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Does Apple Inc. (AAPL) Really Need a Smart TV?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) dominates today’s financial media; that’s no question. Rehashed opinions about the tech giant are strewn throughout the blogosphere daily, but sometimes, one wonders if this coverage could be articulated a bit more creatively.

It’s not what you know; it’s what you don’t know that’s crucial.

Chances are, you’re aware of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s massive sell-off—it has lost more than 25% in the past six months—and it’s probably pretty clear that the stock’s valuation is cheap. At Insider Monkey, we seek to provide Cupertino-related information that’s off the beaten path, so to speak, from the truth behind the company’s Q4 earnings release, to Apple’s secret hedge fund.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

We’re also excited to reveal Apple’s positioning in our Billionaire Hedge Fund Index (and how retail investors can profit from the smart money’s stock picks), but there’s still one particular topic we haven’t discussed. Yes, we’re talking about the widespread rumor that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will introduce a smart television within the next 24 months.

The original Apple TV.

The original “Apple TV” was introduced in 2007, and almost six years later, the digital media receiver (DMR) is in its third iteration, available at around one-third of the device’s original price. For content enthusiasts searching for a pseudo set-top box to pair with an existing TV, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s device offers seamless functionality within the iOS framework. There are a few other DMRs on the market that are more critically acclaimed, most notably from Roku.

Natural competitors to the Apple TV also include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox 360 and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE)’s PlayStation 3, but rumors of an upcoming deal with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)’s HBO Go service may have pushed Apple’s device up a notch. Still, for a device that has been called a “hobby” by CEO Tim Cook, does an improved content library mean that cries for a full-scale Apple-made television are less urgent?

Improved, but still not enough.

With the expected addition of HBO Go, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s add-on box would hypothetically offer users access to an even wider range of top-tier streaming video offerings, most notably Netflix, Hulu, and networks from the NBA, NHL and MLB. While sales of the existing Apple TV have been modest to say the least—almost 8 million units in its 2011 and 2012 fiscal years—this figure eclipsed 2 million for the first time last quarter.

What else did Tim Cook have to say about this device?

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