Talk about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s mythical TV set has somewhat subsided in recent months as investors have turned their attention to possible iPhone deceleration and new rumors about a potential iWatch in the works. Let’s talk TV.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek now believes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to host a TV-centric event in March. That’s just around the corner!
Hold your horses
Before you get too excited, Misek doesn’t believe this event will be the long-awaited unveiling of the new product. Instead, the analyst thinks that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will focus on getting developers on board to a TV platform by release a software development kit, or SDK, geared for Apple TV. Apps on TVs are the inevitable progression of the platform wars, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has surprisingly not opened up its current Apple TV platform to third-party developers.
Meanwhile, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) already has a relatively larger catalog of apps that are optimized for its Google TV platform. The search giant currently offers three different devices through hardware partners in order to boost the platform. Even Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has now officially confirmed that it is working on an Internet TV service, complete with apps. The chip giant was rumored to unveil a TV service at CES in January, but supposedly ran into some last-minute delays.
Ramping up content to bolster the platform ahead of an official product launch is the best way for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to balance its penchant for secrecy with its broader strategy. Not only will the company need to work through difficult negotiations with traditional content providers, but growing its TV app catalog will also be critical, especially in categories like games, since iOS has become a robust gaming platform.
Thus far, Apple has only partnered with a select number of third parties to bring video services to the platform, such as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu, and The Wall Street Journal, among a few others. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is still nowhere to be found with its Instant Video service, even as the e-tailer offers several of its content services on other Apple platforms, mobile competition aside.
Apple can also maintain the facade that the SDK is intended for its current set-top box device, which is due for an incremental upgrade. The last one was introduced in March 2012 with an A5 processor, and a new model recently made its way through the FCC’s regulatory hurdles carrying a beefier A5X chip and newer Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) BCM4334 combo chip (the same one found in the iPhone 5).
Releasing an Apple TV SDK now will give the company a head start on growing its app catalog and it can maintain reasonable doubt that it has nothing else up its sleeve. But investors know better.