything less than a 4K display, and 55-inch and 65-inch are emerging as the popular sizes for high-end TVs. Frameless designs are also popular at the high-end, and Gorilla Glass would make sense.
But even allowing for the inevitable price-drops between now and then, the suggested price range would be pushing it for any manufacturer, let alone one which has a no-expense-spared approach. And if the pricing is fiction, there’s no reason to imagine that Ishino knows more than any other analyst out there.
There are a couple of analyst rumors doing the rounds at present that are best described as … questionable.
As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the “iWatch” and described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.)
You may recall that Mr White is a man who likes his remotes: he predicted back in April that the Apple HDTV (which he always claims is going to be released in the next quarter or two) would be controlled by an iRing …
So, that’s an iRing to control the TV, and an iWatch to control everything else. Oh, and if you want to know how many iWatches will be sold, Gene Munster has the answer there, based on picking a random price and asking a random number of random consumers (via CNET).
Based on a Piper Jaffray survey of 799 US consumers, analyst Gene Munster believes Apple could sell between 5 million and 10 million smartwatches during the initial launch year. The recent poll asked people whether they would buy a $350 iWatch that can connect to an iPhone.
Keep in mind, Munster in his latest call missed the iPhone sales number by a staggering 50%, predicting 4-5 million when the real number turned out to be 9 million.
Analyst hits 10M on iWatch dartboard.—
Seth Weintraub (@llsethj) October 07, 2013
Then there’s talk of a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. This one comes from a DisplaySearch blog post which uses “supply chain research” to create an entire table of product predictions, many of them confidently naming a specific quarter (the iPhone 6 will be out in Q2 next year, apparently):
All that’s missing is the release date for the iRing.
With widespread speculation that Apple will finally be forced to give in to the trend for larger-screen phones, and sporadic rumors of larger iPads, everyone is getting in on the action when it comes to writing screen sizes on a bunch of PostIt notes and sticking them to a dartboard. DisplaySearch apparently decided to throw the MacBook Air into the mix too, for added fun.
The 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs are, of course, Apple’s best-selling Macs. A Retina version has long been predicted, once Apple can get costs down to the right ballpark for the lower-cost machines, but the 12-inch prediction seems to have about as much of a solid grounding as the rest of the table. Consider it intended for entertainment purposes only.
- Poll: Which iWatch concepts are you a fan of? (9to5mac.com)
- Microsoft pretends to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in Cupertino, pokes fun at new iPhones (9to5mac.com)
- Report claims both likely & unlikely display changes for future Apple devices (9to5mac.com)
- Apple issues MacBook Air EFI firmware update with fixes for Boot Camp (9to5mac.com)
- Roundup: The iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and wildcards for tomorrow’s Apple event (9to5mac.com)
- 3D motion sensor promises instant sports analysis on your iPhone (9to5mac.com)
- iPhone 5s and 5c rolling out to more than 25 new countries on Oct. 25, a dozen more Nov. 1 (9to5mac.com)
NPD DisplaySearch is one of the more reputable sources of supply-chain chatter there is, and they are currently making some bold predictions when it comes to Apple’s future iOS device line-up, from the iPhone 6, Retina MacBook Air, Apple HDTV and iWatch. Not only do they say that Apple is intending on announcing a retina […]
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